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    Sunday Tennis Update: March 17

     

    No. 4 Florida Women’s Tennis Tops Tennessee, 4-0
     
    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida women’s tennis team capped a successful weekend with Sunday’s 4-0 victory against Tennessee at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex.
     
    The fourth-ranked Gators (11-2, 4-1 SEC), who have won their last 73 matches at the Ring Tennis Complex versus Southeastern Conference opponents, also extended their overall home win streak to 115, the longest active home winning streak by any NCAA Division I women’s team in any sport.
     
    Tennessee (5-6, 3-2 SEC) won the first doubles match of the match, but Florida earned victories on courts two and three to collect the initial point of the dual match. The Gators then received straight-set singles wins from Caroline Hitimana, Olivia Janowicz and Lauren Embree to improve their home record against SEC teams to 181-1 all-time.
     
    “Today’s match was okay,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “It’s human nature, when after the emotional win against Georgia on Friday, to be a little flat today. We tried to talk about that. At the start of doubles I thought we were pretty flat. Once we got going we were okay. In singles we did a good job, too. It wasn’t anything really to write home about, quite frankly, but after the intensity of the Georgia match, it’s hard to saddle up a little.”
     
    Florida Caroline Hitimana (Belgium) was the first off the singles court with her 6-1, 6-2 victory against Sarah Toti on court six, where the Gator senior collected her 30th consecutive dual match singles victory and improved to 6-0 in team action this year, while giving Florida a 2-0 lead in the team scoring. Hitimana, who was the fourth to finish her first set, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the match before Toti finally held and won her only game of the day, as Hitimana won the final eight games of the match.
     
    Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) followed four minutes later with a 6-2, 6-2 win against Mimi Fotopoulos on court five, where she raced out to a 3-0 lead. The next three games were holds, before the two competitors traded breaks, before the Gator junior earned her third break of the frame to claim the first set. The first break of the second set was in Janowicz’s favor in the fourth game and she rode that to a 5-1 lead and later earned one final break for the victory. The singles win was the 80th of the career for Janowicz, who is 24-6 this season.
     
    Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) provided the clinching match victory with a 6-3, 6-1 decision against Brynn Boren on court one in one hour and 38 minutes. The two traded breaks early in the first set and Embree collected her second of the set in the sixth game and then held for the 5-2 lead. Boren held server in a long eighth game before Embree headed to the baseline to serve for the opening frame, where she fought off two break points and capitalized on her initial set point. She carried that momentum into the second, where she held serve throughout, winning the first four games en route to the victory which capped her 29th consecutive dual match singles win.  The victory also was Embree’s 214 combined singles and doubles win, as she moved into sole possession of 10th all-time in Gator history.
     
    Florida led in the remaining three singles matches, with Sofie Oyen, Alexandra Cercone and Brianna Morgan each having won their respective first sets and were at least on-serve in the second when play was abandoned.
     
    Tennessee’s fourth-ranked pair of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely earned an 8-2 win against Alexandra Cercone and Sofie Oyen and put pressure on Florida’s other two doubles teams to win both matches to claim the doubles point. The Gators did just that, with Caroline Hitimana and Olivia Janowicz rallying for the 8-4 victory against Mimi Fotopoulos and Sarah Toti, before Lauren Embree and Brianna Morgan clinched the doubles point with an 8-5 decision over Joanna Henderson and Caitlyn Williams.
     
    Hitimana and Janowicz were trailing 3-0, down two breaks, before beginning their comeback with a break in the fourth game. After Janowicz held, the Gators won 12 of the next 15 points and took a 5-3 lead. The Lady Vols regrouped and broke right back, but so did Florida and Hitimana held for the 7-4 advantage. The Gators then capitalized on their second match-point to earn the victory.
     
    On court two, 10 of 13 games were breaks, with the Morgan holding in the fifth and 13th games the difference in the 8-game pro-set. The Gator rookie held at love in that fifth game, as Florida won eight straight points for the 5-2 lead. Tennessee was able to break, Henderson and then the Vols broke again and were serving down 5-4. The Gators were able to bounce back and stop the run with a break, but were unable to hold as Henderson again went to the baseline trying to get the match back on-serve. The Gators, however, captured the next game on their second break-point try and Morgan served out at love for the win.

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    Koch Closes Undefeated Weekend in 5-2 Loss at #5 Georgia
     
    ATHENS, Ga. – No. 32 South Carolina played tough doubles but struggled to find footing in singles in a 5-2 loss at No. 5 Georgia Sunday afternoon at Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Gamecocks’ No. 2 tandem of Kyle Koch and Harry Menzies scored its second-straight win over a ranked opponent by winning the last three games of the match. Koch and Andrew Adams scored the singles points for South Carolina, both coming back to win in super-tiebreaks after splitting the first two sets.
     
    For South Carolina, doubles began well with early breaks in the Nos. 2 and 3 matches, while Chip Cox and Tsvetan Mihov, ranked 50th in the nation, were on serve against the nation’s fifth-ranked duo in the No. 1 match. While the No. 3 match swing back in the Bulldogs’ favor with KU Singh and Austin Smith closing out an 8-4 win over Ben Barnette and Thiago Pinheiro, Koch and Menzies were seemingly trading service breaks with 39th-ranked Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseauz throughout. The Gamecock tandem went ahead 5-4, converting the second of their break points in the game, but, three games later the Bulldogs leveled the match at 6-6. Pasha held his serve for a 6-7 Georgia lead, but after holding serve for a 7-7 tie, the Gamecocks got into Brasseaux’s service game to take an 8-7 lead that they consolidated with a hold to win the match 9-7.
     
    With the doubles now split a 1-1, the point came down to Court 1, where the Bulldogs were up a break, serving at 6-5. Cox/Mihov were fighting to get the break back in that game, going to deuce three times, but Pietrus/Wagland managed to fight off two break points to take a 7-5 lead. The Bulldogs were aggressive in the Gamecocks’ next service game and came up with an 8-5 victory to give Georgia a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
     
    Georgia stormed out to early leads in all six singles matches, including multiple-break leads in two contests. Mihov battled No. 7 Singh at the top of the order, but could not overcome an early break, losing his first set 6-4 to make it a clean sweep of first sets for the Bulldogs. After wins in the Nos. 6 and 3 matches, Georgia closed out the team victory with a win on Court 4.
     
    The teams agreed to play out the matches beyond the team outcome, opening the door for the comebacks from Adams and Koch. After dropping the first set to 39th-ranked Pasha in the No. 2 match, Adams got a service break in the final game of the second to force the super-tiebreak to decide the match. A miscue from Pasha and a great passing shot from Adams put the Gamecock sophomore up 7-4. Adams held onto the advantage for a 1-0 (6) victory.
     
    On Court 5, Koch’s battle matched Adams’ as he needed a late service break to win his second set 7-5 after falling 6-3 in the first. Koch’s tiebreak, however, was one of surges from both players. The Gamecock sophomore sprinted out to a 5-2 lead, but saw Pieters level it at 5-5. Koch won three of the next four points to again take a lead at 8-6 only to have his opponent win the next two points and even the tiebreak at 8-8. Koch stayed locked on his comeback, however, winning the next two points, including a winner at the net on match point, to secure the 1-0 (8) victory.

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    Freshmen Guide UGA Over Gamecocks 
     
    ATHENS, Ga. --- The fifth-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team (12-4, 4-1) got a boost from three of its freshmen and downed 32nd-ranked South Carolina 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
     
    “I think our team played great,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “I think our doubles was right on point against a very good South Carolina team.  They won two tiebreakers once the match was decided, which was a little bittersweet.  We would have liked to have won both of those, but that is the way it goes.  Now I have to turn our attention to a really good Vanderbilt team on Friday and Kentucky on Sunday.  Both of those teams are tied for a four way lead in the conference.”
     
    The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead when they fought for over an hour to capture the doubles point for the 12th time this season.  At No. 3, KU Singh and Austin Smith struck first as they defeated Ben Barnette and Thiago Pinheiro 8-4.  Harry Menzies and Kyle Koch of South Carolina quickly evened things up by defeating 39th-ranked Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseux in a hotly contested 9-7 match at No. 2.  The doubles point then fell to No.1 where the fifth-ranked duo of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland provided the point clinching victory over 50th-ranked Tsvetan Mihov and Chip Cox 8-5.
     
    At No. 6 singles, Marco Nunez extended the Georgia lead to 2-0 after a convincing 6-4, 6-0 win against Menzies. Nunez is now 5-0 in dual match play this season. Smith was next to add to the Bulldogs’ score when he ran away with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Cox and push the Georgia lead to 3-0. And it was another rookie - No. 71 Wagland – who marched back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set to win 6-2, 7-5 at No. 3 and clinch the match for the Bulldogs. It marked Wagland’s team leading fifth match clincher of the season.  
     
    With the match in hand, seventh-ranked Singh powered his way over 106th-ranked Mihov 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1.  Singh is now 5-1 at the No. 1 singles position this season.   
     
    The Gamecocks continued to fight and salvaged two points at the end of the match. At No. 2, Andrew Adams claimed the first South Carolina point when he defeated 39th-ranked Pasha 3-6, 7-5, 1-0(10-6). Koch quickly followed suit and made the final score 5-2 by overcoming 101st-ranked Pieters 3-6, 7-5, 1-0(10-8) at No. 5.  
     
    With the win, Georgia is now 34-6 all-time vs. South Carolina, while the loss drops the Gamecocks to 10-6 (2-3) on the season. Georgia remains a perfect 9-0 at home this season and has won seven of its last eight outings.

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    LSU WOMEN’S TENNIS POSTS 6-1 WIN OVER MISSOURI
     
    BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU Lady Tigers (8-8; 1-5 SEC) posted a 6-1 win over the University of Missouri (7-6; 1-5 SEC) Sunday at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Stadium. 
     
    The duo of Ebie Wilson and Keri Frankenberger clinched the doubles point for LSU after defeating Mizzou’s No. 68 pair of Rachel Stuhlmann and Maria Christensen on court two. The Lady Tigers split the first two doubles matches, as the team of Kaitlin Burns and Ella Taylor posted an 8-4 win over the Missouri Tigers’ Elisha Gabb and Madison Rhyner on court three before Mary Jeremiah and Ariel Morton’s 8-6 loss to Mizzou’s Cierra Gaytan-Leach and Alex Clark in the top spot.
     
    Senior Burns kicked off a series of singles wins for LSU after marking a quick 6-0, 6-1 win over the Missouri Tigers’ No. 114 Gaytan-Leach in the No. 1 position. Freshman Taylor followed on court three with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph against Mizzou’s Christensen.
     
    The competition on court six clinched the match for LSU. Senior Wilson tallied a 6-2, 6-4 victory over the Missouri Tigers’ Rhyner, despite trailing 4-1 early on in the second set.
     
    Junior Morton added another point for the Lady Tigers on court four with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Mizzou’s Gabb.
     
    Courts two and five split the day’s remaining points, as Jeremiah and Frankenberger proceeded into third sets and competed in 10-point super tiebreakers. 
     
    After posting a 6-4 win in the first set, Frankenberger battled Missouri’s Clark through the second set and fell 7-6 (7-5). The senior struck back with a 10-7 super tiebreaker victory.
     
    The final point of the day went to Mizzou’s Stuhlmann on court two. After falling 6-2 in set one, Jeremiah fought back to score a 6-2 win in the second set, but fell 10-7 in the third-set super tiebreaker.

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    Aggies Shutout No. 46 Arkansas, 7-0
     
    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 11th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team defeated No. 46 Arkansas, 7-0, to close out the six-match home stand with a win in front of 241 fans at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station on Sunday afternoon. The Aggies improve to 13-7 and 4-2 in SEC play while the Razorbacks fall to 11-8 and 0-5 in the SEC.
     
    “All these SEC matches are tough,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “We put in a new team at the No. 3 doubles and they did a good job of getting ahead early and relaxing everybody else. We were able to secure the point pretty comfortably. We were able to stay ahead in singles and keep our momentum rolling for most of the day. I was extremely happy to see Jackson be able to play a singles match. That’s encouraging for us. Today we did a much better job of staying on top of Arkansas and not let them get anything going.”
     
    Texas A&M won the doubles point for the second consecutive match. Freshman Harry Adams and senior Niall Angus defeated Santiago Munoz and Hall Fess, 8-4, from the No. 3 line to earn the first doubles win for the Aggies. Moments later, the 15th-ranked tandem of Jackson Withrow and Junior Ore bested Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott, 8-4, from the No. 1 line to secure the doubles point for A&M.
     
    Leading 1-0, the Aggies carried their doubles momentum into singles, winning all six of the first sets in singles. 117th-ranked Withrow defeated Mike Ward 6-3, 6-3, from the No. 4 line to push the advantage to 2-0. Seconds after, Behzad Minavi rolled through Munoz, 6-2, 6-1, at the No. 6 position to push A&M’s lead to 3-0. 117th-ranked Adams clinched the match for the Maroon and White when he downed Nott at the No. 3 line, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Jordan Szabo added insult to injury for the Razorbacks when he beat Victor Hoang, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, at the No. 5 line to push the advantage to 5-0. Ore rallied from a 3-5 deficit in the second set to defeat Gregoire Lehmann, 6-4, 7-5, and stake the Aggies to a 6-0 lead. 52nd-ranked Jeremy Efferding capped off the match by beating Jeske, 7-5, 6-1, at the No. 2 line to complete the shutout.

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    No. 38 Kentucky Women’s Tennis Blanks Mississippi State 7-0
     
    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s tennis team failed to drop a singles match and took two of three doubles matches on Sunday to defeat Mississippi State 7-0 at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
     
    Kentucky opened the match with an early lead, winning two of three doubles matches to clinch the doubles point. Court three was the first court to finish, as junior Khristina Blajkevitch and sophomore Stephanie Fox won the match 8-5. The win was the first time this season that Blajkevitch and Fox had been paired in doubles.
     
    Shortly after, play wrapped up on court two as Mississippi State’s Petra Ferancova and Georgiana Patrasc took the No. 2 doubles match 8-5, leaving court one to decide the outcome of the doubles point. 
     
    On court one, junior Caitlin McGraw and freshman Nadia Ravita had fallen into a 6-3 hole. The duo slowly worked back into the match, eventually winning five consecutive games to win the match 8-6 and clinch the doubles point for Kentucky.
     
    The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead with quick singles wins from Ravita and senior Jessica Stiles.
     
    Ravita was the first to finish, taking down Patrasc 6-3, 6-1 to give Kentucky the No. 1 singles point.
     
    On court two, Stiles quickly took the first set 6-2 before winning a close second set. The Wyckoff, N.J., native won three consecutive games to come back from down 5-4 and win the second set 7-5.
     
    Just needing a point to clinch the match, McGraw delivered on court four, winning the match in straight sets to give Kentucky its fourth and match-clinching point.
     
    With the match decided, play continued. 
     
    After dropping the first set on court three, sophomore Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff took the second set in a tight tiebreaker and finally clinched the match with a 10-7 win in a third-set tiebreaker. 
     
    On courts five and six, freshman Kirsten Lewis and Fox won in straight sets. Lewis defeated Lien Van Geel 6-1, 6-3, while Fox only dropped one game, defeating Roseline Dion 6-1, 6-0.

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    Georgia Shuts Out South Carolina, 7-0
     
    COLUMBIA, S.C.—The No. 12 Georgia women’s tennis team closed its weekend with a 7-0 shutout over No. 32 South Carolina Sunday afternoon at the Carolina Tennis Center.
     
    Georgia (11-2, 4-1) picked up its fourth SEC win of the season, and improved to 43-15 all-time versus the Gamecocks (8-7, 1-4).
     
    “I thought we really played well,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “Anytime that you go on the road in the SEC and win 7-0 you know that you played a good match. Silvia [Garcia] had a chance to play up at No. 1 and did great, and Kate [Fuller] played really high-caliber tennis. We got off to a good start with the doubles point, and really picked up our play when it got tight. Overall, it was a great day to be a Bulldog.”
     
    Georgia claimed the early advantage after winning the doubles point. Lilly Kimbell and Mia King were first off the court with an 8-5 win over South Carolina’s Alex Martin and Elixane Lechemia. Georgia clinched the doubles point when Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia, ranked third in the country, topped Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova, 8-6. Fuller and Garcia remain undefeated this season. Sunday’s doubles point victory marked the 12th time Georgia has clinched the all-important point this season.
     
    Georgia won the first set on five of six courts before winning all six singles matches. On court 1, No. 77 Garcia gave Georgia a 2-0 advantage with a 6-1, 6-1 win over No. 102 Popova. Shorty after, Fuller, ranked No. 120 in the country, out did Kanakova, 6-2, 6-1. Georgia’s No. 17 Kowase clinched the match with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Lechemia. Kowase leads the team with three match clinches this spring. 
     
    With the match outcome decided, Georgia’s Kimbell outmatched Adriana Pereira 6-2, 6-2 to put Georgia up 5-0. Then King, who was forced to a 10-point tiebreak third set, outlasted Martin 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (10-1). Craft completed the Georgia shutout with a 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8) win against Andersson. 
     
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    Florida Men’s Tennis Upsets No. 6 Tennessee, 4-3, in Knoxville
     
    Knoxville, Tenn.—The Florida men’s tennis team picked up its biggest victory of the season on Sunday, beating No. 6 Tennessee, 4-3, in Knoxville. After winning the doubles point, Gator freshman Luke Johnson clinched the win with a three-set victory at No. 6 singles over the Vols’ John Collins.
     
    Florida (8-6, 2-2 SEC) used a solid performance in doubles to earn the first point against Tennessee (15-6, 2-3 SEC). UT opened with a victory at No. 1 doubles, as No. 17 Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese beat Bob van Overbeek and Stephane Piro, 8-5. Junior Florent Diep and Johnson responded with a win at No. 3 doubles, beating the Vols’ Jarryd Chaplin and Brandon Fickey, 8-5.
     
    On court two, the Gators’ Billy Federhofer and Gordon Watson were even at 7-7 with Tennessee’s Collins and Edward Jones, but the UF duo won the final two games to secure the doubles point and give Florida a 1-0 lead in the match.
     
    The momentum carried over into singles for the Gators, as Piro was first off the court with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Fickey at No. 3 singles. Federhofer came in next to give UF a 3-0 lead, beating Chaplin, 6-4, 6-4, on court four.
     
    The Vols mounted a comeback that made things interesting. Jones beat Watson at No. 5 singles and Libietis, ranked sixth in the nation, beat Diep at No. 1 singles to pull within 3-2. In No. 2 singles, Reese took the first set from van Overbeek, 6-2, but van Overbeek fought back with a 7-5 second-set win to force a third set. Reese was too much in the end, outlasting van Overbeek, 6-0, in the third set to even the match at 3-3 overall.
     
    In the deciding match on court six, Johnson and Collins split the first two sets, with Johnson winning the second in a tiebreak after dropping the first set. In the third set, Johnson got ahead 3-1, but then lost the next three games and trailed 4-3. Johnson then rallied to take four of the next five games and win the match, clinching the Gators’ first win over a top-10 opponent this season.

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    VU knocks off No. 4 Ole Miss

    OXFORD, Miss. – No. 23 Vanderbilt recorded wins over two top-15 teams this weekend after upsetting the fourth-ranked Ole Miss Rebels, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.

    The Commodores (13-4, 4-1) entered the match having already taken down No. 13 Mississippi State in Starkville on Friday and can now add the Rebels (11-4, 4-2) to the list.

    Ole Miss began the match by recording wins at the top two positions in doubles to take an early 1-0 lead. At No. 1, the sixth-ranked duo in the country of Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen defeated Ryan Lipman and Marc van der Merwe, 8-5. The 40th-ranked doubles team of Stefan Lindmark and Johan Backstrom of Ole Miss then defeated Gonzales Austin and Suresh Eswaran, 8-6, at the No. 2 spot.

    In singles play, the Rebels built on that lead with wins at the top two positions in the lineup. In a battle of top 20 players at the No. 1 spot, Ole Miss’ Scholtz took down Lipman in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. The loss for Lipman snapped his 12-match winning streak and was his first loss in SEC play. At No. 2, 13th-ranked (Jonas) Lutjen defeated Austin in three sets, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.

    The Commodores would then win matches at positions Nos. 3-6, which would eventually decide the outcome.

    Jeff Offerdahl recorded the first win of the day for Vanderbilt in the No. 3 position over Stefan Lindmark, 6-3, 6-4.

    Kris Yee would then go on to win his 15th-straight match by defeating Backstrom, 7-5, 6-3. Yee leads the team with a dual record of 16-1 and remains a perfect 5-0 in SEC play.

    With Vanderbilt trailing 3-2, the match came down to the play at the No. 4 and 6 positions. At No. 4, van der Merwe would need three sets to take down No. 69 William Kallberg. The Stellenbosch, Sout Africa, native won the first set, 7-6, but dropped the second set, 6-4. Only a freshman, van der Merwe gutted out a third set win, 6-2, over the sophomore Kallberg.

    The match would be decided in the third set of No. 6 singles. Rhys Johnson won the first set easily, 6-1, but dropped the second, 6-4, to Adrian Skogeng. In the third and final set, Johnson put the pressure on early by building a lead en route to a 6-2 win.

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    Kentucky Dominates Singles to Complete Mississippi Sweep
     
    STARKVILLE, Miss. – After dropping the doubles point on the road to the 13th-ranked team in the nation, the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team won four of the completed five singles matches, as the Wildcats knocked off Mississippi State 4-2 on Sunday afternoon.
     
    With the win, Kentucky wins its fourth consecutive Southeastern Conference match and completes a Mississippi sweep as the Wildcats also knocked off No. 4 Ole Miss on Friday afternoon in Starkville, Miss. 
     
    “A tremendous effort by the boys today,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “Going down in the doubles didn’t do us any favors, but we stayed positive and did not panic. They all stayed committed to one another and communicated that to each other.”
     
    The Wildcats now sit at 16-4 overall on the season and remain tied atop the SEC East Division with a 4-1 record in SEC play. 
     
    Kentucky dropped the doubles point for just the sixth time all season as the Bulldogs were able to pick up wins on courts one and two to solidify the point. On court three, Anthony Rossi and Grant Roberts moved to 3-1 in SEC play and 8-3 overall, picking up an 8-5 win on court three. 
     
    Kentucky would go on to dominate the singles portion of the match, winning four of the five completed matches, with the sixth match on serve in the final set at 4-4.
     
    The first singles match to go final was on court five as junior Grant Roberts had a quick dismissal of Pedro Dumont 6-3, 6-1. With the win, Roberts moves to 6-1 on the year with a 2-0 SEC record as he caps off his 4-0 weekend in singles and doubles action.
     
    UK would open up a 2-1 lead as Charles Minc moved past MSU’s Zach White with a 6-4, 6-1 win on court four. The win was Minc’s first in two weeks as Minc moves to 8-5 overall and picks up his second-career SEC win.
     
    The lead would be expanded to 3-1 when Kevin Lai capped off his undefeated week with a 6-1, 6-3 straight-set win over Stefan Vinti of Mississippi State on court six. Lai continued to keep his undefeated streak alive, as the freshman is now 9-0 on the year overall and 2-0 in SEC action, with both career SEC wins coming this weekend. 
     
    After MSU tightened the match at 3-2, Rossi capped off the match with a straight-set win over No. 18 Romain Bogaerts of MSU for the 4-2 win. The win was Rossi’s first in singles play since the opening weeks of the month, as he picked up his 97th-career win 7-6 (3), 6-3. After jumping out to a 6-1 lead in the opening-set tiebreaker, Rossi continued to put his foot on the gas, collecting an early break in the second set. After giving it back, Rossi broke at 4-3 for 5-3 and served out the match on the fourth match point to seal it 6-3.
     
    “This road trip to beat Ole Miss and Mississippi State outside is always extremely difficult,” Kauffmann said. “The boys aced the challenge and I am so proud of them.” 

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    A&M Downs Arkansas, 6-1, to Stay Undefeated in SEC
     
    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 3 Texas A&M remained undefeated in Southeastern Conference play and extended its win streak to 11 with a 6-1 victory over No. 41 Arkansas today at the Billingsly Tennis Center indoor courts.
     
    The Aggies improve to 13-1 overall and 6-0 in the SEC, while the Razorbacks suffer their fifth consecutive loss and fall to 6-11 overall and 1-6 in conference matches. 
     
    "Our ladies acquitted themselves very well in the face of some tough challenges on the road today,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “The doubles point was a lot closer and more ferocious than the score line would suggest. In singles we were able to be oppressive in the sense that all six players competed fabulously." 
     
    The race for the doubles point was a hard-fought affair on all three courts. Although A&M took early leads on two courts, the Razorbacks mounted late rallies to set up for a more suspenseful outcome.
     
    Aggie freshmen twins Ines and Paula Deheza had jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Arkansas’ Ana Hernandez and Kimberley-Ann Surin at the No. 3 line, but the Razorback duo fought back and got within 4-3. A&M would win the next three games to go up, 7-3, but the Razorbacks held strong before falling 8-5 in the first match to be completed.
     
    A&M’s Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Nazari Urbina also jumped out to an early lead on Court 2 and held off a late surge by the Razorbacks to win 8-5. The Aggie pair built a 5-1 advantage to begin the match, but Arkansas’ Brittany Huxley and Yang Pang got within 6-4 and 7-5. A&M held triple match point, and the Razorbacks got within 40-30 before Arkansas hit long to end the match and give A&M a 1-0 lead.
     
    In a contest between ranked opponents, A&M’s No. 9 team of freshman Stefania Hristov and junior Cristina Stancu had its hands full with Arkansas’ 59th-ranked tandem of Segou Jonker and Claudine Paulson at the No. 1 line. A&M built its largest lead at 7-5, but Arkansas immediately broke back to get within, 7-6. A&M was at match point in the following game, but the Razorbacks came back to win the game and even the match at 7-7. Both teams held serve as the score was tied at 8-8 when the doubles point was decided and the match was stopped.
     
    The Aggies came out strong in singles, winning the first set on five of six courts. Hristov made quick work of Hernandez and gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead after racing to a 6-1, 6-1 victory to improve to 8-0 at the No. 6 line. Hristov’s match was completed just as only the opening game was decided at the No. 1 court, where Arkansas’ 68th-ranked Pang finally won the first game against sixth-ranked Sanchez-Quintanar.
     
    Sun would give the Aggies a 3-0 lead with a win at the No. 5 line. She and Flavia Araujo were tied at 2-2 in the opening set before Sun won four consecutive games to win, 6-4. Sun also won the first two games of the second set before Araujo got on the scoreboard. It would be Araujo’s only game of the second set as Sun won the next four games to close out the 6-2, 6-1 victory.
     
    Urbina had a similar scoring line at the No. 3 court, winning four consecutive games to break away from a 2-2 tie and take the opening set, 6-2, against Sarah McLean. Urbina held a 3-2 edge in the second set before reeling off three consecutive games to win 6-2, 6-2. The win clinched the team victory for the Aggies, and Urbina improved to 6-0 in SEC matches. It also marked Urbina’s 93rd career victory, moving her into sole possession of fifth place in the A&M record books.
     
    Paulson, ranked 93rd, prevented an Aggie shutout and put the Razorbacks on the scoreboard after snapping Stancu’s five-match win streak at the No. 2 line. Paulson won the first set, 6-1, but Stancu, ranked 62nd, earned a split by taking the second set, 6-2. With the overall match already determine, the two played a 10-point tiebreaker to determine the victor. Paulson won the first two points and held the lead throughout the tiebreaker en route to a 10-5 victory.
     
    After dropping her first game, Sanchez-Quintanar won five straight to build a commanding 5-1 lead over Pang in the first set. The All-American went on to win the set 6-2. Sanchez-Quintanar then held a narrow 4-3 lead in the second set before winning two games to close out her match and account for the final 6-1 team score.
     
    A&M wraps up a five-match SEC road swing on Friday, taking on the Missouri Tigers in Columbia, Mo. First serve is slated for 5 p.m. at the Green Tennis Center.
     
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    Rebels Knock Off No. 13 Vanderbilt 5-2
     
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Ole Miss men’s basketball team wasn’t the only winner in Music City on Sunday, as the Ole Miss women’s tennis team knocked off No. 13 Vanderbilt 5-2 at the Currey Tennis Center to finish the weekend 2-0.
                 
    With the win, the Rebels improved to 4-8 overall and 2-4 in the SEC after their win over No. 38 Kentucky Friday in Lexington.   They will return home for three matches beginning next weekend with LSU and Arkansas.
                   
    The Rebels dropped the doubles point and the No. 5 singles match to trail 2-0, but won the final five matches in straight sets for their first top-20 win of the season.  They have now won three in a row and four of the last five against Vanderbilt.
                   
    “This was a great road win against No. 13 Vanderbilt,” head coach Mark Beyers said.  “Great team effort to cap off a road sweep.  I was very impressed with our ability to come back in singles after losing a tough doubles point.  Hopefully we can carry this momentum over to the next matches.  We are excited to be back at home for a couple of weekends!”
                   
    Vanderbilt won 8-5 at No. 1 and 3 doubles to take the 1-0 lead, and then Ashleigh Antal downed Rebel freshman Marija Milutinovic 6-1, 6-0 at No. 5 singles. That would be it for the Commodores on the day, as the Rebels won the first sets on the other five courts on their way to sweeping them.
                   
    Erin Stephens defeated 74th-ranked Georgina Sellyn 7-5, 6-0 at No. 4 singles to move to 4-1 in the SEC.  Junior Caroline Rohde-Moe, ranked No. 39 in the nation, followed up with a 6-3, 6-0 win against 49th-ranked Lauren Mira at the top spot to even the match at 2.
                   
    Sophomore Julia Jones won her second match at No. 2 singles this weekend, downing Marie Casares 6-4, 6-1 to put the Rebels ahead 3-2 and improve to 5-2 in the SEC.   Moments later Vief Vlaar clinched it, as she finished off Frances Altick 6-2, 6-4 on court six.
                   
    “I think we’ve known all year that we are capable of having much better results, we just got off to an unlucky start,” Jones said.  “We came together this weekend and played with a lot of confidence. We were more energetic than we’ve ever been.  That was the difference.”