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    SEC Men's Tennis Notebook


    The Alabama men’s tennis team (12-7, 3-4 SEC) dropped a pair of SEC matches last week in 4-1 fashion, falling to No. 18 Florida and South Carolina at home. In Friday’s match against the Gators, Jarryd Botha picked up a pair of wins against nationally-ranked opponents as he and David Vieyra knocked off 57th-ranked Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek in doubles before collecting a victory in singles over No. 75 Florent Diep for the Crimson Tide’s lone point of the match. In Sunday’s loss to the Gamecocks, Stuart Kenyon improved to 5-1 against SEC opponents as he beat Harry Menzies in three sets on court six. Next up, Alabama hits the road for a pair of top-15 matchups as the Tide is slated to take on No. 4 Kentucky on Friday, March 29, followed by No. 13 Vanderbilt on Sunday, March 31. Both matches will start at 1 p.m. CT.
    The No. 54 Arkansas men's tennis team continued its tough conference play this weekend hosting No.12 Mississippi State and No.7 Ole Miss. The Razorbacks came out strong in both matches taking the doubles point and the early lead over both Mississippi schools. Senior's Mike Ward and Gregoire Lehmann collected two solid doubles wins this weekend including a win over the #40-ranked doubles in the country.  The Razorbacks could just not hold on in singles play against both the Bulldogs and the Rebels and ended up dropping both matches 4-1. Arkansas now has a 12-10 record and will travel to South Carolina and Florida next weekend to continue conference play.  
    The Auburn Tigers (11-6, 3-4 SEC) put together a weekend split in SEC play, dropping a 5-2 decision to South Carolina on Friday before earning a 4-0 sweep of Florida on Sunday. Auburn’s win over 18th-ranked Florida was their highest-ranked victory of the year and the second over a top-25 team. Senior Andreas Mies, ranked No. 46 in the last ITA singles release, continued his strong play in conference action with wins in both matches, defeating No. 106 Tsvetan Mihov (USC) and No. 75 Florent Diep (UF) to move to 6-1 in league play. Junior Dennis Lengsfeld also won his third and fourth straight matches and moved to 5-2 in conference play at the No. 4 position. Auburn will hit the road this weekend for matches at Vanderbilt on Friday and Kentucky on Sunday.
    Florida earned another split of its weekend matches, winning 4-1 at No. 26 Alabama on Friday and losing 4-0 at Auburn on Sunday afternoon. UF is now 9-7 on the season and 3-3 in the SEC after completing its five-match road swing. In Tuscaloosa, the Gators won the doubles point to get an early lead, then used singles wins from Stephane Piro, Bob van Overbeek and Gordon Watson to win the match. Florida lost the doubles point at Auburn, and the Tigers got wins at No. 1, 3 and 4 singles for the win. For the first time in nearly a month, the Gators will play at home in Gainesville, hosting LSU on Friday at 5 p.m. and Arkansas on Sunday at 1 p.m.
    The sixth-ranked Georgia men's tennis team posted another weekend sweep in the SEC - this time on the road - to move to 14-4 on the season and 6-1 in SEC play. The wins moved the Bulldogs into sole possession of first place in the conference race as both teams they defeated this weekend - No. 13 Vanderbilt and No. 4 Kenucky - entered in a tie with Georgia for the top spot. On Friday in Nashville Georgia posted a 4-2 win after dropping the doubles point, while on Sunday the Bulldogs claimed the doubles point on their way to the same 4-2 score. In both matches, freshman Austin Smith provided the clinch. Georgia returns to action when it plays host to Texas A&M Sunday, March 31 at 1 p.m. ET.
    Kentucky suffered two extremely tight losses this weekend to No. 9 Tennessee and No. 6 Georgia at home. No. 31 Anthony Rossi picked up one of the biggest wins of his career on Sunday as he collected a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 7 KU Singh as UK fell 4-2 to Georgia. The win for Rossi was his 98th-career win and he now is just two wins shy of becoming the 15th player in UK tennis history to eclipse the 100-win mark. UK returns to action on Friday as the Wildcats take on No. 29 Alabama at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center. The weekend will continue on Sunday as Kentucky faces off against Auburn. 
    The No. 48 LSU men's tennis team is coming off a big weekend after taking down No. 7 Ole Miss 4-3 on Friday, March 22 and then sweeping Nicholls State 7-0 on Sunday, March 24 to wrap up the weekend. Senior Mark Bowtell came through for LSU with a big win in doubles to secure the doubles point for the Tigers and then battled back in singles after losing his first set to win the final two sets and clinch the 4-3 victory for LSU. The Tigers were originally scheduled to take on No. 12 Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon but the match was postponed until April 10 in Baton Rouge, La., due to high winds. The Tigers travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Florida Gators on Friday, March 29 and then are on the road again on Sunday, March 31 in Columbia, S.C., to take on South Carolina.
    Ole Miss
    The Rebels split the weekend, dropping a 4-3 match to LSU and then defeating Arkansas 4-1 to improve to 12-5 overall and 5-3 in the SEC. Five of the Rebels’ eight SEC matches have been 4-3. The Rebels are 10-1 this year when they win the doubles point and 2-4 when they lose the doubles point. Sophomore Nik Scholtz won both his matches in singles to improve to 11-3 at No. 1 singles, 5-2 in the SEC. Jonas Lutjen won his 25th match of the year in the win over Arkansas, and improved to 5-3 in the SEC. Since moving down to No. 4 singles, William Kallberg is 5-1 and also owns a 5-3 record in the SEC. In doubles, Scholtz and Lutjen improved to 14-2 overall at No. 1 and 6-1 in the SEC. The Rebels will conclude a three-match road swing at arch-rival Mississippi State Friday. The two teams have already played twice this year, splitting both matches.
    Mississippi State
    Hitting the road for the first time in four matches, the No. 12 Mississippi State Bulldogs improved to 13-6 and 3-4 in the SEC for the spring season with a 4-1 victory against No. 54 Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. The Bulldogs dropped the doubles point, but fired back in singles to take the match from their SEC West foes. Junior Zach White picked up a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Arkansas' Mike Ward, his first win at the No. 4 position, the highest he's played in his collegiate career. Senior Ethan Wilkinson earned a 6-3, 6-4 against Christian Lee in his debut singles match of the 2013 season. Freshman Pedro Dumont defeated Victor Hoang 6-4, 6-4, while No. 18 Romain Bogaerts clinched the match for MSU with a 6-3, 6-2 victory against Gregoire Lehmann. The Bulldogs were scheduled to play a Sunday match against No. 48 LSU, but play was postponed due to weather conditions and has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 10, at 3 p.m. CT. State will return to action this Friday, as it takes on No. 7 Ole Miss in Starkville, Miss., at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. MSU won the first matchup of the year at the 2013 River Hills Cup, but Ole Miss evened the season series with a win in Seattle, Wash., at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. CT. 
    South Carolina
    South Carolina improved to 3-3 in SEC play after sweeping a weekend of conference matches for the first time since 2006. The Gamecocks closed out a four-match road swing with wins at Auburn and Alabama. Strong doubles play opened both matches as the Gamecocks' top double team of Chip Cox and Tsvetan Mihov defeated the nation's third-ranked team in the country to clinch the point against Auburn. Cox went on to collect his first SEC singles win of the season on Sunday at Auburn. Sophomore Andrew Adams won both his matches in the No. 2 singles spot, including Sunday's comeback from a 6-0 first-set loss to clinch the team victory for South Carolina. Senior Harry Menzies clinched the win against Auburn with a three-set comeback as well. Sophomore Kyle Koch went 4-0 on the weekend for the second-straight week and kept his SEC singles record unblemished at 5-0. The Gamecocks return home for the first time in three weeks, hosting Arkansas and LSU this weekend at Carolina Tennis Center.
    The ninth-ranked Vols (17-6, 4-3 SEC) enjoyed a 2-0 weekend in conference play, beating No. 4 Kentucky 4-1 on the road and then returning home for a 4-2 victory over No. 13 Vanderbilt. The Vols already have two more wins then they did all of a last year and the win over Kentucky was the Vols' first over a top-10 opponent since April 2011. Mikelis Libietis led the Vols at the top of the lineup, clinching the Vols' win over Kentucky and then being first off court against Vandy. He is now 30-4 overall and 16-1 in dual matches at the No. 1 position. In doubles, he and Hunter Reese are 6-0 since teaming up again for SEC play. Also, senior Taylor Patrick earned his first two career SEC victories, clinching the Vols' win over Vanderbilt. 
    Texas A&M
    Texas A&M lost at No. 2 USC on Monday, 6-1.  They travel to Tennessee and Georgia this weekend.
    No. 13 Vanderbilt dropped two tough matches over the weekend to top 10 teams. The Commodores (13-6, 4-3) lost a heartbreaker to No. 6 Georgia, 4-2, and then at No. 9 Tennessee, 4-2, on Sunday. Vanderbilt started began the match versus Georgia by winning the doubles point in the tiebreak on court Nos. 2 and 3. However, the Bulldogs would rebound to win four of the six singles matches. Ryan Lipman went 1-1 versus two players ranked in the seven in the country. Lipman defeated seventh-ranked KU Singh of Georgia, but fell to sixth-ranked Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee. Kris Yee upped his win streak to 16-straight matches and is a perfect 6-0 in SEC play and leads the team with a 17-1 record in the dual season. The Commodores welcome Auburn next Friday at 2 p.m. and Alabama next Sunday at 12 p.m. to the Currey Tennis Center.