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    SEC Women's Tennis Notebook


    The Alabama women’s tennis team split a pair of SEC matches last week, falling 4-1 at No. 2 Florida on Friday before beating South Carolina, 4-1, on Sunday. The Crimson Tide now stands at 14-2 overall and 6-1 against SEC opponents. In Friday’s loss to the Gators, Alabama rallied to take the doubles, point, winning 9-8(9) on court one. From there, however, the Gators would win four straight singles matches to take the team victory. Sunday’s match played out in exact opposite fashion for the Tide as the Gamecocks won the doubles point before Alabama took four straight wins in singles. Next up, the Tide returns home for a pair of matches against SEC Eastern Division foes in Kentucky and No. 16 Vanderbilt. Alabama will take on the Wildcats on Friday, March 29, at 3 p.m. CT and the Commodores on Sunday, March 31, at 1 p.m. CT.
    The No. 51 University of Arkansas women's tennis team completed a 4-0 road trip through the state of Mississippi last week, improving their record to 10-10, 3-5 SEC. On Wednesday, the Razorbacks opened the trip with two shutouts of Jackson State, winning 4-0 and 5-0. The Razorbacks then earned a win in Starkville, Miss. on Friday with their third straight shutout, defeating Mississippi State 4-0. On Sunday, the Razorbacks faced No. 36 Ole Miss. The Razorbacks rallied back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to earn a 4-3 win over the Rebels. Senior Claudine Paulson earned two more singles victories, improving her conference singles record to an SEC best 8-0. Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez went 3-0 in singles, and clinched the victory on Sunday with her victory. The Razorbacks return home next weekend for two matches at the Billingsley Tennis Center, facing South Carolina on Friday, then hosting Florida on Sunday.
    The No. 18 Auburn women’s tennis team lost two away matches on the weekend, first losing to No. 49 host South Carolina, 5-0 and then falling to No. 2 host Florida, 4-0. The Tigers stand at 14-4 overall on the season and 4-3 in the SEC heading into two home SEC matches in No. 16 Vanderbilt on Friday, and No. 46 Kentucky on Sunday. Auburn has a 3-4 record on the road. The Tigers are still undefeated at home with a 11-0 record. The South Carolina tandem of Jaklin Alawi and Dominkia Kanakova clinched the doubles point against Auburn’s No. 54 duo of freshman Pleun Burgmans and senior Plamena Kurteva at the top spot ending the Tigers’ streak of 15-straight doubles victories. South Carolina took four singles matches. Against Florida, doubles was canceled due to inclement weather. No. 51 Burgmans lost to No. 1 Lauren Embree ending her unbeaten streak in conference play. The Gators took three other singles matches and clinched the match 4-0.  
    Florida concludes its four-match homestand last weekend and now will play its next two, as well as four of its final six regular-season matches on the road. The Gators begin the run on Friday at LSU before traveling to Fayetteville to play Arkansas on Sunday. The Gators extended their overall win streak to six after last weekend’s 4-1 win against No. 8 Alabama, and the 4-0 victory versus No. 18 Auburn. Florida is 38-1 all-time record against LSU, including a 14-1 mark in Baton Rouge. The Tigers lone win in the series was a 4-3 decision on April 3, 2009. Since that setback the Gators have won four straight in the series. Florida is 23-1 all-time record against Arkansas, including a 9-1 mark in Fayetteville. The Razorback’s lone win in the series was a 4-0 decision on April 5, 2009. Since that setback the Gators have won three straight in the series. Senior Lauren Embree continued her incredible collegiate career with two more singles wins last week as she improved to 109-14 overall, including 78-5 in dual match action and 36-0 in SEC play.
    No. 5 Georgia (13-2,6-1 SEC) went 2-0 at home on the week, defeating 16th-ranked Vanderbilt 5-2 on March 22nd and then No. 46 Kentucky 7-0 on March 24th.  Seventh-ranked Lauren Herring and 17th-ranked Maho Kowase are tied for the team lead in singles victories at 29-5 and 29-7, respectively. No. 77 Silvia Garcia is 16-2 and 120th-ranked Kate Fuller is 23-5 in singles. The No. 3 duo of Fuller/Garcia is 15-1 on the year, including 6-1 in SEC play.  Georgia travels to No. 59 Missouri on Friday and then to play No. 3 Texas A&M on Sunday.  
    The Kentucky women’s tennis team lost two conference road contests over the weekend, falling 6-1 at No. 28 Tennessee on Friday and 7-0 at No. 5 Georgia on Sunday. On Friday vs. Tennessee, freshman Nadia Ravita defeated 20th-ranked Brynn Boren 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. The singles win was Ravita’s sixth win over a ranked opponent this year. Kentucky hits the road again this weekend, heading to Alabama on Friday, before traveling to Auburn to face the Tigers on Sunday.
    The LSU women’s tennis team competed in a weekend on the road, taking on No. 36 Ole Miss Friday and Mississippi State Sunday. Freshman Ella Taylor notched wins in both singles competitions she faced, taking a 6-3, 6-1 victory over the Rebels’ No. 36 Mai El Kamash before tallying a 6-2, 6-3 win against Mississippi State’s Naomi Tran. Senior Kaitlin Burns also posted a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Ole Miss’ No. 37-ranked Caroline Rohde-Moe, and the doubles pair of Burns and Taylor was one game away from winning their match against the Rebels before the doubles point was clinched. Although the Lady Tigers notched the first two singles wins against Ole Miss, LSU ultimately fell 4-2. Due to inclement weather, the match against the Bulldogs was moved indoors with singles play beginning first, and the competition came down to a doubles tiebreaker on court three. Falling 9-8 (7-4), the Lady Tigers faced a 4-3 loss.
    Ole Miss
    The Rebels split the weekend, defeating LSU 4-2 and dropping a 4-3 match to Arkansas … Sophomore Erin Stephens finished the weekend 4-0 in singles and doubles … She has won four in a row and improved to 6-1 in the SEC … She and Iris Verboven are 4-1 in doubles, 3-0 in the SEC … The Rebels continue their homestand hosting a doubleheader against Jackson State Wednesday at 12  and 4 p.m.  On Friday, the Rebels will welcome arch-rival Mississippi State for a 1 p.m. match and then on Easter, they will play Southern Miss twice at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.  The Rebels have won 23 in a row against Mississippi State.
    Mississippi State
    Travels to Ole Miss on Friday for only match of the weekend. 
    The No. 59 Mizzou tennis team went 1-1 last weekend with a loss to No. 3 Texas A&M and a 6-1 win over Wichita State. Against the Shockers, Mizzou won the doubles point and six singles matches to take the victory. Missouri's top doubles team of junior Cierra Gaytan-Leach and sophomore Alex Clark improved to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in SEC matches following last weekend's matches. 
    South Carolina
    The No. 49 South Carolina women's tennis team split its two SEC matches last weekend, snagging a 4-1 victory from No. 18 Auburn, while losing 4-1 to No. 8 Alabama to move to 9-8 and 2-5 in the SEC. The Gamecocks snapped Auburn's streak of winning 15 consecutive doubles points by winning at the Nos. 1 and 2 spots. Carolina then took matches on courts two, three and four to clinch the match. Elixane Lechemia provided the clinching point on court three with a three-set win over Emily Flickinger. Against Bama, the Gamecocks' Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova stunned sixth-ranked Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane for their biggest win of the year in helping the Gamecocks snag the doubles point. It also helped the duo reach the 20-win plateau to become the first Carolina duo to reach 20 wins since Gira Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori hit 20 for the 2007-08 season. It also marked the highest ranked win in doubles for a Gamecock tandem since Dijana Stojic and Zubori beat Nadja Gilchrist and Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, who were sixth at the time as well, at the 2010 SEC Tournament. This week, Carolina visits No. 51 Arkansas and No. 54 LSU.
    The Lady Vols returned home this past weekend for a rivalry weekend of sorts against Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Tennessee earned an easy 6-1 win over No. 46 Kentucky Friday night and finished the weekend sweep off with a 4-2 upset victory over No. 16 Vanderbilt. The country’s No. 4 doubles pair of Brynn Boren and Kata Szkeley earned their 30th and 31st doubles wins of the season extending their match win-streak to six.  With the wins, Boren and Szekely became just the third UT tandem, playing all doubles matches together, to hit 30 wins. The duo was also the first pair to achieve the feat since Vilmarie Castellvi and Agnes Wiski combined for 30 wins together in 2002. All-Americans Paula and Peta Kelly combined for at least 30 victories all four seasons on Rocky Top from 1979-82. The Lady Vols will head out on the road for their spring break trip to Texas A&M and Missouri, facing off for the first time in SEC competition against these teams. The Lady Vols have never faced Missouri in the past and have a 6-2 series lead against the Aggies. 
    Texas A&M
    No. 3 Texas A&M (14-0, 7-1 SEC) is the only team to remain undefeated in SEC play. The Aggies improved to 7-0 in conference play and won their 12th consecutive match overall with a 7-0 victory at Missouri on Friday. The contest against the Tigers concluded a grueling stretch of five consecutive conference road matches. A&M looks to tie the school record for consecutive wins in its next match as the Aggies return home to host Tennessee, Friday at 6 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center. A&M also hosts No. 5 Georgia Sunday at 11 a.m. Individually, senior Nazari Urbina boasts a 7-0 singles record in SEC play and freshman Ines Deheza is 4-0 in SEC singles matches. In SEC doubles play, the ninth-ranked duo of Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu is 3-0, and Deheza and twin sister Paula Deheza are 5-1.
    No. 16 Vanderbilt went 0-2 over the weekend with losses coming at No. 5 Georgia, 5-2, and at No. 28 Tennessee, 4-2. The Commodores (11-8, 4-4) have now lost three-straight matches. Freshman Georgina Sellyn went 2-0 over the weekend in singles and is 7-1 in SEC play. Sophomore Ashleigh Antal went 1-1 in the two matches and won her team-best 19th match of the season. Courtney Colton and Lauren Mira recorded the lone doubles victory over the weekend by taking down the third-ranked duo from Georgia, Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia, 8-6. Antal is also 7-1 in the SEC and 14-2 in dual play. Vanderbilt continues its five-match road trip with stops at Auburn next Friday, March 29 at 3 p.m. and Alabama next Sunday at 1 p.m.