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    Sunday SEC Tennis Report

    No. 22 Auburn Women Take Down Kentucky

    AUBURN – No. 22 Auburn women’s tennis defeated No. 47 Kentucky, 4-0, Sunday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center to move the Tigers to 15-5 (5-4 SEC) on the season. 
     
    “I was very pleased with our doubles performance today,” Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “It seemed like the old team that we started off the season with. This has probably been the best start to singles we’ve had all year. It got a little tight at the end, and we expected that because Kentucky is a much improved team. I was really proud of Jen (Pfeifler) she’s had some struggles this year, and I’m glad it was her that clinched the match for us.”
     
    In doubles, the duo of sophomore Emily Flickinger and junior Jackie Kasler came out strong with an 8-1 win over Kentucky’s Jessica Stiles and CeCe Witten on court two. 
     
    Clinching the doubles point for Auburn was the tandem of Pfeifler and senior Paulina Schippers defeating the Wildcats’ Khristina Blajkevitch and Stephanie Fox 8-4 at the No. 3 position. 
     
    The ITA No. 26 tandem of freshman Pleun Burgmans and senior Plamena Kurteva were winning 7-6 against No. 77 Nadia Ravita and Caitlin McGraw at the top spot before doubles play was concluded.
     
    The victory was the Tiger’s 16th doubles win of the season. 
     
    In singles, No. 36 Burgmans defeated No. 24 Ravita 6-0, 6-3 at the top spot. It was Burgmans’ sixth ranked win of the season. 
     
    Freshman Ashley Kitchen earned a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Witten on court six to secure her first SEC victory. The win gave the Tigers a 3-0 advantage.
     
    “I knew [Kitchen] was going to play,” head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “I mentally prepared her, and challenged Kitchen giving her a shot back in the lineup to see what she could do. She responded and played amazing. Both my freshmen had really good days.”
     
    Clinching the match for Auburn was Pfeifler winning 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 3 position.
     
    The Tigers will return to action Friday, April 5 as they travel to take on No. 3 Texas A&M at 5 p.m.CT at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
     
    For the latest on Auburn women's tennis follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AUWomensTennis.



    Rossi Gets 100th Win as UK Men Down Auburn

    LEXINGTON, Ky. - Senior Anthony Rossi capitalized on numerous break point opportunities throughout his singles match, dictating the pace of play and placing his shots perfectly as he picked up his 100th-career win in convincing straight-set fashion, becoming only the 15th player in UK tennis history to eclipse the 100-win mark as Kentucky cruised past No. 32 Auburn 4-1 on Easter Sunday in Lexington.
     
    "Today was a really good win for Anthony," UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. "For players and coaches and many people who know the game, 100 wins is a very special mark to hit and it is extremely difficult to accomplish. I think this is a great reflection of his consist he has been in his career and how he has continued to battle every time he steps on the court. I know it was especially special for him to be able to do it in front of his parents, who are here from France this week. We are all very proud of him on reaching this historic accomplishment."
     
    Rossi's win moves him into elite company, as he joins the likes of Eric Quigley, Alex Musialek and more historic legends in UK history to break the 100-win mark. Rossi now stands 100-30 in his singles NCAA career, boasting a win percentage of .769, one of the best in the game today.
     
    Auburn (12-7, 4-5 SEC) claimed the doubles point in the match, as the Tigers were able to capitalize late in matches and avoid a few match points on the outer courts to survive past the Wildcats. On court one, the first match to finish, No. 19 Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai were able to pick up a late break of serve at 6-5 to ride it all the way to the end as Jomby and Lai upset the fifth-ranked team in the nation of Andreas Mies and Daniel Cochrane 8-5. The first 10 games of the match held to form before Jomby and Lai picked up the break of serve to go up. It was the only break in the match.
     
    On court two, Kentucky's Grant Roberts and Rossi got out to a swift 4-1 start and had the early advantage over Dennis Lengsfeld and Lucas Lopasso before the Tigers were able to break back at 4-3 and then held after that to go up 5-4. With another break of serve for the Tigers at 6-5, Auburn served out the match to win 8-6. 
     
    In three doubles, Ryuji Hirooka and Beck Pennington had two match points over Lukas Ollert and Joseph Van Dooren at 7-6, but were unable to convert. Pennington and Hirooka were then broken at 8-7 for the 9-7 win by Auburn, as the Tigers took the doubles point.
     
    "I thought we played a good doubles point today," Kauffmann said. "We had a couple of opportunities to close out the match on court three, and we were unable to come up with the big points. We were up a break on two early, but just couldn't hang on. Today was a great win for Tom and Kevin on court one and I was really proud of their performance today."
     
    Grant Roberts put Kentucky on the board extremely quickly as he dismantled No. 105 Lukas Ollert 6-1, 6-1 on court four. Roberts got up double break early in the match at 2-0, and 4-0 before Ollert held to make it 5-1. Roberts served out the opening set in 29 minutes. After a brief hold by Ollert to start the second set, Roberts came roaring back to win the last six consecutive games, while not even facing one break point in the entire match. The win for Roberts was his second-straight win in the four slot for the Wildcats as he moves to 11-4 (5-2 SEC) on the season. 
     
    "After the doubles, we talked about someone needing to go out and put a quick point on the board," Kauffmann said. "Grant did a great job of doing that for us. He took the momentum right away from Auburn and gave us a push that we needed in singles play."
     
    Rossi gave the Wildcats the 2-1 lead in the match with his 100th-career win on court one as he moved to 18-3 (6-1 SEC) on the season, including 17 wins in the No. 1 position. Rossi broke to start the match and got up 2-0 before be was broken back to get the opening set on serve. Rossi then broke at 4-3, and served the set out at 6-3. In the second set, Rossi won the final six games of the set to take it 6-1.
     
    Kentucky grabbed the 3-1 lead when Tom Jomby won a tight 6-4, 6-4 match on court two in straight sets. Jomby defeated No. 106 Daniel Cochrane to collect his 14th win of the season, and his sixth SEC win of 2013. The first eight games of the opening set held to form as Jomby and Cocharane exchanged service games, before after four deuces, Jomby broke at four all to take the 5-4 lead. When Jomby did that, he gave himself the opportunity to serve out the opening set. He did so at love. Jomby found himself in a 3-0 hole to start the second match before breaking at 3-1 and 4-3 to give himself the leg up coming down the stretch. The Frenchman won six of the final seven games to get the 6-4 win in the second set. 
     
    Charles Minc clinched his third match of the season on court three as he took a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Dennis Lengsfeld of Auburn to give the Wildcats the 4-1 win. Minc broke at 2-1 to get the 3-1 and then 4-1 edge in the opening set before giving a break back at 4-4. After holding for the 5-4 lead, Minc broke at 15 to take the opening set 6-4. In the second set, Minc again came out of the gate strong, collecting the 4-1 advantage before being broken back again to square the set at 5-5. Minc held after an extended deuce game to go up 6-5, as did Lengsfeld to force the tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Minc raced out to the 5-0 lead before hanging on to win 7-5 and clinch the Wildcats' win.
     
    "Today was another good SEC win for the boys," Kauffmann said. "With the win, we have now created some separation from the other teams in our conference, as we are now focused on seeding for the SEC Tournament and finishing the season the way we know we can. Auburn put up a good fight, but I was proud of our effort level and intensity today. It's always tough to win a match in this conference."
     
    Both courts five and six were stopped after the clinch. Kevin Lai lost a first-set tiebreaker and Beck Pennington was going to have two set points at 6-4 in a tiebreak when the clinch happened. 
     
    Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday for its final day of non-conference action. The Wildcats will welcome No. 7 Ohio State to Lexington for a match beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET before the nightcap against Murray State at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center. Admission is free.



    UGA Upends TAMU

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas--The fifth-ranked Georgia women's tennis team knocked off third-ranked Texas A&M 4-2 Sunday afternoon at the Georgia P. Mitchell Tennis Center to move into a three-way tie for first place in the SEC.
     
    The match was halted for nearly three hours when Georgia held a 3-1 lead due to inclement weather.
     
    For the 15th time this season, Georgia grabbed an early lead by winning the doubles point. The fourth-ranked tandem of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia beat Texas A&M's seventh ranked pair of Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu, 8-3. Shortly after, the Aggies evened the score when Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase, ranked 59th nationally, fell 72nd-ranked Cristina Sanchez and Wen Sun, 8-3. Georgia clinched the doubles point when Lilly Kimbell and Mia King won three straight games to beat Ines and Paula Deheza, 8-5.
     
    The Aggies evened the score when Anna Mamalat beat Georgia's Kimbell, 6-1, 6-4. Shortly after, eighth-ranked Herring beat fifth-ranked Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar 6-2, 6-4. Sanchez-Quintanar is the highest-ranked opponent that Herring has beaten this year, and is the 14th ranked opponent that she's beaten this year. Kowase, ranked 18th in the country, gave the Bulldogs a 3-1 advantage after beating 68th-ranked Stancu, 6-2, 6-2, her seventh win in a row.
     
    After the weather delay, Texas A&M narrowed the Georgia lead when Ines Deheza topped Fuller 7-6 (3), 6-2, but King secured the Bulldog victory with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 defeat of Hristov.
     
    Georgia improves to 7-0 all-time against the Aggies, including 4-0 in College Station. Sunday's win marks the first win for Georgia over a top-five team since beating second-ranked Cal in February of 2009.
     
    With the win, Wallace sits just two wins shy of No. 600. He is the winningest active coach in college women's tennis, and would be one of three women's tennis coaches to reach the 600-win mark.
     
    Georgia returns home to take on Arkansas and LSU next weekend. Friday's match against LSU is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m and admission is free.



    Commodores End Three-Game Skid

    NASHVILLE – No. 14 Vanderbilt snapped its three-match losing streak with a 4-1 win over No. 31 Alabama Sunday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Center.
     
    Vanderbilt (14-7, 5-4) has won four-straight in the series with Alabama (12-9, 3-6) who have now dropped four in a row on the year. The Commodores improved to 10-3 at home this season.
     
    Alabama started the match by winning the doubles point convincingly over the Commodores. Becker O’Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura teamed up to defeat Gonzales Austin and Anton Kovrigin in No. 2 doubles, 8-2. The match marked the first time this season Austin and Kovrigin paired up for doubles.
     
    In the No. 3 doubles match, Stuart Kenyon and Philippe Tsangarides defeated Rhys Johnson and Kris Yee, 8-4. Yee played doubles for the first time since late October and is only the fifth doubles match he has played since joining the Black and Gold.
     
    The Commodores would storm back to take a 3-1 lead after recording wins in Nos. 2, 3 and 5 singles. In the No. 2 position, Austin would take down O’Shaughnessey in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4. With the win, Austin became the third Commodore with at least 20 wins for the season. He is 20-10 overall (11-7 in dual play).
     
    Jeff Offerdahl downed Proskura, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 3, while Marc van der Merwe defeated Kenyon in No. 5 singles, 6-4, 6-1.
     
    Ryan Lipman would clinch the victory for the Commodores with his 27th victory of the season overall. Lipman defeated Jarryd Botha in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. The redshirt junior is 17-3 during dual play and 7-2 in SEC action.
     
    Johnson and Yee did not finish their matches due to the match being decided.
     
    The Commodores host Kentucky next Saturday at 2 p.m. in the final home contest of the 2013 season at the Currey Tennis Center.



    Gators Down Hogs in Straight Sets

    The Florida men’s tennis team beat Arkansas, 4-0, on Sunday afternoon at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. The Gators improved to 10-8 on the season and evened their Southeastern Conference record at 4-4. The Razorbacks fell to 12-12 overall and 0-9 in the league.
     
    “It was a good team effort,” said head coach Bryan Shelton after the match. “I thought the guys played well from start to finish today. I think we were kind of on a mission to really come out there and get out of the blocks early in the doubles, and apply pressure early and execute early. I thought our guys did that.”
     
    The Gators claimed the momentum with a solid doubles performance, jumping out to a 4-1 lead on all three courts. Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek won 8-3 against No. 35 Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott of Arkansas on court one and seconds later, Billy Federhofer and Gordon Watson clinched the doubles point with an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles over Hall Fess and Santiago Munoz.
     
    “I thought we played smarter tennis,” said Coach Shelton. “I think we used the lobs effectively in doubles and we used them in singles as well. We just played good, solid, smart tennis.”
     
    Florida’s strong play continued into singles, as Alford won his first eight games against Hoang on court four, and won 6-0, 6-2. Federhofer closed out Ward at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-2, to give UF a 3-0 lead overall in the match. Johnson secured the team victory for the Gators, beating Parlic 6-3, 6-2 on court six.
     
    “In singles, we got off to a really good start again, like we did two days ago,” said Coach Shelton. “The difference today was that we just kept playing. When they tried to mount a comeback and get loud and really get fired up, we were able to sustain our level and even raise our level in certain spots.
     
    “I was proud of the guys to be able to bounce back. We’re going to face adversity, we know that. It’s all about what you do when adversity comes, how you respond to it. I liked our response today. I thought we did some really good things out there today.”
     
    Next weekend, the Gators will travel to Ole Miss on Friday for a 5 p.m. match, and will return to Gainesville to host Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m. Results will be posted on GatorZone.com following both matches. Live scoring for Sunday’s home match will be available on GatorZone.com.



    Gamecocks Tame Tigers, 4-1

    COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 25 South Carolina stretched its win streak to four with a commanding 4-1 win over No. 33 LSU Sunday afternoon at Carolina Tennis Center. The Gamecocks (15-7, 5-3 SEC) dropped a hotly contested doubles point, but for the second match in a row, asserted themselves early in singles and controlled the matches to earn their fifth league win of the season, the most since the 2006 team finished 6-5.
     
    "There is definitely momentum around the team, but more importantly there is a belief and a trust of what it takes to win as a college team," South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. "The last weeks the team has really honed in and understood that. We've had some matches that showed us that those qualities - sticking to fundamentals, staying positive and supportive and playing aggressive - lead to success. Every guy on the team trusts that if he plays the right way, he can win. They are fighting their way through some of the storms that happen in a match with trust, and they're getting Ws out of it. It's a great experience as a coach to see these guys grow and become good tennis players."
     
    Doubles was going the Tigers' way early, but the Gamecocks fought down to the wire before LSU took the match's first point. The match at the top of the order went to a tiebreak and both the other two were decided by a 9-7 score.
     
    Trailing 1-0, South Carolina established leads in three matches early as Tsvetan Mihov, Thaigo Pinheiro and Chip Cox each led 5-2 to kick things off. Kyle Koch and Harry Menzies followed in their teammates' footsteps, each scoring a service break to establish 5-3 leads in the Nos. 5 and 6 matches. Mihov was the first to close out his first set, 6-2 over No. 83 Chris Simpson at the top of the order. On Court 3, though, Pinheiro was under pressure from Olivier Borsos, who stretched the Gamecock sophomore into a long service game, eventually coming out on top to get back on serve a 5-4. Cox and Menzies stayed the course, though, winning their first sets 6-3. Koch was serving for his set against Tam Trinh, but trailed Love-40 before booming serves put him back in control to win the set 6-3.
     
    Pinheiro and Andrew Adams, who had teamed for the lone doubles win for the Gamecocks early, both saw their sets go to a tiebreak, which the Tigers captured to breathe life into their comeback hopes. Mihov was relentless in his dismantling of Simpson in the No. 1 spot, though, winning the second set 6-2 before Adams even closed his tiebreak. Looking for his trademark comeback after dropping the first set, Pinheiro had opened a two-break lead on Borsos as well.
     
    Just after Mihov's win leveled the team score at 1-1, Menzies and Cox each went up a break in their matches. Consolidating a break to go up 5-2, Menzies kept the pressure on Boris Arias in the No. 6 match. The senior came out of the changeover and took a 15-40 lead on the Tigers' freshman, who was ranked as high as No. 64 in juniors last season. Arias fought off one match point when Menzies's backhand found the net. On the next point, however, Menzies lured Arias to the net and drove a cross-court passing shot by him to secure the 6-2 set and his second-straight win and third in the last four matches.
     
    Cox was close on Menzies' heels after breaking Bowtell to take at 4-3 lead. A quick hold from Cox left Bowtell to serve for the match. The Gamecock junior's dominating return game was on full display, including on match point when a crisp baseline hit left Bowtell with a tough approach shot, which he dumped in the net to drop the 6-3 set and bring the Gamecocks within a point of the team victory.
     
    "It's been impressive to see the way Chip and Harry have bounced back from their losing streaks in the Nos. 4 and 6 spots," South Carolina assistant coach Matt Lucas said. "They've both gotten back to competing the way they did early in the season. You can see in their pattern of play that they really trust their games, and they've each got three SEC wins now, playing their best tennis at this point in the season."
     
    During all the excitement on the courts opposite his, Koch was steadily attacking Tam Trinh and was up a break at 5-4 on Court 5. The Tigers' freshman refused to let Koch serve out the match, though. Just before Pinheiro leveled his match at a set each with a 6-1 second set, Trinh broke Koch's serve to get to 5-5 and eventually send the set to a tiebreak. The two traded points throughout with neither able to fully wrest control. After a huge forehand from Koch forced a miscue, Trinh staved off match point with a great return to get to 6-5. Even at 6-6, Koch delivered a pinpoint passing shot to set up another match point, and he punctuated it with a clear service winner to give the Gamecocks the victory.
     
    South Carolina will take its win streak back on the road next week, traveling to No. 13 Mississippi State and No. 10 Ole Miss for Friday and Sunday matches, respectively. The Gamecocks will be looking for their school-record fifth-straight SEC victory against the Bulldogs and possibly to tie the school record with seven SEC wins in a season.



    Mizzou Women Knock Off Lady Vols

    ST LOUIS, Mo. - The Mizzou tennis team won the final three singles matches to claim a 4-3 upset win over No. 23 Tennessee Sunday afternoon at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in St. Louis. The win improved the Tigers' record to 9-8 overall and 2-7 in Southeastern Conference action, while the Lady Volunteers fell to 8-8 and 5-4.
     
    Missouri trailed 3-1 halfway through singles action but claimed three straight must-win matches at No. 3, No. 6 and No. 5 play to earn the upset victory. Senior Maria Christensen brought the Tigers within one, 3-2, when she ousted Tennessee's Caitlyn Williams at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-2. Freshman Madison Rhyner fought back after dropping the first set to post a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over Sarah Toti at No. 6 to even the team score at 3-3.
     
    The match came down to No. 5 singles, where sophomore Elisha Gabb recorded a huge three-set victory over Tiffany Tavares, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, to clinch the win for Missouri.
     
    The Tigers earned the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead on the Lady Vols. Tennessee's top team of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely, ranked third nationally, defeated junior Cierra Gaytan-Leach and sophomore Alex Clark, 8-5, at No. 1 action. However, Missouri used wins at No. 2 and No. 3 play to take the point. At No. 2 doubles, senior Maria Christensen and junior Rachel Stuhlmann defeated Joanna Henderson and Williams, 8-6, while Gabb and Rhyner ousted Toti and Tavares, 8-6, at No. 3. 
     
    Tennessee posted wins at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 action to open singles play. No. 38 Szekely opened singles with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Stuhlmann at No. 2 action and No. 21 Boren posted a 7-5, 6-3 win over No. 105 Gaytan-Leach at No. 1 singles. At No. 4, Henderson defeated Clark, 6-2, 6-4.
    Missouri returns to the court on Friday, April 5 with a Noon matchup against No. 8 Alabama at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in St. Louis, Mo.



    UGA Men Take Care of Texas A&M

    ATHENS-----The third-ranked Georgia men's tennis team ran its winning streak to six matches with a 4-1 victory over No. 12 Texas A&M Sunday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. 
     
    The Bulldogs (15-4, 7-1 SEC) will enter the final two weeks of the regular season alone in first place in the overall SEC standings as no other team has fewer than three conference losses.
     
    With the win, Georgia also remained perfect at home this season with a 10-0 record. Sunday's match began outdoors, but was moved to the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility during singles due to rain. 
     
    "We had a few curveballs thrown our way, but we competed well," said UGA coach Manuel Diaz. "We seemed to gain confidence as we went along. Where this team is really impressing me is they aren't getting flustered. They are acting like a veteran team. We're playing well under pressure right now and we're growing up as a team. It seemed to be a dogfight out there. It was tough on every court, but I'm really impressed with our team."
     
    Texas A&M (13-10, 4-4 SEC) edged the Bulldogs in doubles to take the 1-0 lead. Georgia won the first competed match at No. 2 where the No. 41 team of Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha beat 25th-ranked Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant, 8-3. The Aggies answered at No. 3 where Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo beat KU Singh and Austin Smith, 8-2, then A&M clinched the point at No. 1 as 11th-ranked Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow defeated sixth-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland, 8-6.
     
    Soon after singles began, play was halted for 28 minutes due to rain and the match was moved indoors. No. 41 Pasha gave Georgia its first point with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Adams at No. 3, then Pieters defeated No. 93 Vinsant, 6-4, 7-5 at No. 4. Pieters rallied from a 5-3 deficit in the second set to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
     
    At No. 1, 11th-ranked Singh extended the lead to 3-1 with a 7-6(5), 7-5 win over No. 40 Efferding, then No. 64 Wagland clinched his team-leading sixth match of the season with a 7-6(3), 7-6(6) win over Ore at No. 2.
     
    "I think everyone is playing better as the season goes along," Wagland said. "Even after we lost the doubles point, everyone was fighting hard. (Ore) was playing great tennis and serving well. It came down to a couple of points and I played well in both tiebreakers."
     
    Smith led No. 118 Withrow, 7-5, 5-2 at No. 5 when the match was suspended, while Marco Nunez led Szabo, 3-1, at No. 6.
     
    The Bulldogs will return to action next weekend when they travel to LSU and Arkansas. Georgia will then close out the regular season at home against Auburn and Alabama April 12 and 14.