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    SEC Men's Tennis Notebook


    The Alabama men’s tennis team dropped both its matches to a pair of top-15 opponents last week to move to 12-9 overall and 3-6 in SEC play. The Crimson Tide was swept, 7-0, on Friday at No. 8 Kentucky before posting a 4-1 loss at No. 14 Vanderbilt on Sunday. Although unable to put up a point on the Wildcats, Alabama came back strong and won a convincing doubles point against the Commodores. Vanderbilt would storm back in singles, however, winning four of the six matches to clinch the team victory. Next up, the Tide takes on No. 12 Texas A&M on Sunday, April 7, at The University of Alabama Tennis Stadium. Matches will begin at 1 p.m. CT.
    The No. 53 University of Arkansas men's tennis team dropped both matches this weekend at No. 25 South Carolina and at No. 20 Florida. The Razorbacks will be back at home this weekend to host Tennessee on Friday. Sunday will be the Hogs last home match of the season where the seniors, Mike Ward and Gregoire Lehmann will be honored. Sunday will be a doubleheader with Georgia at 1 p.m. followed by St. Louis. 
    The 32nd-ranked Auburn Tigers (12-7, 4-5 SEC) split a pair of matches last week on the road, defeating No. 14 Vanderbilt 4-2 in Nashville while falling to No. 8 Kentucky by a 4-1 score in Lexington. Auburn won the doubles point in both matches, with Sunday's loss marking the first time in league play for Auburn to lose the match despite winning doubles. The teams of Dennis Lengsfeld/Lucas Lopasso and Lukas Ollert/Joseph Van Dooren provided both doubles wins, and Auburn got singles wins from Lengsfeld, Ollert and Lopasso against Vandy. Friday will be Senior Day at Auburn as the Tigers honor Andreas Mies, Lucas Lopasso and Michael Wardell prior to their 5 p.m. match with Texas A&M.
    Florida split its matches for the third weekend in a row, losing to LSU, 4-2, on Friday and beating Arkansas, 4-0, on Sunday. The Gators got off to a slow start against the Tigers in doubles but nearly overcame it. UF’s Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek won 8-5 at No. 1 doubles, but Florida lost its match on court two. At No. 3 doubles, Mike Alford and Florent Diep overcame a 4-1 deficit to tie the match at 8-8, but LSU won the tiebreaker to take the doubles point. LSU then used singles wins at 1, 3 and 5 to win the match. Diep and Luke Johnson earned victories for Florida. On Sunday, the Gators took the doubles point from Arkansas and got wins from Billy Federhofer, Alford and Johnson to clinch the match. Florida travels to Ole Miss on Friday, and hosts Mississippi State this Sunday
    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. The Aggies won the doubles point against the Bulldogs, before UGA responded to snag four singles matches at the top four courts. Freshman Ben Wagland clinched his team-high sixth match of the season at No. 2, getting both sets via tiebreaker. 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.
    Kentucky went 2-0 on the weekend, collecting wins in its final SEC home matches of the season over No. 31 Alabama (7-0) and No. 32 Auburn (4-1). Senior Anthony Rossi became just the 15th player in Kentucky tennis history to collect 100-career wins as he won both of his weekend matches in straight sets. Rossi knocked off No. 34 Andreas Mies of Auburn on Sunday to reach the historic accomplishment. Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai knocked off the fifth-ranked doubles team in the nation 8-6, on Sunday as the Wildcats improved to 18-6 overall, and 6-3 in SEC play. Jomby and Lai went 2-0 on the weekend in doubles, as they also knocked off No. 49 Jarryd Botha/David Vieyra of Alabama 8-5 on Friday. UK welcomes No. 7 Ohio State to Lexington on Wednesday afternoon for another top-10 match at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center, the third top-10 showdown this season in Lexington. 
    The LSU men's tennis team hosts six matches this week.  On Tuesday, they take on Tulane and UNO, while Wednesday Nicholls State comes to Baton Rouge.  They host Georgia on Friday and Tennessee on Sunday in SEC action before closing the week with a non-conference match on Sunday.
    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss defeated arch-rival, No. 13 ranked Mississippi State in a hard-fought rain-delayed match, 4-2, to take sole possession of first place in the SEC West and up the season series to 2-1 for the Rebels.  Senior Jonas Lutjen rallied from a 6-1, 4-2, 40-0 deficit to defeat MSU’s Malte Stropp and clinch the Rebel victory.  The win was his 80th career victory.  He improved to 26-9 overall, 10-5 at No. 2 singles, 6-3 in the SEC.  Lutjen has won four in a row in singles.  Lutjen is also 14-2 at No. 1 doubles with Nik Scholtz, 6-1 in the SEC.  The Rebels improved to 13-5 overall, 6-3 in the SEC.  William Kallberg also rallied to win his match at No. 3 singles and improve to 10-5 in dual matches, 6-3 in the SEC.  The Rebels are 11-1 this year when they win the doubles point.  They conclude the regular season SEC home schedule this weekend hosting Florida and South Carolina.
    Mississippi State
    After embarking on a short road swing, the No. 13 Mississippi State Bulldogs (13-7, 3-5 SEC) returned home Friday as they battled in-state rival No. 10 Ole Miss for the third time this season, dropping a heartbreaker to the Rebels 4-2. Ole Miss captured the doubles point to begin the match, but the Bulldogs fired back in singles, taking five of the first six sets before a three hour and 14 minute rain delay halted the matches. As play resumed, State grabbed a 6-2, 6-3 victory on court six from freshman Pedro Dumont to even the score. Freshman Romain Bogaerts, ranked 20th in the nation, upset Ole Miss' No. 8 Nik Scholtz, earning a 6-2, 6-4 victory. The victory was Bogaerts' third victory against Scholtz this season and the second this spring. However, the Rebels, would swing momentum on other courts to take the match. With the victory on six, Dumont moves to 7-2 on the season at the No. 6 position. The Bulldogs return to action this weekend, with a match at home and then one on the road. State will close out its home slate this Friday, hosting No. 25 South Carolina at 2 p.m. CT, at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. MSU will then hit the road to face the 20th-ranked Florida Gators on Sunday at 12 p.m. 
    South Carolina
    South Carolina stretched its win streak to four with a pair of home wins last weekend. The Gamecocks' five SEC wins so far this season are the most since the 2006 team finished 5-6 to claim the fourth spot in the Eastern Division. That season was also the last in which a South Carolina won four straight league contests. With four matches to play, South Carolina is within striking distance of the school record of seven SEC victories, which the 1999 squad posted. Sophomore Kyle Koch remains undefeated in league play, lifting his record to 7-0 over the weekend, while the Gamecocks have started getting contributions from other key sources as well. After struggling early in league play, senior Harry Menzies and junior Chip Cox have each posted three wins in the last two weeks to help the Gamecocks' cause. Junior Tsvetan Mihov also posted a pair of victories last weekend to improve to 4-2 in league play.
    The fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers (18-6, 5-3 SEC) won their only match over the weekend, rallying to beat Texas A&M 4-3 at home to run their winning streak to three matches. Mikelis Libietis provided the clinching point, beating Jeremy Efferding 6-7, 6-1, 6-4 in the decider on court 1. After Libietis and Hunter Reese clinched the doubles point via a tiebreaker, Tennessee's singles wins came from Reese, Taylor Patrick and Libietis. Reese, in his second year of starting at No. 2, has a 5-2 record in SEC play and is 26-6 overall. The Vols hit the road for their final away matches of the regular season, taking on Arkansas and LSU. 
    Texas A&M
    Texas A&M falls to 13-10 overall and 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference. No. 12 Texas A&M went 0-3 on the week, dropping matches to three top-five opponents. The Maroon and White fell to the then third-ranked USC Trojans, 6-1, on Monday afternoon. Friday afternoon, A&M dropped its second 4-3 contest on the season to fifth-ranked Tennessee. Sunday, the Aggies fell to the third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, 4-1, after claiming the doubles point. Texas A&M is now 6-3 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, 4-4 on the road and 3-3 at neutral sites.  The Aggies fall to the .500 mark against nationally-ranked opponents at 10-10. The Maroon and White continue the SEC road-tour with matches at Auburn on Friday and at Alabama on Sunday.
    No. 14 Vanderbilt went 1-1 over the weekend to run its overall record to 14-7 and 5-4 in SEC play. The Commodores fell to Auburn, 4-2, on Friday before bouncing back to defeat Alabama, 4-1, Sunday afternoon. The win over the Crimson Tide snapped a three-match losing streak for Vanderbilt. Redshirt junior Ryan Lipman and sophomore Gonzales Austin each went 2-0 in singles over the weekend. Lipman leads the team with an overall record of 27-7 this season and is 7-2 in SEC play. The Commodores host Kentucky next Saturday at 2 p.m. in the final home contest of the 2013 season at the Currey Tennis Center.