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    SEC Men's Tennis Weekly Notebook

    The Alabama men’s tennis team dropped its lone match last weekend to 12th-ranked Texas A&M, 4-1, to move to 12-10 overall and 3-7 in SEC play. The Crimson Tide started off with two impressive top-25 wins in doubles as Jarryd Botha and David Vieyra outlasted the No. 11 duo of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow on court one, while Daniil Proskura and Becker O’Shaughnessey picked up a solid victory over No. 25 Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant on court two to give the men the early 1-0 lead. The Tide then struggled in the singles portion of the match, dropping four straight matches to give the Aggies the win. Alabama will close out the regular season next weekend at No. 6 Tennessee and No. 4 Georgia. Friday’s match against the Volunteers is slated for 1 p.m. CT, while Sunday’s match versus the Bulldogs will begin at Noon CT.
    The No. 53 University of Arkansas men's tennis team went 1-2 this weekend falling to No. 6 Tennessee and No. 4 Georgia while defeating St. Louis 7-0. Sunday afternoon the Razorbacks closed out its 2013 home season hosting UGA and St. Louis. The Razorbacks honored its two seniors Mike Ward and Gregoire Lehmann during the UGA match. The Razorbacks once again played solid doubles this weekend taking the doubles point from the number four team in the country. The duo of Lehmann and Ward clinched the point for the Hogs. Sunday evening, Arkansas took it to St. Louis, sweeping the Billekins in both singles and doubles play. Arkansas record moves to 13-14. Arkansas heads to Nebraska-Omaha for a doubleheader mid-week matchup on Tuesday and then will close out its season down at LSU this coming weekend where they will also play a neutral site match with Jackson State.
    The Auburn Tigers (13-7, 5-5 SEC) earned their third win over a top-20 team in their last four matches with a 4-3 victory over Texas A&M on Friday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. It marked the final home match for Auburn’s three seniors, Andreas Mies, Lucas Lopasso and Michael Wardell. Mies made the most of it with two wins, teaming with junior Daniel Cochrane for an 8-4 win at the top doubles line, and earning a three-set victory over 40th-ranked Jeremy Efferding at the No. 1 singles spot. Lopasso also got a win, joining junior Dennis Lengsfeld for a 9-8 (4) victory at No. 2 singles. Sophomore Lukas Ollert clinched the victory on court four with a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 win. Auburn will close out the 2013 regular season on the road next weekend with matches at No. 4 Georgia on Friday and No. 6 Tennessee on Sunday.
    Florida split its weekend matches once again. On Friday, the Gators traveled to Ole Miss and upset the seventh-ranked Rebels, 4-1. After winning the doubles point, Florent Diep clinched the match with a three-set win over William Kallberg. Bob van Overbeek and Gordon Watson also earned singles wins for UF in Oxford. On Sunday, Florida hosted No. 13 Mississippi State in a tight battle. The Bulldogs won the doubles point, but the Gators stormed back with singles wins from Diep, van Overbeek and Mike Alford to take a 3-1 lead. MSU pulled through in the end, winning the final three matches to earn a 4-3 victory over UF. Florida will wrap up the season with three matches this week, hosting Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday, Kentucky on Friday and Vanderbilt on Sunday.
    The fourth-ranked Georgia men's tennis team used a road win over Arkansas Sunday to clinch the 2013 Southeastern Conference regular-season championship, after Friday's win at LSU for the weekend sweep. The Bulldogs defeated the No. 53 Razorbacks 4-1 at the Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, securing a 35th overall conference title and the program's 27th regular-season crown - the most of any SEC school. For Manuel Diaz, it is the 22nd SEC championship in 25 seasons as Georgia's head coach (14 regular season, eight tournament). Diaz also won four titles as a player and three as an assistant coach for a total of 29. Georgia has won eight SEC championships in the last eight years counting both regular-season and tournament crowns. Sunday's win was Georgia's league-leading eighth in a row and 12th of the last 13 as the squad improves to 17-4 on the year and 9-1 in the SEC with just two matches to play. Arkansas falls to 12-14 (0-11). The Bulldogs are next in action vs. Auburn and Alabama at home this coming Friday and Sunday.
    Kentucky dropped the first match of its three-match road trip to conclude the regular season at No. 14 Vanderbilt, 4-2. Kentucky won the doubles point with wins on courts one and three to get the early 1-0 lead, but were unable to hold on in singles play. Beck Pennington gave UK the early 2-0 lead as he won on court six. The Bowling Green, Ky., native is undefeated in singles play this season, with an 8-0 record, and is 2-0 in SEC play. The Wildcats finish the regular season at Florida and South Carolina this weekend before traveling to Oxford, Miss., for the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats defeated both UF and SC in 2011.
    The No. 32 LSU Tigers (13-9, 4-6 SEC) are coming off a clutch 4-3 upset over No. 6 Tennessee Sunday afternoon in Baton Rouge, La. It is the Tigers' fourth victory over a Top-20 opponent this season, all of which are in the SEC. LSU competed in seven matches over a ten-day period, winning five of them. They took down then-No. 20 Florida 4-2 on March 29 in Gainesville, they dropped their match against then-No. 25 South Carolina 1-4 on March 31. LSU then started a five-match homestretch where they defeated then-No. 55 Tulane 7-0 and beat New Orleans 6-0 on April 2; They lost to then-No. 4 Georgia 0-4 on April 5, but then swept their doubleheader on April 7, taking down Tennessee and then defeating Alcorn State 7-0. The Tigers welcome No. 13 Mississippi State to Baton Rouge this Wednesday, April 10 at 3 p.m. CT at W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium to make up their match that was originally scheduled for March 24 but was postponed due to high winds.
    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss split a pair of matches last weekend falling to No. 17 Florida and then defeating No. 20 South Carolina 4-2 on Senior Day.   The Rebels, who improved to 14-6 overall and 7-4 in the SEC, clinched at least a share of their 10th SEC West title and can win it outright with a win at Texas A&M Sunday.  Sophomore William Kallberg clinched his second big SEC win, rallying from 5-2 down in the third set at No. 3 singles to def. Gamecock Thiago Phineiro.   Senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng was a finalist for the SEC Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.  It marks the second consecutive year for men’s tennis to have a finalist.  The Rebels host Jackson State Tuesday before traveling to face the Aggies for their first ever SEC meeting.
    Mississippi State
    With the season winding down, the Mississippi State men's tennis squad (15-7, 5-5 SEC) knocked off two top 20 opponents this past weekend. Friday the Bulldogs hosted No. 20 South Carolina for their 2013 Senior Day. The Gamecocks jumped out early by taking the doubles point, but the Bulldogs earned victories from No. 20 Romain Bogaerts, No. 50 Malte Stropp, Jordan Angus and Pedro Dumont to knock off the Gamecocks 4-2 for their fourth-consecutive Senior Day victory. State then hit the road for a Sunday matchup in Gainesville, Fla., against the No. 17 Florida Gators. State took a heavily contested doubles point with wins on courts one and two. In singles, UF jumped out in front with a 3-1 lead, but the Bulldogs would not be deterred, as they fired back for a thrilling comeback. Following a victory from Bogaerts on court one, State's Zach White came back from down 4-1 in the second set to force a tiebreaker. After finding himself down 5-2 in the breaker, White again roared back to take the second set, then taking the match with a 6-0 victory in the third. State clinched the match with a victory from freshman Dumont on court six. With the win, State has won back-to-back matches in Gainesville for the first time in MSU recorded history. MSU closes out the season against No. 32 LSU (Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT) and No. 12 Texas A&M (Friday at 6 p.m. CT).
    South Carolina
    South Carolina looks to close the regular season well this weekend after a pair of near misses on the road last week. The Gamecocks played a combined seven three-set matches at Mississippi State and Ole Miss, keeping both top-15 programs on the ropes throughout. Juniors Chip Cox and Tsvetan Mihov opened both road matches with strong play at the top of the doubles lineup, including their third win over a top-15 opponent to improve to 11-8 on the season and 4-5 in SEC action. The newly formed doubles team of Andrew Adams and Thiago Pinheiro continued to click for the Gamecocks with a pair of wins to clinch the doubles point for South Carolina. The Gamecocks host Vanderbilt and Kentucky this weekend, closing the regular season at Carolina Tennis Center, where they will honor their lone senior, Harry Menzies, prior to his final home match on Sunday.
    The Vols host Alabama and Auburn this weekend.
    Texas A&M
    Texas A&M improves to 14-11 overall and 5-5 in the Southeastern Conference. No. 12 Texas A&M went 1-1 on the week, dropping the match to No. 27 Auburn, 4-3, and defeating No. 35 Alabama, 4-1. The win against Alabama marked the first time this season Texas A&M has dropped the doubles point and gone on to win the match. Texas A&M is now 6-3 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, 5-5 on the road and 3-3 at neutral sites.  The Aggies remain at the .500 mark against nationally-ranked opponents at 11-11. The Maroon and White conclude its inaugural season in the SEC with a two-match homestand against Mississippi State on Friday and Ole Miss on Sunday.
    No. 14 Vanderbilt took down No. 8 Kentucky, 4-2, Saturday afternoon in the 2012-13 home finale at the Currey Tennis Center. The Commodores (15-7, 6-4) finished the home portion of the schedule for the 2012-13 season with a record of 11-3. After dropping the doubles point, Gonzales Austin started the comeback rally with a three-set win over No. 24 Tom Jomby, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Despite dropping the first set, Austin controlled the match in sets two and third. The Commodores tied the match at 2 after Kris Yee defeated Kevin Lai, 7-5, 6-4. In No. 1 singles, a pair of top 20 players battled for three sets. Ryan Lipman came back to win the second and third sets (3-6, 6-4, 6-1) after dropping the first to No. 18 Anthony Rossi. Lipman is now an impressive 28-7 overall and 18-3 in dual play. Leading 3-2, the Commodores looked to freshman Marc van der Merwe to bring home the win, and the Stellenbosch, South Africa, native would not disappoint. After dropping the first set to Grant Roberts, 4-6, van der Merwe took control the rest of the match, winning 6-2, 6-3. Vanderbilt wraps up the SEC regular season with trips to South Carolina next Friday, April 12 at 4 p.m., and Florida Sunday, April 14 at 12 p.m. CT.