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    SEC Women's Tennis Notebook

    The eighth-ranked Alabama women’s tennis team split its final two home matches of the regular season, defeating No. 24 Tennessee, 4-2, before dropping a 4-0 decision against No. 4 Georgia. The Crimson Tide now enters postseason play with an overall record of 18-4, tying the most wins in a season under head coach Jenny Mainz, while finishing the Southeastern Conference season with a 10-3 mark. On Friday, the women dominated in doubles, with both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams defeating their opponents 8-3. The duo of No. 5 Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane earned a top-5 victory over No. 4 Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely to get the match off to a great start. In singles, the Tide hit the ground running with Emily Zabor finishing first on court six with a dominating 6-0, 6-2 win over Sarah Toti to put the women up 2-0. No. 116 Natalia Maynetto finished in similar fashion to Zabor, where she cruised to a victory over Tiffany Tavares 6-1, 6-2, which had the Tide up at 3-1. On court one, No. 62 Guarachi would clinch the match with her top-25 win over No. 21 Boren, 6-2, 5-7, 6-0, to give the women the 4-2 victory. On Sunday, the Tide dropped a close doubles point and was edged out in three straight singles contests. Maynetto won her last 10 singles matches in a row, going undefeated in SEC play, while Guarachi continued to build on her UA career record singles and doubles victories as she now has 103 wins in singles and 114 in doubles. The Tide will now head to Starkville, Miss., for the SEC Championships as the No. 4 seed, and will play its first match on Friday, April 19, at 11 a.m. CT.

    The No. 49 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team concluded the regular season this past weekend with two wins. The Razorbacks finished conference play on Saturday, defeating No. 63 LSU on Senior Day 6-1. On Sunday, Arkansas won their final match of the year at the University of Houston, winning 4-2. Arkansas concludes the regular season at 13-14, and 4-9 in SEC play. Senior Claudine Paulson won her final match as a Razorbacks, and finished the season with a team leading 19 singles wins. Arkansas next will travel to Starkville, Miss., competing at the SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament hosted by Mississippi State, which will be held April 17-21. The Razorbacks are the No. 10 seed, and will face No. 7 seed Auburn at 2 p.m. on Thursday. The winner of that match will face No. 2 seed Texas A&M on Friday.

    The No. 22 Auburn women’s tennis team split a pair of SEC matches over the weekend losing, 4-0 to fourth-ranked Georgia and clinching their seventh SEC win of the season with a 4-1 victory over No. 24 Tennessee. With the win, Auburn moves to 17-7 for the season and 7-6 in conference play. It marks the first time the Tigers have won 17 matches since 2008. Sunday’s victory was the first win by Auburn over the Lady Vols since 1994. With seven wins in conference play, the Tigers finish with a winning SEC record for the first time since 2002. Seven league victories are the most conference wins for Auburn since recording an 8-3 record in 1993. The 2013 season marks only the 16th winning season in program history and seventh year with a winning record in SEC play. Auburn finished one league win shy of tying the program’s best total of eight in 1993. With one more victory overall, Auburn would have the fourth-highest win total in program history and the highest total since 1989 when it won 19. Freshman No. 24 Pleun Burgmans earned her 20th win of the season with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Tennessee's 21st-ranked Brynn Boren at the top spot. The win improved Burgmans to 20-6 overall and 7-4 against ranked opponents. Auburn won the doubles point in 18-of-23 matches where doubles play was contested in the regular season, including eight doubles points in SEC play. The Tigers finished as the seventh seed in the 2013 SEC Women's Tennis Championship and will face 10th seed Arkansas on Thursday, April 18 at 2 p.m. in Starkville, Miss.
    After a three-way tie for the SEC regular-season title, Florida was selected as the No. 3 seed in the 14-team SEC Tournament. Florida has been either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament 23 times in the 26-year history of the event. The other two exceptions were in 2005, when the Gators entered the tournament with the No. 3 seed before winning the title, and in 2009, when the team fell in the semifinals as the No. 4 seed. Florida has won 18 of the 25 SEC Tournament titles contested, including each of the last three. Florida boasts a 66-7 all-time record in SEC Tournament action, with six of those losses coming against Georgia and the other to Ole Miss. The Gators have captured the SEC regular-season title 27 times in the 34 years the league has sponsored women’s tennis. Florida has won 24 of those 27 titles outright, sharing the crown in 1990, 2007 and 2013. The 2013 SEC crown is the ninth during the 12-year tenure of head coach Roland Thornqvist.

    No. 4 Georgia (19-2,12-1 SEC) went 2-0 on the road this week, defeating 22nd-ranked Auburn 4-0 and eighth-ranked Alabama 4-0.  With the win versus Alabama, Georgia clinched a share of the SEC regular season title for its 15th overall SEC championship.  In singles, sixth-ranked Lauren Herring improved to 33-5, 19th-ranked Maho Kowase to a team leading 35-7, and No. 88 Silvia Garcia moved to 20-3. The No. 3 duo of Fuller/Garcia is 20-1 on the year, including 9-1 in SEC play.  No. 64 Herring/Kowase is 8-2 this season.  The Bulldogs head to Starkville, Miss. this week for the SEC tournament.  

    The Kentucky women's tennis team wrapped up the regular season with a 4-3 win over No. 27 South Carolina at home on senior day. The win was Kentucky's first victory over a top-30 team this year and finalized the Wildcats' record at 13-11 on the year. Kentucky took two of three doubles matches to win the doubles point and singles wins from Nadia Ravita, Stephanie Fox and Caitlin McGraw sealed the Kentucky win. The Wildcats open the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Wednesday vs. LSU at 2 p.m. CT.

    LSU wrapped up its regular season against No. 49 Arkansas Saturday and faced a 6-1 loss. Senior Keri Frankenberger scored the Lady Tigers’ lone point against the Razorbacks with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez on court five. The duo of Frankenberger and Wilson held a tight competition against Arkansas’ Claudine Paulson and Sarah McLean in court two doubles, but their match was left unfinished after the Razorbacks clinched the match on courts one and three. No. 123 Kaitlin Burns took on 46th-ranked Yang Pang in the top spot, and freshman Ella Taylor continued her run in the No. 2 spot against 78th-ranked Claudine Paulson.

    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss finished the regular season splitting a pair of matches in the SEC, defeating Missouri 4-1 before falling to No. 3 Texas A&M 4-0.  The Rebels also defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-0 to up their overall record to 15-12.  The Rebels earned the No. 9 seed in the upcoming SEC Championship to be held in Starkville, Miss. They will face the No. 8 seed South Carolina for the second time in two weeks.  South Carolina won the earlier meeting, 4-0.  Sophomore Erin Stephens finished the SEC with a team-leading 7-2 record.  Fellow sophomore Julia Jones posted a 6-5 league record, including clinching the win over Missouri.

    Mississippi State
    The Lady Bulldogs host the SEC Tournament, April 17-21.  They play Missouri in a repeat of Sunday’s match on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

    The Mizzou tennis team concluded the regular season with 9-12 overall and a 2-11 record in Southeastern Conference matches. Senior Maria Christensen finished the regular season with a team best 5-5 record in SEC matches, as she was 1-0 at No. 4 and 4-5 at No. 3 singles. The Tigers will face Mississippi State in the first round of the 2013 SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament on Wednesday, April 17 at 10 a.m.

    South Carolina
    The No. 27 South Carolina women's tennis team ended the regular season on a disappointing note with losses to No. 18 Vanderbilt and No. 47 Kentucky. Vandy handed the Gamecocks a 6-1 loss in Nashville to end their four-match unbeaten streak, while the Wildcats snagged a 4-3 win in Lexington by winning three three-set matches in singles in addition to the doubles point. Elixane Lechemia posted singles victories in both contests to end the regular season on a four-match winning streak and she finished above .500 in SEC matches at 7-5. Katerina Popova became the first Gamecock this spring to reach the 20-win plateau in singles with her win at UK, as she moved to 20-9 and 14-6 in dual matches. She and Josefin Andersson also ended the regular season on a five-match unbeaten streak in doubles and went 15-3 in dual matches. They are 19-8 overall for the season. South Carolina heads to the SEC Tournament as the No. 8 seed and will take on No. 9 seed Ole Miss on Thursday at 9 a.m. ET in Starkville, Miss.

    The Lady Vols dropped both matches in the final weekend of regular season play, 4-2 to No. 8 Alabama Friday Night followed by a 4-1 loss to No. 22 Auburn Sunday. Tennessee finished the season with an 11-10 record, 7-6 in SEC action. After the tiebreaker process UT earned the fifth seed in the SEC Tournament and is set to face the winner of the Mississippi State/Missouri match slated for Wednesday. Over the weekend, Kata Szekely won each of her singles matches and reached the 30-win plateau on the season. In doing so, Szekely became the sixth Lady Vol to record 30 singles wins and 30 doubles wins in the same season achieving the feat for the eighth time in Tennessee women’s tennis history. Szekely currently has 30 singles wins and 35 doubles wins on the year.

    Texas A&M
    The third-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team captured the school’s first SEC championship in any sport after going 12-1 in conference matches. It is the program’s first regular season conference title since winning its only Big 12 Conference regular season title in 2003. The Aggies, who tied both Georgia and Florida for the overall title and won the SEC Western Division will be the No. 2 seed at the SEC Tournament and will face either No. 7 seed Auburn or No. 10 seed Arkansas Friday at 2 p.m. in Starkville, Miss. A&M defeated Auburn, 4-0, and Arkansas, 6-1, during the regular season. A&M enters the tournament 20-2 overall, marking the first time A&M has reached the 20-win milestone since the Aggies went 21-7 in 2007.

    No. 18 Vanderbilt went 1-1 over the weekend with a win over No. 27 South Carolina, but falling to No. 2 Florida. The Commodores defeated South Carolina, 6-1 on Friday and lost 4-1 to the Gators on Sunday. After Sunday’s loss, Vanderbilt wrapped up the regular season at 14-10 overall and 7-6 in the SEC. The Commodores were able to win the doubles point versus the Gators on Sunday to record the lone point of the match. No. 21 Courtney Colton and Lauren Mira teamed up to take down No. 17 Lauren Embree and Sofie Oyen, 8-4 in No. 1 doubles, while Frances Altick and Georgina Sellyn defeated Danielle Collins and Brianna Morgan, 8-5 in the No. 3 position. Vanderbilt is the No. 6 seed in the 2013 SEC Tournament and will play the winner of Kentucky and LSU on Thursday, April 18 at 5 p.m. CT in Starkville, Miss.