Lady Vols Cruise Past Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. – On a blustery day, the University of Tennessee women’s tennis team earned a 4-0 sweep of Mississippi State for the fifth straight sweep over the Bulldogs, and in doing so advanced to the quarterfinal round of the SEC Tournament.
The victory was also Tennessee’s 10th straight over the Mississippi State , while they improve to 4-0 in SEC Tournament play against the Bulldogs.
With the win, the Lady Vols improve to 12-10 on the season while Mississippi State ends their year with a 9-14 record.
“It was a good match today,” said co-head coach Mike Patrick. “We had some competitive matches out there and it was windy and the conditions were tough, but our kids played tough considering we hadn’t been out in those kind of conditions this year. I am proud of them and looking forward to playing Alabama tomorrow and hopefully it will be an exciting match.”
The Lady Vols jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead after capturing the doubles point from the Bulldogs. Caitlyn Williams and Jesse Grace cruised past their Mississippi State opponents and out to an 8-0 sweep to earn the first win on the day for the Lady Vols.
After jumping out to a 5-0 lead on court one, the nation’s No. 5 doubles team of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely allowed Mississippi State back into the match but held them off for an 8-5 win, their 36th of the season, to gain the doubles point.
With the victory, Szekely earned her 98th career doubles win putting her in sole control of ninth all-time on the UT Career Doubles win list.
Mimi Fotopoulos added to the Lady Vols’ score with a 6-1, 6-0 victory on court four over Petra Ferancova followed quickly by a 6-0, 6-1 victory on court three by Williams, who gave up just one game on the day between doubles and singles.
Moments later Boren, the nation’s 24th ranked player, defeated Georgiana Patrasc 6-3, 6-3 on court one to give the Lady Vols the sweep and victory.
Tennessee will return to action on Friday, April 19 at 11 a.m. CT/ 12 p.m. ET when they face the tournament’s No. 4 seed in Alabama.
“We have different match ups at four of the spots so it will be a little bit different kind of match,” said Patrick. “We just have to come out there and play just a little bit better than we did the last time. It is going to be a big challenge for us but we are looking forward to it.”
Rohde-Moe Clinches Win for Ole Miss Over USC
STARKVILLE, Miss. —The No. 9 seed Ole Miss Women’s tennis team defeated No. 8 seed South Carolina on Thursday, in the second round of the SEC Tournament, at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
With the win, the Rebels improve to 16-12 overall and will play the No. 1 seed, Georgia Friday at 8 am CT.
South Carolina took the first lead of the match by winning the doubles point, at courts one and two. The Rebels came back in singles winning four first sets, and were able to defeat the Gamecocks 4-3. Rhode- Moe, who is ranked No. 44, clinched the victory for Ole Miss by defeating No. 83 nationally ranked Jaklin Alawi of USC in three sets.
“It was a great comeback win after losing the doubles point,” Head coach Mark Beyers said. “ South Carolina is a very solid team, and it took an amazing effort from all of our players to beat them. We are looking forward to playing Georgia tomorrow.”
Sophomore Erin Stephens closed out Elixane Lechemia 6-4,6-0 at No. 3 singles to give the Rebels their first point of the match. Freshman Mai El Kamash followed up with a win against Dominika Kaanakova at No. 4 singles. Kamash won the match with a tiebreaker in the second set, 6-0, 7-6 (8). Julia Jones won the third point for the Rebels by defeating No. 105 nationally ranked Katerina Popova 6-4, 6-3 at No. 2 singles.
With the score knotted at three, all eyes turned to Rhode-Moe and Alawi who were starting their third set. Rhode-Moe took the lead in the third set 3-1 and then Alawi broke back, Rhode-Moe answered winning four straight games for a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win to clinch the victory.
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Freshmen Clutch for No. 19 Auburn in Win Over Arkansas
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Auburn freshmen Pleun Burgmans and Michala Kucharova secured the final two points as the 19th-ranked Tigers defeated Arkansas 4-3 in the second round of the 2013 SEC Women’s Tennis Championship at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
“I’m really proud of the way the girls gutted out the win tonight,” Auburn women’s tennis head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “I’m really pleased with the way Pleun and Michala battled and got two big victories to wrap up the win. This is a big opportunity for them to grow in such a high-pressure situation. Now we have to refocus and get ready for a really, really good team in Texas A&M tomorrow.”
With the victory, Auburn advances to face the second-seed Aggies on Friday at 2 p.m. CT.
Kucharova secured the winning point for Auburn (18-7) in dramatic fashion with a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) tie-break victory over the Razorbacks’ Sarah McLean. Just a few minutes earlier the 23rd-ranked Burgmans took down ITA No. 42 Yang Pang, 6-4, 6-3, to even score at 3-3.
The victory gives Auburn 18 wins on the season, the highest total since winning 19 in 1989. The win is the first for the Tigers at the SEC Tennis Championship since 2008.
Arkansas (13-15) was able to even the score at 1-1 with a victory on court six. The Tigers responded next with a 2-1 lead courtesy of a 6-4, 6-3 win by Jackie Kasler over Brittany Huxley.
After dropping the first set 3-6, sophomore Emily Flickinger rebounded to win the second set 6-0, but fell in the third 4-6 to allow the Razorbacks to take the 3-2 lead and turn all eyes to Burgmans at No. 1 and Kucharova on court three.
Auburn quickly fell behind a match in doubles play with a loss on court three, but rallied for a win at the first line by No. 11 Burgmans and Kurteva over ITA No. 72 Claudine Paulson and Segou Jonker, 9-7. The victory by Auburn’s top tandem shifted all the pressure to court two with the doubles point in the balance.
With all the pressure on their shoulders, Auburn’s team of Kasler and Flickinger responded with an 8-6 win over Pang and Huxley to secure the coveted doubles point and a 1-0 lead.
For the latest on Auburn women’s tennis, follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter.
Commodores Tame Tigers
STARKVILLE, Miss. – No. 18 Vanderbilt made quick work of the No. 64 LSU, 4-0, Thursday evening at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre in the second round of the 2013 SEC Tournament.
The No. 6 seed Commodores (15-10) advance to play the No. 3 seed Florida Gators Friday at approximately 5 p.m. CT in the quarterfinals. With the loss, LSU fell to 9-16 on the season. Vanderbilt and Florida met just last Friday in Nashville in which the Gators came away with a 4-1 win.
Playing through some extremely windy conditions and with possible inclement weather, officials and coaches decided to play singles to start the match. Due to Vanderbilt clinching the match in singles, no doubles were played on the night.
Ashleigh Antal got the Commodores on the board first, with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Kerri Frankenberger in No. 5 singles. The win made Antal 18-4 in dual play this season and 23-8 overall.
In the No. 3 position, Georgina Sellyn defeated Ella Taylor, 6-3, 6-2. Sellyn recorded her 16th dual win of the season (16-6).
Shortly after Sellyn’s win, Frances Altick downed Ebie Wilson, 6-1, 6-3, at the No. 6 spot. Altick’s win gave the Commodores a 3-0 lead as the weather continued to play a factor.
With the wind picking up and rain starting to enter the area, Courtney Colton clinched the win for Vanderbilt. Colton defeated Mary Jeremiah, 6-2, 6-4.
Following the SEC Tournament, Vanderbilt will take the court next in NCAA Regional action beginning May 10-12 at campus sites to be announced after conference championships.