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    SEC Men's Tennis Notebook

    Under first-year head coach George Husack, the Alabama men's tennis team was selected to take part in the 2013 NCAA Championship, and will be the No. 2 seed in Los Angeles. The Crimson Tide will take on San Diego in the first round on Friday, May 10, while the other first-round matchup will be host-institution Southern California against Sacramento State. Alabama (14-13) will be playing in the NCAA Championships for the 17th time in program history and first since 2010, where the Tide bowed out in the first round to East Tennessee State, 4-2. Alabama's best finish in the 64-team draw is the Round of 16, last accomplished in 2007. In addition to the team tournament, Alabama will also be represented in the singles and doubles tournaments. Jarryd Botha and David Vieyra earned a top-eight seed in the doubles draw, while Botha was also an at-large selection in the singles tournament. He becomes the first player to represent Alabama in both singles and doubles in the same season since 2000. The Tide’s No. 2 duo of Becker O’Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura were also selected as second alternates.

    The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team closed its 2013 dual play with a 16-16  overall record and 0-12 in SEC play and ranked 58. The Razorbacks had a strong season in doubles play winning 17 doubles points. Juniors Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott received an at large bid for the NCAA doubles Tournament which will begin on May 22. Jeske and Nott are currently ranked 23 and have collected four top-20 wins over SEC teams.
    The Auburn Tigers (13-10) will make their 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance as they face North Carolina State (13-10) in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Championship on Friday in Norman, Okla. The winner of that match will advance to take on 14th-seeded Oklahoma or Wichita State in the second round. Auburn has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 19 of the last 20 seasons, and the Tigers will be seeking their first appearance in the Round of 16 since 2002. Auburn has advanced to the second round each of the past five seasons. Last year, the Tigers defeated Drake, 4-2, in the first round before dropping a 4-3 heartbreaker at Illinois in the second round. In addition, the team of senior Andreas Mies and junior Daniel Cochrane were selected as a top-eight seed for the NCAA Doubles Championship, and Mies earned a selection to the singles draw as well.

    After a strong end to the regular season, the Florida tennis team earned the 15th seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host the first and second rounds on May 10-11. The Gators will face Denver on Friday at 4 p.m. in the first round, with the winner advancing to face either Cal or Florida State on Saturday at 4 p.m. Florida has never faced Denver in its history. The Gators lost to Cal earlier this season at the ITA National Indoors in Washington and beat Florida State in Tallahassee back in February.

    The second-ranked Georgia men's tennis team (22-4) received the No. 3 national seed and was named one of 16 hosts for the upcoming first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships, it was announced last Tuesday evening. The Bulldogs will take on America East champion Binghamton in the first round, with Wake Forest and Northwestern also headed to Athens in hopes of advancing to the round of 16 on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill. Georgia's first round match is scheduled for Fri., May 10 at 1 p.m. with second round action set for May 11 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Georgia was an automatic qualifier into the field of 64 after winning the SEC tournament title and the SEC regular season crown, sweeping both titles for just the seventh time in history. The Bulldogs are making their 35th overall appearance in the NCAA Championships field and 30th in a row. Additionally, five Georgia players - most in the nation - will play in the singles & doubles individual tournament set for May 22-27, also at Illinois. Senior KU Singh was awarded the No. 5 overall seed for the singles tournament, securing him a second straight All-America honor and place in the field with an overall record of 17-9 and 13 ranked victories. Joining Singh in the singles tournament will be sophomore Nathan Pasha (30-13) and freshman Ben Wagland (23-7) – each making their first appearances. In doubles, the team of Wagland and Hernus Pieters were selected as a No. 5-8 seed, which locks up their All-America honors, while Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux were also chosen to the doubles field.

    Kentucky was selected to compete in its 35th NCAA Tournament, after going 20-11 in the 2013 season, all while collecting wins over five top-10 teams. The Wildcats, under the direction of first-year head coach Cedric Kauffmann will host a regional for the fifth-consecutive season as UK welcomes No. 23 Michigan, No. 41 Virginia Tech and Mid-American Conference champions, Western Michigan to Lexington. Kentucky earned the No. 8 national seed, and would match up with No. 9 Duke in the Sweet 16 should the Wildcats advance out of the regional. UK will face Western Michigan not before 3:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 10 with the winner facing the winner of Michigan/Virginia Tech on Saturday, May 11 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The NCAA seeded Anthony Rossi No. 4 in the Singles Championship, while Tom Jomby was selected as an at-large. Jomby and freshman Kevin Lai were also selected as an at-large for the NCAA Doubles Championship.

    The No. 20 LSU men’s tennis team is set to travel to Malibu, Calif., to face No. 40 Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 10 at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center. This will not be the first time these two teams have faced each other in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal dealt a 5-2 loss to the Tigers in the championship match of the 1988 tournament. LSU (15-11) is coming off a first-round exit in the SEC Championships in Oxford, Miss., following a 4-3 loss to South Carolina (18-10, 7-5 SEC) on April 18. They will be led in singles by sophomore No. 42 Chris Simpson, and senior No. 91 Stefan Szacinski, both of which were named to the All-SEC Second Team for the season. In doubles, the Tigers will be led by No. 31 Szacinski and freshman Tam Trinh, and the No. 74 duo of Simpson and Szacinski. The Tigers, making their third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, lost in the second round of the tournament last year to then-No. 8 Duke 4-1 after defeating Northwestern 4-0 in the first round. Simpson was also selected to participate in singles for the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill.

    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss earned their 22nd overall and 20th consecutive NCAA bid.  The Rebels, seeded No. 6 in the 64-team bracket, are hosting the first and second rounds for the 11th time and second year in a row.  They will face Lehigh University in the first round Friday at 3 p.m.  This will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools.  The winner will meet the winner of BYU and Memphis Saturday at 2 p.m. with a berth in the Sweet Sixteen on the line.  Sophomore Nik Scholtz and senior Jonas Lutjen earned NCAA bids in singles and doubles.  Scholtz is seeded 9-16 in singles, while he and Lutjen are seeded No. 3 in doubles.  They ended the regular season ranked No. 3 in the nation, marking the highest ranking by a Rebel duo since All-Americans Jonas Berg and Bram ten Berge reached No. 1 in 2009.  Scholtz and Lutjen were named to the All-SEC first team, while sophomore William Kallberg made the second team.   It marked the second All-SEC honor for both Scholtz and Lutjen and the first for Kallberg.  Lutjen and fellow senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng will graduate from the University of Mississippi this weekend.  Forberg Skogeng will receive his degree in Managerial Finance and Lutjen will earn his in Business.

    Mississippi State
    For the 22nd time in school history and the third year in a row, the Mississippi State men's tennis squad (16-9, 6-6 SEC) earned a bid to the NCAA Championship. The Bulldogs, who earned the No. 10 national seed, were selected as a host for the 2013 NCAA First/Second Rounds, an honor State has captured for the second straight season. The other three teams traveling to Starkville for the 2013 NCAA Team Championship include Harvard (17-32 national seed), Samford (33-48 national seed) and Austin Peay (49-64 national seed). The Bulldogs will open play against the Austin Peay Governors, who are making their first ever NCAA Team Championship appearance. MSU is 6-0 all-time against the Govs and 4-0 on home court. NCAA First Round play begins Friday, May 10, at 10 a.m. CT between Harvard and Samford, followed by MSU-APSU no earlier than 1 p.m. CT. The two winners will battle Saturday, May 11 at 1 p.m. CT for the right to advance to the NCAA round of 16 in Champaign, Ill., May 16-21. In individuals, State will send three players, with junior Malte Stropp and freshman Romain Bogaerts competing in singles, while Stropp will team up with freshman Jordan Angus in doubles play. Bogaerts earned the No. 6 national seed in singles play, marking the highest national seed an MSU player has earned in the NCAA Individual Championships since Bulldog Marco Baron was the nation’s top seed in 2001. The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will begin May 22 at the Atkins Tennis Center in Champaign, Ill., following the conclusion of the NCAA Team Championships.

    South Carolina
    South Carolina earned its second-straight at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, traveling to Durham, N.C., to play UNC Wilmington in the first round on Friday morning. It will be the Gamecocks' 21st appearance in the event overall. SEC Coach of the Year Josh Goffi has led South Carolina to its winningest season since 2005 with an 18-10 overall record, and the 2013 Gamecocks tied the school record with seven SEC victories to post the program's best finish in the league at third (tied). For the first time since 1999, three Gamecocks earned All-SEC honors with Tsvetan Mihov (#31), Andrew Adams (#81) and Thiago Pinheiro all on the second team. Two of South Carolina's three doubles teams are ranked among the nation's top 40, led by Mihov and Chip Cox coming in at #17. The duo will play in the NCAA Doubles Championships, while Mihov will also participate in the singles championship. This weekend, the Gamecocks will be looking for their first win in an NCAA Tournament since 2005, when a pair of victories landed South Carolina in the Sweet 16. The tournament's No. 9 seed Duke plays Coastal Carolina in the other matchup in Durham this weekend.

    The Tennessee Volunteers (23-8) received the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Championships and will host the opening two rounds of the tennis tournament in Knoxville for the fifth time in Sam Winterbotham's seven years at Tennessee. Sophomore Mikelis Libietis has enjoyed a few weeks of garnering personal accolades since the SEC season ended. He became the third Vol to be voted the SEC Player of the Year, and a few weeks later he became the first Vol to hold the No. 1 singles and doubles rankings at the same time. Libietis and fellow sophomore Hunter Reese will represent UT in the NCAA individual tournaments. The two will play doubles together and both made the singles draw.

    Texas A&M
    The 2013 SEC Western Division champion Texas A&M Aggies finish the regular season at 17-12 and 7-5 in conference play. A&M advanced to the semifinals in the SEC tournament before falling to eventual champion, Georgia. The 11th-ranked Aggies are the No. 12 seed nationally and will host Marist, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center for the NCAA first and second rounds. Texas A&M finished the regular season with a record of 8-3 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, 6-5 on the road and 3-4 at neutral sites.  The Aggies climbed above the .500 mark against ranked-opponents, going 14-12 against top competition. Over the course of the season, A&M knocked off the Nos. 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 17 and 19 teams in the ITA national poll.

    Vanderbilt will be making its 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament with a first round match versus East Tennessee State in Nashville at the Currey Tennis Center Friday, May 10, at 2 p.m. CT. The Commodores enter as the No. 16 overall seed and will host a regional for the first time since 2003. The winner of Vanderbilt and East Tennessee State will play the winner of Illinois and Georgia State on Saturday, May 11, at the Currey Tennis Center at 2 p.m. CT. Vanderbilt makes its fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance under Duvenhage. The Commodores lost in the first round to Notre Dame in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Duvenhage’s squad enters the field with an overall record of 16-10 and ranked No. 16 in the ITA rankings. The 16 wins are the most since the Commodores also won 16 in 2004. Three of those 16 wins this season came over teams ranked in the top 15 (at No. 13 Mississippi State, at No. 4 Ole Miss, vs. No. 8 Kentucky). The Commodores are led by redshirt junior and All-SEC First Team honoree Ryan Lipman, who is currently ranked No. 10 in the ITA singles rankings. Lipman leads the team with an overall singles record of 28-10. Sophomore Gonzales Austin is ranked No. 46 and was also named to the All-SEC First Team. Freshman Kris Yee earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors after leading VU with a 19-2 mark in dual play this season. The Las Vegas, Nev., native is 24-5 overall in his first season at Vanderbilt. Additionally, Lipman and Austin will also be competing in the NCAA Singles Championship in Urbana, Ill., May 22-27.