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    SEC Women's Tennis Notebook

    For the second time in as many years, the Alabama women's tennis team will host the NCAA Championship First and Second Rounds at The University of Alabama Tennis Stadium. The Crimson Tide, coming in as the tournament's No. 9 overall seed, will take on Northwestern State in the first round on Friday, May 10. This marks the 12th NCAA Championship appearance for Alabama (19-5) and the 10th under Mainz. Last season, the Tide won its opening contest, defeating Army, 4-0, before falling to Georgia Tech, 4-3, in the second round to move to 6-11 in the tournament. The Tide will be looking to advance to the Round of 16 for the first time as Alabama's top finish in the 64-team field has been the second round on six occasions. In addition to the team tournament, Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane earned a top-eight seed in the NCAA Doubles Championship and were both at-large selections to the NCAA Singles Championship.

    The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team finished the regular season at 13-15, 4-9 SEC, and did not receive a bid to the NCAA team tournament. Freshman Yang Pang had a breakout season for the Razorbacks, playing at No. 1 singles. Pang was selected for the NCAA Individual singles completion, beginning on May 22 in Urbana, Ill. The Razorback team is ranked No. 51 in the ITA, and has three players ranked as well. Yang Pang is No. 47 in singles, while senior Claudine Paulson is No. 71. The duo of Paulson and freshman Segou Jonker are ranked No. 56 in doubles. The Razorbacks also had two players named to the SEC All Conference teams. Yang Pang was named to the First Team All-SEC, as well as the All-Freshman team. Claudine Paulson, who led the team with a 20-5 singles record playing at No. 2 singles, was named to the Second Team All-SEC. The Razorbacks had seven freshman getting their first collegiate tennis experience in the spring, with three of them (Yang Pang, Brittany Huxley, and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez) finishing with double digit singles victories. Overall, the freshman class combined for 56 of the 85 singles victories on the spring season (65 percent). The Razorbacks also won 13 doubles points on the year. The duo of Brittany Huxley and Yang Pang finished with the team’s best doubles record at 10-9, while the ranked pair of Paulson and Jonker was 8-11 while playing at No. 1 doubles.

    Auburn returns to the NCAA postseason for the first time since 2009 with a trip to the Berkeley Regional. The Tigers will face St. Mary’s in the opening match on Friday with the winner advancing to play the winner of the Cal/Stony Brook match. It’s the program’s seventh appearance all-time in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers have never faced any of the teams playing in Berkeley. Auburn finished the regular season with a record of 18-8, the second-highest win total in program history and the most since winning 19 in 1989. The NCAA berth is the first at Auburn for Meisner and the fourth of her coaching career after trips at SMU from 2009-11. Auburn freshman Pleun Burgmans was named SEC Freshman of the Year and to the All-SEC first team. Burgmans is the first All-SEC first team member for Auburn since 2009. Former Auburn All-American Fani Chifchieva was named first team All-SEC from 2007-09. Burgmans is the first Auburn student-athlete to be named SEC Freshman of the Year. The Tigers are ranked 25th entering the NCAA tournament. Burgmans is ranked as the No. 22 player in the country by the ITA. She teams with Plamena Kurteva to be ranked 10th nationally as a doubles tandem. Despite not playing together most of the spring, junior Jackie Kasler and sophomore Jen Pfeifler are still ranked 36th by the ITA.
    Florida won the 2013 SEC Tournament and earned the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championships field of 64. The Gators received the No. 1 overall seed in the 2013 NCAA Championships and were awarded one of 16 host sites for the first and second rounds of the event. The Gators, who are the two-time defending NCAA champions, face MAAC champion Marist in their NCAA First Round contest on Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. ET. Florida and Marist will be squaring off for the first time in program history. 20 days will have passed between Florida’s 4-0 win against Georgia in the SEC Tournament final on April 21. This is the 12th time since 1987 that the Gators are the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championships. Florida is 34-9 when playing as the No. 1 seed, winning NCAA titles in 1992 and 1996, while finishing as runner-up in 1988, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2002. The Gators sport a 94-24 all-time record in NCAA matches.

    The Georgia women's tennis team earned the fourth-seed in the NCAA Championship tournament and will play host to first and second round action at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Bulldogs (21-3) will be making their 27th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tennis Championships, ranking fifth nationally in a tie with Florida. Stanford, UCLA and California have the longest active streak at 32. Georgia is 64-24 in the NCAA Championships, including 10 trips to the National Semifinals with national titles in 1994 and 2000. The Bulldogs are 22-0 in the first and second rounds when they played in Athens. Georgia will play unranked Winthrop in the opening round. Oklahoma and Arizona State play in the other opening round matchup in Athens. Georgia sophomore Lauren Herring and junior Maho Kowase earned bids to the NCAA singles championships, and the top-ranked duo of junior Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia earned a bid to the NCAA doubles championships. Herring earned the No. 6 seed while Fuller and Garcia earned the No. 1 seed.

    The Kentucky women’s tennis team finished the season 13-12 and 4-9 in Southeastern Conference matches. The Wildcats opened the year 9-2, knocking off two ranked opponents. Freshman Nadia Ravita led the Wildcats from the No. 1 singles slot, finishing the season 20-4, 10-3 in conference matches. Ranked 24th nationally, Ravita received a singles at-large bid for the 2013 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Tennis Championships and was named Second Team All-SEC and All-Freshman. Senior Jessica Stiles won 10 matches in the No. 2 singles slot for Kentucky, including three in SEC contests. Sophomore Stephanie Fox posted a 14-7 singles record in the spring, winning six matches in conference play. In doubles play, Ravita and junior Caitlin McGraw posted a 9-9 record on court one.

    In Julia S. Sell’s first year as LSU’s head coach, the Lady Tigers compiled nine overall wins and advanced to the second round of the SEC Tournament with a 4-2 win over Kentucky. Freshman Ella Taylor led the team in singles victories with 21 on the season, including a 6-3, 6-1 win over Ole Miss’ then-No. 66 Mai El Kamash. Senior Kaitlin Burns claimed the court one spot for the majority of the season and tallied a 6-3, 6-2 triumph against the Rebels’ previously 37th-ranked Caroline Rohde-Moe after notching a 6-0, 6-1 win over Mizzou’s then-No. 114 Cierra Gaytan-Leach in the Lady Tigers’ first conference win of the season. LSU will welcome the No. 16 recruiting class in the upcoming season, the highest-ranked class in team history.

    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss earned their 16th overall and fifth consecutive NCAA bid.  The Rebels will travel to Lubbock, Texas and face Duke in the first round Saturday at 11 a.m. The winner will meet the winner of the Texas Tech/College of Charleston match Sunday at 1 p.m.   Ole Miss and Duke played last year in the National Team Indoor round of 16, with Duke edging the Rebels in a tight 4-3 decision.  Junior Caroline Rohde-Moe earned an NCAA singles bid.  This marks her first NCAA appearance in singles.  Rohde-Moe made the All-SEC second team for the second year in a row.

    Mississippi State
    Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis completed the 2013 campaign with an overall record of 9-14, 2-11 in conference play, and the No. 74 slot in the final ITA rankings. This marked MSU’s first national ranking since April of 2012. Lady Bulldog tennis took down top 60-ranked SEC opponent Missouri in a 4-2 decision to finish out the regular season, and then defeated Mizzou’s Lady Tigers once again in the opening round of SEC Championship play. Following the first-round win,12th-seeded Mississippi State fell 4-0 in the second round to the tournament’s No. 5 seed, the No. 29 ranked Lady Vols of Tennessee, 4-0. Lady Bulldog tennis also acquired multiple individual accolades. True freshman Georgiana Patrasc was honored as a member of the All-SEC Second Team as well as a 116th spot in the singles rankings. In doubles competition, MSU’s Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran paired up to take the No. 69th position in ITA doubles rankings.

    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.

    South Carolina
    The No. 34 South Carolina women's tennis team received its 19th consecutive NCAA Tournament bid last week and 23rd overall in school history. The 19 consecutive appearances is tied for the 11th longest active streak in the nation with fellow SEC members Tennessee and Vanderbilt. South Carolina's 23 appearances overall also ranks tied for 13th in the country. The Gamecocks enter NCAAs looking to get back on track having lost three straight, the last two of which came in 4-3 decisions. South Carolina will take on No. 30 Purdue in the first round on May 10 at 11 a.m. in Coral Gables, Fla., on the University of Miami campus. The sixth-ranked Hurricanes square off against North Florida in the other half of the regional. South Carolina's top doubles team of Dominika Kanakova and Jaklin Alawi also earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Doubles Championship, which begins May 23 in Urbana, Ill. The No. 29-ranked duo will be one of 32 teams competing in the event. Alawi, a second-team All-SEC member this season, and her partner compiled a 23-10 record this season and were 6-3 at No. 1 doubles in SEC play. South Carolina has placed a singles competitor or doubles team in 25 of 32 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.

    The Lady Vols travel to Chapel Hill for NCAA First/Second Rounds.  They take on VCU on Friday at 10 a.m. ET.

    Texas A&M
    Texas A&M received a school-record No. 3 seed in the 64-team NCAA Tennis Championship and will host first and second rounds Saturday and Sunday at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The Aggies (21-3), who are making their 14th consecutive and 19th overall appearance in the tournament, open against Southern Saturday at noon. The winner plays either TCU or North Texas, Sunday at 1 p.m. with the second-round winner advancing to compete at the final championship site, the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill.  Individually, Texas A&M senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar became the school’s first two-time All-American in women’s tennis after receiving a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship 64-player field. She was a No. 7 seed last year and advanced to the quarterfinals. Nazari Urbina also was selected to compete in the singles and is making a school-record fourth consecutive appearance. In addition, the duo of Cristina Stancu and Stefania Hristov will compete in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championship as an at-large selection.

    Vanderbilt women’s tennis will be making its 19th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament with first round action against Indiana Friday, May 10, at 1 p.m. in Clemson, S.C., at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center. The Commodores enter as the No. 2 seed in the Clemson Regional and will face No. 3 seed Indiana. The winner will advance to take on No. 1 seed and host Clemson (No. 13 overall seed) or No. 4 seed Eastern Kentucky. Last season Vanderbilt fell in the second round to Southern California. The Commodores enter the tournament ranked 19th in the most recent ITA rankings after posting a 15-11 mark this season, including a 7-6 record in the SEC. Two players are ranked in the ITA singles rankings, led by junior Lauren Mira at No. 63, while freshman Georgina Sellyn ranks 95th. In doubles, the Commodores boast the 12th-ranked duo of Mira and Courtney Colton, who will also play in the NCAA Doubles Championship in Urbana, Ill., May 22-27. Five of the six Commodores in the lineup have at least 20 wins in singles this year. Colton and Ashleigh Antal are tied for the team lead with 23 overall wins. Antal posted a team best 18-5 mark in dual play, while going 10-3 in the SEC. Sellyn and Frances Altick each have 22 overall singles victories, while Marie Casares has 20.