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    SEC Tennis In NCAA Tournament: May 11

    Georgia Women Cruise Into NCAA Second Round

    ATHENS, Ga.—The Georgia women’s tennis team advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, beating Winthrop 4-0 Saturday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
     
    The Bulldogs (22-3) will square off with Arizona State (17-5) in the second round Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Georgia will be attempting to advance to its 12th round of 16 since the tournament moved to its current format in 1999.
     
    “I think Winthrop is a great team and we played really well today,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “Doubles was tough, except for court 1. [Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia] did a really great job today—they’ve played so great all year. Court two and three were some good matches and we had to fight back to get the doubles point. I think we played high level singles all the way through so it was a great first-round match for us.”
     
    Georgia won its 22nd doubles point of the year, and got three quick wins in singles to win advance to the second round and improve to 23-0 in 1st and 2nd round matches held in Athens.
     
    In doubles, the country’s top-ranked tandem of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia gave Georgia an early advantage in doubles with an 8-1 win over Winthrop’s Caitlin Cridland and Ekin Gunaysu. The pair is now 22-2 this year. Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase, ranked 52nd in the country, clinched point for Georgia with an 8-3 win over the Eagles’ Alice Garcia and Giovanna Portiolli. The Georgia duo trailed 0-3, but won the final eight games to pick up their fourth doubles point clinch of the season. 
     
    Mia King and Ayaka Okuno led 6-5 when their match was suspended. 
     
    In singles, Kowase gave Georgia a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Winthrop’s Andressa Garcia. Kowase leads Georgia with a 36-8 mark this year. Later, the Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead when Fuller topped Winthrop’s Portiolli 6-0, 6-2. Just seconds later, Okuno beat the Eagles’ Caitlin Cridland, 6-1, 6-2.  It’s the second match that the she has clinched this season.
     
    Sixth-ranked Herring, 104th-ranked Garcia and King all led their matches when their matches were suspended. 
     
    “I think we were a little too excited at the beginning, but we handled it really well,” Kowase said. We had a really great to start to the singles and I’m proud of everyone.”
     
    Georgia improves to 4-0 all-time against Winthrop, including 2-0 in the NCAA Tournament. Winthrop ends its season at 18-10
     
    Georgia and Arizona State will meet on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. with a spot in the round of 16 on the line.



    Lady Vols Fall to UNC in NCAAs

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Despite earning the doubles point early on, No. 31 University of Tennessee women’s tennis team fell 4-1 to host team and No. 2 ranked North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday. 
     
    The Lady Vols finish their 2013 season at 13-12 while Carolina improves to 27-3 on the season and will advance on to the Round of 16 in Champaign, Ill. 
     
    The Lady Vols began the day with a thrilling doubles victory as they took a 1-0 match lead over UNC heading into singles play. 
     
    The No. 5 doubles pair of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely once again started things off on the right foot for the Lady Vols eking out an 8-6 victory over No. 58 Caroline Price and Whitney Kay. 
     
    In doing so Szekely earned her 100th career doubles victory, just the ninth Lady Vol to earn the feat. 
     
    After Caitlyn Williams and Jesse Grace fell on court three by an 8-5 score, it was down to court two where Joanna Henderson and Sarah Toti battled to a 9-8 (3) tiebreak victory. 
     
    But in singles play, UNC came out strong as Joanna Henderson fell 6-3, 6-0 on court four to No. 46 Caroline Price followed by a 6-0, 6-2 loss on court one for Brynn Boren to the country’s No. 7 player Gina Suarez-Malaguti giving the Tar Heels their first lead of the day.
     
    Tiffany Tavares fell 6-0, 6-3 on court five as UNC earned its third point of the day and a 6-3, 6-1 loss by Sarah Toti on court six ended the Lady Vols NCAA run. 
     
    A couple of the Lady Vols will return to action when Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely take part in the NCAA Singles/Doubles Championship beginning on May 22. The duo has been seeded in the top-8 in the country in doubles and will both participate in the singles championship.



    No. 3 Seed Texas A&M Cruises Past Southern in Straight Sets

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas –  No. 3 Texas A&M cruised to a 4-0 victory over Southern University in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship today at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
     
    The Aggies (22-3), who are making their 14th consecutive and 19th overall appearance in the NCAAs, advance to the second round for the second year in a row and will face 29th-ranked TCU, Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The Horned Frogs advanced with a 4-1 first-round victory over No. 60 North Texas.
     
    The second-round winner advances to the championship final site and the round of 16 to be played at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill., May 16-21.
     
    “If you look at the dynamic of the match and each individual match, it’s obvious that we have a better and more skilled team,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said about the match against the Jaguars. “That said, I think our kids handled themselves with class and were very focused. We haven’t played a match other than today for the past three weeks. It was good to get out and compete.”
     
    Playing their first match since competing in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament on April 20, the Aggies quickly jumped out to an early lead against Southern, taking less than 30 minutes to clinch the doubles point. The 49th-ranked  Aggie duo of Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun was first to finish, disposing of Camara Davis and Morgan Taylor, 8-1, on the No. 2 court.
     
    Aggie twin sisters Ines and Paula Deheza secured the doubles point at the No. 3 court, jumping out to a 4-0 lead against Kendal Bunch and Danielle Dixon en route to the 8-1 victory that put A&M ahead, 1-0. 
     
    Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu, ranked 18th in the nation, held a commanding 7-0 lead against Lois Alexis and Gabrielle Moore at the No. 1 line when the doubles point was clinched and play was stopped. 
     
    A&M continued its dominance in the singles, winning all six first sets and going a combined 67-6 in games on all six courts.
     
    Stancu, ranked No. 68 in singles, didn’t drop a game as she gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Dixon at the No. 2 line. Ines Deheza nearly completed a shutout of her own, defeating Davis, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 4 to put A&M ahead, 3-0.
     
    Fourth-ranked Sanchez-Quintanar capped the team victory with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Moore at the No. 1 line. It was her 36th win of the season, moving her into a tie for the third in the school records for most victories in a single season.
     
    A&M was in control of the remaining three matches when play was stopped. A&M’s Nazari Urbina was at match point with a 6-1, 5-0 lead over Alexis at the No. 3 court, and Hristov held a 6-0, 5-0 lead over Bunch at No. 6. Sun also led 6-0, 3-2 at No. 5.
     
    A&M and TCU are 1-1 against each other when meeting in the NCAA tournament. They first met in postseason play in the first round of the 2002 championship in Austin with the Frogs winning, 4-1. The teams also met in the 2007 first round in Waco, with A&M winning 4-1 to advance.
     
    “Overall, like any time, we’re going to need to actually play some good tennis,” Joffe said about the match-up against the Frogs. “We’re going to need to perform on the day because, at this stage of the season, teams like TCU, like ourselves, have all made winning a habit. In order to break that habit, we’re going to have to play some awful good tennis. TCU has a very good doubles lineup and will contest every match. We’ll need to be at our best tomorrow.”



    Commodores Fall to Clemson in Second Round

    CLEMSON, S.C. – Vanderbilt’s season came to an end Saturday afternoon in the second round of the Women’s Tennis NCAA Tournament with a 4-2 loss to the Clemson Tigers at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center.
     
    The Commodores finished the season with an overall record of 16-12. Clemson (16-7) advances to the Sweet 16 in Urbana, Ill.
     
    For the second-straight match to begin the NCAA Tournament, the Commodores opened by winning the all-important doubles point. At No. 2, Ashleigh Antal and Marie Casares defeated Tristen Dewar and Romy Koelzer, 8-6. Frances Altick and Georgina Sellyn then wrapped up doubles with a win at No. 3 over Liz Jeukeng and Ani Miao, 8-5.
     
    Clemson’s No. 1 doubles team of Yana Korolev and Beatrice Gumulya defeated Courtney Colton and Lauren Mira, 8-3.
     
    After a long weather delay, Casares continued her dominating effort in singles play at the No. 4 position. The sophomore defeated Koelzer in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0. The win gave VU a 2-0 advantage in the match.
     
    Trailing 2-0, Clemson would mount a run to win four-straight matches, clinching the win for the No. 13 national seed.
     
    The Tigers scored their first point of the match at the No. 2 singles position. Clemson’s Jeukeng defeated Colton, 6-2, 6-2.
     
    It wouldn’t take long for Clemson to then tie the match, 2-2, after Korolev defeated Mira at the No. 1 position, 6-3, 6-2. At the No. 5 singles spot, Clemson’s Miao defeated Antal in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, to give the Tigers the lead, 3-2. Antal finishes the season with a team-best 19-6 record in dual play.
     
    Gumulya would clinch the match for Clemson at No. 3 with a win over Sellyn, 1-6, 7-6, 6-3. Sellyn finished her first season as a Commodore with an overall singles record of 23-10, including a 17-8 mark in dual play.
     
    Vanderbilt will be represented in the Women’s Tennis NCAA Doubles Championship in Urbana, Ill., May 22-27. Colton and Mira are one of 32 doubles teams to make the tournament.



    Top-Ranked Florida Blanks Marist in First Round

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Top-seeded Florida didn’t show any signs of a 20-day break since winning the Southeastern Conference Tournament title on April 21 during its dominating 4-0 win against Marist in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships played at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex on Saturday afternoon.
     
    Florida advances to the second round and will play No. 23-ranked Georgia Tech (15-9) on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Yellow Jackets earned a thrilling 4-3 win against Yale in their opening round bout.
     
    The Gators didn’t lose a game in any of the completed matches against the Red Foxes (11-8), who were making their fourth appearance in the NCAA Championships.
     
    Florida earned the doubles point in 40 minutes with its No. 11-ranked pair of Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) and Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) downed Karly Pang and Joana Sun, 8-0, before the rookie tandem of Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Brianna Morgan (Beverly Hills, Calif.) notched an 8-0 decision against Melissa Carlay and Kaye Eastman on court three.
     
    “I thought we did a really good job. I told the team after doubles that I was very pleased with our court positioning inside the service box in our doubles play, said UF head coach Roland Thornqvist, who won the 299th match of his 11-year Gator tenure. “We spent many hours on that over this two week layoff and I thought we really saw the fruits of that labor today. We did a really good job closing and we were able to find their feet almost every time in our volleys.”
     
    The Gators (23-2), who won their 120th consecutive home match, continued their precision on the singles courts, where Alexandra Cercone (Seminole, Fla.), Embree and Morgan each won their matches, 6-0, 6-0, on courts three, one and four, respectively.
     
    Embree’s wins on the singles and doubles courts moved her into sole possession of first on the Gator’s all-time NCAA dual match wins chart, now sporting a 29-2 combine record in postseason team play. Last year’s lone senior Joanna Mather held the record with 28 wins from 2009-12.
     
    “I think the girls were really anxious to start playing again because we have had such a long break so Sofie and I came out really focused in doubles and just excited to play and we just continued that over in singles,” shared Embree, who tallied her 19th consecutive singles win, as well as her 37th straight singles victory in dual match competition. “I think everybody was pretty happy with their play today.”
     
    Cercone’s singles win was her 12th straight victory overall, as she improved to 10-0 all-time in NCAA singles dual matches. The double-bagel decision was the Gator junior’s first this year and the second of her career.
     
    “I think the most challenging part of these types of matches is staying disciplined, staying patient and staying focused,” Cercone shared. “It is difficult to get into a rhythm so that is where the patience and discipline comes in. It is very easy to lose focus when you are up 6-0, 3-0 and you just start watching matches next to you. I think that if you pay attention to those things then these types of matches are much easier.”
     
    Morgan provided the clinching dual match singles win on court four, which was her 25th singles victory of the season, and helped the Gators improve to 15-0 all-time in NCAA round of 64 matches, as well as 42-5 in NCAA home contests.
     
    Embree and fellow senior Caroline Hitimana (Waterloo, Belgium) lead the Gators on Sunday in what will be the final home match of their distinguished careers. The pair has helped Florida compile a 54-0 home record during their four-year tenure in Gainesville and will be aiming to become just the sixth senior class to conclude their dual match careers undefeated at home.



    UK Advances to Fourth Straight Sweet 16

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the first time in program history, the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team advanced to its fourth-straight NCAA Sweet 16, as the eighth-ranked Wildcats won the Lexington Regional final, 4-1, over No. 41 Virginia Tech at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington, Ky.
     
    “I am just happy for the guys, UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said, who earns his first-career Sweet 16 appearance as a head coach. “They have been working hard since September and we have been stressing out the championship season. The SEC Championship, the SEC Tournament and the NCAA’s. We are playing good.”
     
    With the win in the regional final, Kentucky advances to its fourth-straight Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. UK had twice moved through to three straight Sweet 16s before Saturday’s win over the Hokies.
     
    Kentucky raced out to a fast start in doubles play, dictating the play at courts one and three, where they would clinch the point.
     
    No. 9 Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai only dropped one of the nine games played in the match, as the ninth-ranked tandem in the nation breezed to an 8-1 win over No. 80 Andreas Bjerrehus Hunter Koontz of Virginia Tech.
     
    On court three, newly-formed tandem Anthony Rossi and Juan Pablo Murra fell behind an early break in the match at 1-2, but then rattled off wins in seven of the last eight games to win their match over Amerigo Contini/Marko Lovrinovic, 8-3. 
     
    Kentucky upped its record to 14-2 on the season when it wins the doubles point, as the Wildcats won both of the doubles points in this weekend’s regional inLexington.
     
    In singles play, Kentucky dominated three matches, putting a swift end to the match by virtue of wins on courts one, two and five.
    On court two, Tom Jomby won his 21st match of the season, putting No. 97 Andreas Bjerrehus in a hole early and never letting him back into the match. Jomby won 6-1, 6-2 to complete his 2-0 weekend, and collect his 13th win of the season over a ranked singles opponent.
     
    On court one, it was more of the same for senior Anthony Rossi, who played hisfinal match of his career at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon. Rossi defeated No. 61 Amerigo Contin 6-0, 6-2, collecting his team-high 24th win of the season. Rossi defeated his 12th ranked opponent of the season, and upped his record in 2013 to 24-5. Rossi was the third win of the match for the Wildcats, as they took the early 3-0 lead. 
     
    The clinching match came again from Lexington, Ky., native Grant Roberts on court five as he downed Lucas Oliveira, 6-0, 6-2. The win was Roberts’ second-straight clinching win as he now has clinched over six matches for the Wildcats this season. Roberts also clinched the match over No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 10 Mississippi State, No. 6 Georgia, and Friday’s win over Western Michigan. The win was in an impressive one hour and six minutes as the junior broughthome the win for the Wildcats. 
     
    With the win, Kentucky will next travel to Champaign-Urbana, Ill., as they will face ninth-seeded Duke for a spot in the Elite Eight. UK and Duke will face off at 8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 16 at the Atkins Tennis Center.



    Vandy Shuts Down Illinois to Advance to Sweet 16

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt shut down the Illinois Fighting Illini, 4-1, Saturday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Currey Tennis Center. 
     
    Vanderbilt (18-10) will advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004, marking the program’s third Sweet 16 appearance. Illinois finished the season at 17-11.
     
    The Commodores and Illini battled through doubles before Vanderbilt came out with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 to take the point. At No.1, Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman were tied, 3-3, before winning the final five games to win, 8-3, over the 17th-ranked duo of Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon.
     
    Suresh Eswaran and Jeff Offerdahl held off Farris Gosea and Brian Page to win 8-6 at the No. 3 doubles spot.
     
    In singles play, Austin cruised to a straight sets win, 6-4, 6-2, over Kopinski to give Vanderbilt a 2-0 lead. The win made Austin 25-12 overall this season and 16-9 in dual action.
     
    Lipman recorded his 20th dual win of the season in singles to give Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead. The Nashville native defeated Hiltzik, 6-4, 6-4, to run his overall singles record to 30-10 this season.
     
    Looking to seal the deal, the Commodores turned to freshman (Rhys) Johnson at the No. 6 position. The Perth, Australia, native defeated Guignon in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, to insure a trip to the Sweet 16 for VU.
     
    Illinois’ lone point came in No. 5 singles where Alex Jesse defeated Marc van der Merwe, 7-5, 6-0.
     
    The NCAA Championships will be held in Urbana, Ill., May 17-21, hosted by the University of Illinois. Vanderbilt will also be represented in the NCAA Singles Championships, as both Lipman and Austin qualified for the 64-player tournament. The singles championship will be held in Urbana, Ill., May 22-27.



    Georgia Blanks Northwestern to Move On

    ATHENS-----The second-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA Championships with a 4-0 win over Northwestern at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex Saturday. The third-seeded Bulldogs will face the No. 14 seed Oklahoma Thursday, May 16 at 10 a.m. ET in Champaign, Ill.
     
    Georgia is now 28-4 in the NCAA Tournament dating back to 2007, and this marks the Bulldogs’ 10th straight trip to the round of 16.
     
    Freshman Austin Smith clinched the win with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 win at No. 3 as the Bulldogs improved to 14-0 at home this season. It was the second straight clincher for Smith, and all six of Georgia's singles wins this weekend came from freshmen and sophomores.
     
    "I was really happy with the way we played because Northwestern is a really good team," said UGA coach Manuel Diaz. "They challenged us at doubles at all three spots, and it was very competitive at each and every match. I'm really proud of our guys as we move on to the final site. It's an exciting time for our program. We'll have a good practice here on Monday before we head up to Champaign."
     
    For the 20th time this season, Georgia won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. At No. 1, fifth-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland downed Alex Pasareanu and Spencer Wolf, 8-3, then the 15th-ranked tandem of Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha clinched the point with an 8-4 win over Mihir Kumar and Raleigh Smith at No. 2.
     
    Eric Diaz and Marco Nunez led Sidarth Balaji and Chris Jackman, 6-4, at No. 3 when the doubles point was clinched.
     
    In singles, 33rd-ranked Wagland improved to 3-0 at the No. 1 spot with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Wolf, then No. 47 Pasha topped No. 87 Smith, 6-2, 6-3, to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. Smith then registered his fourth match clincher with his win over Balaji at No. 3.
     
    Matches at Nos. 4 and 5 were suspended in the third set, while Marco Nunez was looking to force a third set at No. 6.
     
    "It feels great," Wagland said. "Everyone has been working hard throughout the year to achieve this goal. We still have a lot of work to do in Illinois, so hopefully we can get a few more wins."
     
    Northwestern ends its season at 22-10.
     
    The NCAA Championships will begin in at the University of Illinois Thursday with the men's round of 16. The women's round of 16 matches are slated for Friday, and the finals for both genders will be played Tuesday, May 21. The singles and doubles portion of the tournament will begin May 22. Georgia will be aiming for its seventh NCAA title.



    Alabama Women Advance to Sweet 16

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The ninth-ranked Alabama women’s tennis team advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time in the history of the 64-team draw with a 4-0 win over Memphis on Saturday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. The Crimson Tide will now face No. 8 California on Friday, May 17, at 9 a.m. CT in Urbana, Ill.
     
    “I am so proud of this team,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “They have worked so hard and have been so diligent. To get where we are is a compilation of years. It’s all the players that have played at Alabama through the years and the commitment to excellence, the sacrifices everyone has made and the belief that Alabama can win in women’s tennis.”
     
    Alabama (21-5) made quick work of Memphis (18-7) in doubles, winning on courts one and two to take the first point. The Tide’s seventh-ranked duo of Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane put forth an impressive performance, winning seven straight games to eventually take the match, 8-1, over Tiffany Welcher and Alyssa Hibberd. Alabama had match point opportunities on both two and three, however it would be Antonia Foehse and Maya Jansen, ranked 83rd, with the 8-5 win over No. 77 Kelly Gray and Courtney Collins. The Tide trailed early in the match, but at 4-4, Foehse and Jansen would give up just one more game en route to the victory.
     
    Alabama continued rolling along in singles, but a rain delay forced a one-hour stoppage in play. Following the break, 36th-ranked Guarachi battled through a series of tough points with Welcher to take the first singles point of the match, putting the Tide on top 2-0. She was followed closely by 118th-ranked Jansen, who won the final four points of her match to take a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Memphis’ Skylar Kuykendall. The match would be clinched on court six by Emily Zabor, who played a solid pair of sets, winning 6-4, 6-2 over Hibberd.
     
    “We’ve had a couple great seasons here in the last couple years,” added Mainz. “Mary Anne Macfarlane and Alexa Guarachi committing to The University of Alabama has catapulted us and made a vast difference. I’m proud of the team, I’m proud of their efforts, and I’m proud of their commitment to each other. We’ve played together through the good, the bad and the ugly. We haven’t had any easy matches, and we’ve found a way to get it done.”



    Rebels Fall to Memphis in Second Round

    OXFORD, Miss.—For only the third time when they’ve hosted the NCAA first and second rounds, the sixth-seeded Ole Miss men’s tennis team failed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, dropping a 4-2 match to Memphis here Saturday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in the second round of the NCAA Championships. 
     
    The Rebels got off to a slow start after dropping the doubles point. Memphis won at No. 1 doubles 8-5 and at court 2 8-5 to take the 1-0 lead.
     
    Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 14 in the nation, defeated Connor Glennon 7-5, 6-1 at No. 1 singles to tie the match, but Memphis quickly answered on court 6 when David O’Hare defeated Adrian Forberg Skogeng 6-3, 6-2. 
     
    Senior Jonas Lutjen, ranked No. 20 in the nation, won his final home match as a Rebel, defeating Joe Salisbury 6-2, 6-4 to even the match again at 2.
     
    Freshman Stefan Lindmark led Johnny Grimal 4-2 in the first and then lost five of six games to drop the first set 7-5.  Grimal used the momentum from winning the first set to take the second 6-2 and give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
     
    With sophomore William Kallberg closing in on a 5-2 lead in the final set at No. 3 singles against Lukas Vrnak, Memphis’ David O’Leary ended the matter when he finished off junior Johan Backstrom 6-4, 6-3 on court five.
     
    “Give Memphis a lot of credit,” head coach Billy Chadwick said.  “They played really well in the doubles and at a couple of singles positions.  It was a combination of us not playing as well as we’re capable, and Memphis playing well.   Nik and Jonas know for us to win the doubles point, they have to win.  It puts a lot of pressure on them.  They are one of the best teams in the country, but they’re not going to win every match.  Today was a tough battle. I am proud of the guys, we just came up a little short.”
     
    The Rebels end their season at 16-9, while Memphis (16-7) advances to the Sweet Sixteen to face Pepperdine.
     
    The season is not quite over for Scholtz and Lutjen who are in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship, which begins May 22 in Champaign, Ill.



    Rebels Fall to Duke in NCAA First Round

    LUBBOCK, Texas – The Ole Miss women’s tennis saw its season come to an end here Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Championships with a 4-1 loss to No. 15 ranked Duke at the McLeod Tennis Center.
     
    Duke was limited with five players due to injuries, so the Rebels won the No. 3 doubles match by default.  However, the Blue Devils were able to come away with an 8-5 win at No. 2 followed by a 9-7 win at No. 1 to clinch the point.  
     
    Without a No. 6 player for Duke, the match was all even before the first hit of the ball in singles.  The Rebels couldn’t take advantage though, losing straight set matches and two, four and one in that order.
     
    First off the court, 56th-ranked Mary Clayton defeated sophomore Julia Jones 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2.  Marianne Jodoin topped freshman Mai El Kamash 6-3, 6-1, and then 29th-ranked Hanna Mar defeated 45th-ranked Caroline Rohde-Moe 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 for the win.
     
    “This was a very disappointing match today,” head coach Mark Beyers said.  “We lost a close tough doubles point and we didn’t recover from that.  Overall, Duke outplayed and outfought us.  We played some great matches this year, but unfortunately today wasn’t one of them.”
     
    The Rebels end the season at 16-14 while Duke (15-9) moves onto a second round meeting against host Texas Tech.
     
    The season is not quite over Rohde-Moe as she will compete in the NCAA Singles Championship, which begins May 22 in Champaign, Ill.



    Ore Propels Aggies to Sweet 16

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 11th-ranked and 12th-seeded Texas A&M men’s tennis team downed the 21st-ranked Texas Longhorns, 4-3, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in front of a season-high 594 fans. The Aggies advance to the Round of 16 to face Ohio State at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Illinois on May 16. The Maroon and White improve to 19-12 on the season while the Longhorns fall to 17-9.
     
    “It’s great. Anytime you beat Texas it’s a great win, especially when you’re in the NCAA Championships and playing for a spot in the Sweet 16,” Texas A&M head coach and Texas alum Steve Denton said. “It’s more significant because of that, but also because it is Texas and we’re such fierce rivals. The teams are very equal, so it was just an exciting victory for our team. I thought this was a dead-even match, even though sometimes rankings can be a little bit skewed. You saw how close the teams were. Obviously we jumped on them in the doubles and then we were able to win a point or two, but then they came right back and then they were ahead 3-2. This was the first time this year where we’ve been down 3-2 and been able to come back and win the match. Really, the tiebreakers were the order of the day for us – Jackson [Withrow] coming back and winning that tiebreaker after being down 6-2 in the tiebreaker, which I was watching from the scoreboard, and then Junior winning two tiebreakers to clinch the match for us”
     
    The No. 8 pair of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow made quick work of the 41st-ranked team of Chris Camilone and David Holiner, 8-1, from the top-doubles line. The pair built a 5-0 lead before dropping their first and only game in the victory.
     
    Minutes later, the 29th-ranked freshman tandem of Harry Adams and Shane Vinsant finished off Ben Chen and Daniel Whitehead, 8-2, from the No. 2 line to secure the doubles point for the Maroon and White. The pair was able to build a 4-1 lead through the first five games, breaking the Longhorns twice over that span.
     
    For the second time this weekend, the Aggies carried the momentum from winning the doubles point by stretching out wins in four-of-six first sets in singles.
     
    Adams, the 103rd-ranked singles player in the country, made a terrific comeback in the second set to push the Aggies lead to 2-0. After claiming the first set 6-1 over 108th-ranked Whitehead, the New Braunfels native dropped the first three games in the second set and trailed 5-2 before winning five consecutive games to win the set and his match for the Aggies.
     
    The Longhorns cut the deficit in half when 37th-ranked Soren Hess-Olesen upset 18th-ranked Jeremy Efferding, 6-3, 7-6 (0), at the No. 1 line to make the score 2-1. Efferding saw a 4-1 lead collapse over his next four games and was unable to recover in the tiebreaker.
     
    Seconds later, Texas tied the match when Sudanwa Sitaram ousted No. 76 Vinsant in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 4 line to even the match up at 2-2. 
     
    UT would take the lead when Holiner rebounded against Behzad Minavi. The Houston native was dominant in the first set, winning 6-0 but couldn’t find his shot after that as he fell in the next two sets, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 6 line to give Texas the 3-2 edge.
     
    Withrow wasted no time in tying the match up at three apiece. The Omaha, Neb., native squandered several opportunities to win the match before going to a tiebreaker. After serving for match point at 5-4 and 6-5, the sophomore couldn’t close the deal. Withrow rallied back from a sizable deficit in the tiebreaker to win 6-4, 7-6 (7) at the No. 5 line.
     
    With the match evened up at three, all eyes and spectators gathered around the No. 2 court which would decide the outcome of this outstanding college tennis match. As would only be fitting, a tiebreaker in the third-set would decide the outcome after 100th-ranked Ore stole the first set from 122nd-ranked Lloyd Glasspool 7-6 (2) despite trailing 5-3 and 6-5. Glasspool cruised in the second set to a 6-3 victory. In the third set, both sides each broke their opponent once and held serve the remainder of the way into the tiebreaker. 
     
    In the deciding games, Ore broke Glasspool’s serve in the first game to earn an early 1-0 advantage. The junior held serve over the next two games to push his advantage to 3-0. Glasspool would respond, however, by winning each of his next two serves to cut the lead to 3-2. With each side holding serve over the next three serves, Ore broke Glasspool in the eighth game to take a 6-2 lead. After being unable to break Glasspool for the match, Ore placed a perfect winner after serving to secure the match 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6 (3) and send the Aggies to the Sweet-16 against Ohio State.
     
    “We’ve had some battles where we’ve lost three or four of these 4-3 matches, 7-6 in the third, so I’ve got to tell you I wasn’t all that confident,” Denton said. “But I was confident in the fact that we would fight and that [Junior Ore] would play well. I said that yesterday – I thought we’d play well today. Whether that would be good enough to win the match remained to be seen. He was able to just have enough in the tank. There at the end he played two good tiebreakers, because the other boy actually outplayed him for a lot of the match and probably won more games than he did. He was big in both tiebreakers and he took care of his serve, so that turned out to be the difference for us.”
     
    Texas A&M will be in action again on May 16 when the Aggies take on the No. 5 seed Ohio State Buckeyes at 4 p.m. (CT) in the round of 16 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. To learn more about the men’s tennis team, visit AggieAtheltics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.



    MSU Downs Harvard

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – It had been 12 years since the Mississippi State men’s tennis program has reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA Team Championship. Saturday, the 10th-ranked Bulldogs (18-9) punched their ticket for a return to the Round of 16, downing the No. 27 Harvard Crimson (19-6) 4-1 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
     
    State will now face No. 6 Tennessee on Thursday, May 16, at 12 p.m. CT at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. With Saturday’s win, the Bulldogs advance to the Round of 16 for the 11th time in school history and the third time since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1999.
    “Tough match, but it was really fun as well and I’m just proud of the guys,” head coach Per Nilsson said. “We’re really excited to move on to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2001 and I really feel like we can do some special things from here on out.”
     
    Harvard gained the early edge on the Bulldogs, capturing the doubles point with victories on courts one and three. The Bulldog duo of Pedro Dumont and Ethan Wilkinson downed Harvard’s Nicky Hu and Andy Nguyen 8-3 to start doubles play. However, HU’s Kelvin Lam and Alex Steinroeder upended MSU’s Romain Bogaerts and Zach White to even the score. The Crimson tandem of Casey MacMaster and Denis Nguyen defeated MSU’s No. 13 duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp to clinch the doubles point for HU.
     
    As doubles play concluded, light rain began to move into the area, but only for a short time. After a brief delay to allow the courts to dry, players took the court for singles play, but more rain moved into the area after just 10 minutes of play to suspend the action for a much longer time.
     
    After an hour and 22-minute delay, play resumed and found the Bulldogs hitting on all cylinders, as they took the first set on all six courts.
    State leveled the score at 1-1 when the freshman Dumont defeated Harvard’s Nicholas Mahlangu 6-3, 6-3 on court six. 
    Following suit was senior leader James Chaudry, who went up a double break in second set on court three, eventually taking the win 6-4, 6-2 from Harvard’s Andy Nguyen to give the Bulldogs the lead at 2-1. 
    State’s junior Stropp, ranked 57th in the nation, then put the Maroon and White one away from victory, as he closed out the Crimson’s Shaun Chaudhuri 6-2, 6-4 on court two.
     
    The match-clincher then came on court four, as MSU’s freshman Angus battled with HU’s Steinroeder. After cruising in the first set, Angus was forced to a third when he dropped the second 6-1. Steinroeder jumped out early in the third with a break to open, but Angus broke back and then cruised from there, defeating Steinroeder 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to send MSU to the Round of 16.
     
    “Everybody played their part today, it wasn’t just me,” Angus said. “But, to be able to clinch the match, was unreal.”
     
    Play was then suspended on the remaining two courts. MSU’s sixth-ranked Bogaerts led Harvard’s Denis Nguyen 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 on court one. After MSU’s White had taken the first set on court five 6-4, Harvard’s Hu took the second 7-5 as play concluded.
     
    For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (www.twitter.com/mstatemt) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mstatemt). 
     
    Full details on the 2013 NCAA Championship finals at Illinois can be found at http://www.fightingillini.com/ncaatennis2013/.