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    SEC Men's Tennis Notebook

    The Alabama men’s tennis team dropped a heartbreaker in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tennis Championship, falling 4-3 to San Diego in a match that lasted over four hours at Marks Stadium in Los Angeles. The loss gives the Crimson Tide a final record of 14-14 under first-year head coach George Husack. Despite the team season being complete, Alabama will be represented in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, sending Jarryd Botha and David Vieyra to the doubles draw and Botha to the singles draw. In addition, the Tide’s No. 2 doubles team of Becker O’Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura has a chance of making the 32-team field as they are second alternates. Action begins in Urbana, Ill., on Wednesday, May 22.

    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 men's tennis team saw its 2013 season come to a close Friday afternoon with a 4-1 loss to North Carolina State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Oklahoma's Headington Family Tennis Center. Auburn finished the season with a 13-11 overall record while making its 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 19th in the last 20 years

    After a tight back-and-forth match, the Denver Pioneers pulled out a tough victory against the Florida men’s tennis team 4-3 on last Friday night in Gainesville. With the win, the Gators season ended on a sour note, being eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The 20th-ranked pair of Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek beat Enej Bonin and Jens Vorkefeld 8-4 on court one, and then Florent Diep and Gordon Watson finished off Alex Clinkenbeard and Henry Craig 8-3 minutes later at No. 3 doubles to take the first point. Watson and Mike Alford both won  in singles to put Florida ahead 3-1 overall, but the Pioneers did not lay down. On court two, Denver’s Vorkefeld pulled out a tiebreaker in the first set, then broke Diep in the second set to win 7-6 (4), 6-3. On court three, van Overbeek won the first set against Max Krammer 6-3, but dropped the second set 6-3. In the third set, Krammer pulled out a 7-5 victory to even the match at 3-3 overall. Seconds later, Denver’s Clinkenbeard won 7-5, 1-6, 6-1 against Federhofer on court six to clinch the victory.

    The Georgia men's tennis team (24-4) won its first and second round NCAA Tournament matches over the weekend, each by 4-0 scores, to punch its ticket to the round of 16 May 16-27 in Champaign, Ill. The No. 3-seeded Bulldogs will take on No. 14 Oklahoma in the Sweet 16 on Thurs., May 16 at 10 a.m. ET. The winner of that match will advance to meet the winner of Pepperdine-Memphis in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Georgia will have four players competing in the NCAA singles and doubles championships at the conclusion of the team tournament, also at Illinois. Georgia is aiming for its seventh team title, and has now reached the final site 10 years in a row.

    Kentucky advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight season, a program first. UK collected wins over Western Michigan (4-0) and No. 41 Virginia Tech (4-1) to book their spot in Champaign. Kentucky won the doubles point for the third-straight match as the newly-formed tandem of Juan Pablo Murra and Anthony Rossi went 2-0 on the weekend with an 8-1 win on Friday and an 8-3 victory on Saturday afternoon. Junior Tom Jomby went 2-0 on the weekend, collecting two straight-set wins in the two matches. In addition, he and doubles partner Kevin Lai won their doubles match 8-1 on Saturday afternoon, giving the Wildcats the early 1-0 lead in the match to determine a Sweet 16 spot. Grant Roberts also had a stellar weekend, clinching both matches on court five in singles with two straight-sets wins. Kentucky will take on the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils for a spot in the Elite Eight on Thursday, May 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. The match against Duke will be Kentucky's 11th match this season against the current ITA top 10.  

    The No. 20 LSU Tigers were eliminated from the NCAA Championships by No. 12 Pepperdine this past Saturday after falling 4-0 in the second round. The Tigers dealt the No. 40 Stanford Cardinal a 4-2 loss on Friday in the first round of the NCAA's. LSU sophomore No. 42 Chris Simpson will compete in the singles portion of the NCAA Individual Championships following the conclusion of the team championships.

    Ole Miss
    Ole Miss defeated Lehigh 4-0 in the first round of the NCAA Championships before falling to Memphis 4-2 in the second round.  It marked just the third time the Rebels have hosted the first and second rounds and failed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.   The Rebels ended the team portion of the season at 16-9 overall.   The season is not quite over for senior Jonas Lutjen and sophomore Nik Scholtz as they will compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships next week.  Scholtz is seeded 9-16 in singles and they are seeded three in doubles.  Lutjen’s final home match was his 30th win of the year.  He became the first player since Kalle Norberg in ’09 to win 30 matches in a season.   Lutjen and fellow senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng graduated from the University of Mississippi Saturday.

    Mississippi State
    For the first time since 2001, the 10th-ranked and No. 10 national seed Mississippi State men's tennis squad (18-9) reached the NCAA Championship Round of 16 after downing Austin Peay and No. 27 Harvard in First/Second Round play. State, who hosted First/Second Round action for the second-straight season, blanked Austin Peay 4-0 on Friday, May 10, to advance to the second round of action. The Bulldogs took the doubles point and then clinched the match with victories from freshman Pedro Dumont, junior Malte Stropp and senior James Chaudry, who clinched the victory. The Bulldogs moved on to face No. 27 Harvard on Saturday, May 11, for the right to advance to Urbana, Ill., for the Round of 16. After dropping the doubles point to the Crimson, State roared back in singles, working around an hour and 22 minute rain delay to capture the win. State freshmen Pedro Dumont and Jordan Angus bookended MSU's win, with Angus clinching. Stropp and Chaudry also turned in key victories to spur MSU's victory. The Bulldogs now face No. 6 Tennessee on Thursday, May 16, at 12 p.m. CT, for the right to advance to the national quarterfinals.

    South Carolina
    South Carolina closed its best dual-match season since 2005 with a tough loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks struggled after the long break between postseason tournaments, and the streaking UNC Wilmington Seahawks took advantage. South Carolina's 18-11 record included the most wins in the Josh Goffi era and the program's highest total since 2005 (20). A pair of Gamecocks will continue their seasons in the NCAA Individual Championships. Ranked 31st in the nation, junior Tsvetan Mihov earned a spot in the singles championship, the first of his career. He will team with junior Chip Cox in the doubles championship as well. The duo is currently ranked 17th in the country.

    The Vols' defeated Clemson, 4-3 in the second round of the NCAA Championships at Goodfriend Tennis Center. With the victory, the sixth-ranked Volunteers (25-8) advance to the Round of 16 at the NCAA finals site in Urbana, Ill., next Thursday where they will face SEC foe Mississippi State.
    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 advances to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championships held at the Khan Tennis Complex in Urbana, Illinois. The No. 12 seed Aggies will face off with No. 5 seed Ohio State at 4 p.m. on Friday. The Aggies and Buckeyes faced off earlier this season, with A&M taking a thrilling, 4-3, victory at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The 11th-ranked Aggies knocked off Marist, 4-0, in the first round of the championships held in College Station. The Maroon and White were in for a dog-fight when they met their long-time rival, Texas, in the second round. For the first time this season, A&M overcame a 3-2 deficit and rallied to win 4-3, with junior Junior Ore clinching the match in a third-set tiebreaker over the Longhorns.

    Vanderbilt shut down the Illinois Fighting Illini, 4-1, Saturday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Currey Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt (18-10) advances to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004, marking the program’s third Sweet 16 appearance. Vanderbilt will face the No. 1 overall seed UCLA Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m. CT. Vanderbilt came out with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to take the doubles point. At No.1, Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman defeated the 17th-ranked duo of Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon, 8-3. In singles play, Austin cruised to a straight sets win, 6-4, 6-2, over Kopinski to give Vanderbilt a 2-0 lead. Lipman recorded his 20th dual win of the season in singles to give Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead. The Nashville native defeated Jared Hiltzik, 6-4, 6-4, to run his overall singles record to 30-10 this season. The Commodores turned to freshman Rhys Johnson at the No. 6 position to clinch the win. Johnson defeated Guignon in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, to insure a trip to the Sweet 16 for VU. The NCAA Championships will bae held in Urbana, Ill., May 16-21, 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.