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    SEC Tennis Notebook: Thursday, September 19

    MSU Men’s Tennis Caps Successful First Day In Nashville

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Highlighted by the play of sophomore Jordan Angus and freshman Florian Lakat, the Mississippi State men’s tennis squad capped a successful first day of the 2013-14 season at the SEC Fall Classic in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday.

    Angus, who earned his first career ITA ranking of 113th this preseason, dominated Jeff Offerdahl of host Vanderbilt 6-2, 6-4 to advance to second round action. Angus then easily dispatched Arkansas freshman Johan den Toom 6-0, 6-2 to earn a place in Friday’s third round of play, where he will face South Carolina’s No. 14-ranked and second-seeded Tsvetan Mihov.

    Lakat, who was making his first career collegiate tennis appearance, defeated Kentucky sophomore Kevin Lai in a tough three-set match 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. The Paris, France, native continued his impressive play against LSU’s Boris Arias, defeating the Tiger 7-6(4), 6-3. With the win, Lakat also remains in the singles main draw and will battle Georgia’s 32nd-ranked and fifth-seeded Nathan Pasha Friday.

    Senior Malte Stropp, who entered the tourney No. 40 in the nation and as a 9-16 seed, battled Kentucky’s Beck Pennington in the second round after both players received a first-round bye. After dropping the first set, Stropp stormed back in the second, but Pennington forced a tiebreaker and took the match 6-3, 7-6(8). Also falling in singles play for MSU was freshman Robin Haden, who dropped his match to Florida’s Mike Alford 6-2, 6-1. Haden will return to action tomorrow in singles consolation play.

    In doubles play Thursday, the nation’s No. 6 duo of Bulldogs Angus and Stropp rolled easily into Friday’s third round with an 8-3 victory against Florida’s 60th-ranked team of Alford and Florent Diep. The second-seeded MSU tandem is now 11-3 all-time in tourney matches, having won seven of their last eight, dating back to last fall. They will face the winner of Ole Miss’ Vinod Gowda and Zach Wilder and Vandy’s Anton Kovrigin and Mason Vierra.

    The other MSU doubles team in competition Thursday was the freshmen pair of Lakat and Haden, who earned a first-round bye. The newcomers battled Ole Miss’ William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark, falling 8-5.

    The SEC Fall Classic continues Friday with doubles third round action, along with singles third and fourth rounds and singles first and second consolation rounds.

    For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis and updates throughout the SEC Fall Classic, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateMT), Facebook (HailStateMT) and Instagram (HailStateMT). Mississippi State athletics can also be found on FanCred by going to http://www.fancred.com/go/hailstate/.





    'Dores advance four in the singles main draw

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt men's tennis team concluded the first day of the SEC Fall Classic at the Currey Tennis Center going 7-5 in singles play and 5-3 in doubles. The Commodores advance two doubles teams and four players in the singles main draw. The remaining five singles players will participate in the consolation draw.

    Rhys Johnson, Ryan Smith, Kris Yee and Gonzales Austin all advance to the round of 32 after winning their only singles matches of the day Friday, after each having first round byes.

    Johnson will play the top-seeded Tom Jomby of Kentucky on Friday, while both Smith and Yee will face opponents seeded nine through sixteen.

    The most gutsy win of the day belongs to Smith, who after spraining his ankle in the third set came from behind to knock off Saxon Buehning of Alabama 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-5.

    Suresh Eswaran, Mason Vierra and Anton Kovrigin each won their first-round match but were unable to win their second-rounders, with Vierra and Kovrigin each taking their opponent all three sets.

    Ryan Lipman and Austin advance to the round of 16 in doubles play after defeating a tough Auburn squad, 8-6. Vierra and Kovrigin will also advance to the round of 16 after beating Ole Miss, 8-6, to close the first day of action.

    Friday's action will begin with the round of 16 doubles at 8:00 a.m., and will continue at 9:30 with the round of 32 in the singles main draw.





    Three Bulldogs Advance At SEC Fall Classic

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Three members of the Georgia men’s tennis team advanced to the third round of the SEC Fall Classic with straight-sets wins at Vanderbilt’s Currey Tennis Center on Thursday.

    Fifth-seeded Nathan Pasha began the day for the Bulldogs with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Tennessee’s Sunay Bhat to improve to 7-0 on the season. No. 72-ranked Pieters topped South Carolina’s Andrew Schafer, 6-0, 6-3, and Austin Smith downed Florida’s Elliot Orkin, 6-3, 6-2.

    Sophomore Nick Wood was forced to retire with an injury in the second set of his match against South Carolina’s Tsvetan Mihov. No. 14-ranked Mihov won the first set, 7-6, and led 2-1 in the second set when the match ended. Due to the injury, Wood and Smith withdrew from the doubles draw.

    Georgia, however, will have a doubles team in the round of 16. Pasha and Pieters, who last played together during the 2011-12 season, advanced with an 8-5 win over Kentucky’s Nils Ellefson and Beck Pennington.

    “Nathan, Hernus and Austin had good, solid wins,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “They are off to a great start. Nick’s movement was affected by his heel injury. He just couldn’t move like he normally does, and I know that being the competitor he is, it was best for him to stop. We hated to do that, but we have to look out for his well being long-term, and we’ll have him evaluated next week. Overall, we had some good wins today, and we’ll have some even greater challenges tomorrow. We are looking forward to that.”

    Friday’s action at the SEC Fall Classic will include two rounds of singles and a round of doubles. In the round of 32, Pasha will face Mississippi State’s Florian Lakat, Pieters will play Ole Miss’ Stefan Lindmark and Smith will square off against Tennessee’s 24th-ranked Hunter Reese. In doubles, Pasha and Pieters will face LSU’s Harrison Kennedy and John Michael Busch.





    Rebels Reach Third Round At SEC Fall Classic

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In their first action of the fall season, three members of the Ole Miss men’s tennis team won two matches in singles to advance to the third round on the opening day of the SEC Fall Classic Thursday at the Currey Tennis Center.

    Oxford native Zach Wilder got the day started by coming back to beat LSU sophomore Harrison Kennedy 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Freshman Vinod Gowda, making his debut for the Rebels, lost to Vanderbilt junior Anton Kovrigin 6-4, 6-2 in the first round.

    Both junior William Kallberg, seeded 9-16, and sophomore Stefan Lindmark, enjoyed first round byes. They both won their second round to move on.

    Kallberg, ranked No. 65 in the nation, welcomed Arkansas’ Jacob Herndon to the league by handing the freshman a 6-2, 6-4 loss. The Stockholm, Sweden native will face Ryan Smith of Vanderbilt in the third round.

    Lindmark also faced an SEC newcomer, in Florida’s Maxx Lipman, and defeated him 6-4, 6-1 to set up a third round meeting against Georgia senior Hernus Pieters (9-16 seed).

    After a tough three-setter in the first round, Wilder battled his second round opponent, Ben Barnette of South Carolina, winning two tiebreakers to join his teammates in the third round. Wilder will face the No. 6 seed, Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt, in the third round.

    In doubles, Kallberg and Lindmark teamed up for an 8-5 win against Lakat and Schmid of Mississippi State in the second round after a first round bye. Wilder and Gowda lost a close one to Kovrigin and Mason Vierra of Vanderbilt 8-6.

    Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissMTennis and on Facebook at OleMissMTennis.





    Gamecocks Dominate Doubles in Day 1 of SEC Fall Classic

    NASHVILLE -- South Carolina men’s tennis swept its three doubles matches and won two singles contests on the opening day of action at the SEC Fall Classic at Vanderbilt’s Currey Tennis Center. The Gamecocks’ two ranked tandems efficiently won their matches, while the freshmen duo also advanced into the third round of the doubles draw. In singles, senior Tsvetan Mihov and Kyle Koch moved onto the third round, while the remaining five South Carolina entries moved into the consolation bracket for Friday’s play.

    Ranked 26th in the country after a strong summer of doubles play, Koch and Chip Cox carried that momentum into this tournament, powering past Tam Trinh and Andrew Korinek of LSU 8-2. They will take on William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark of Ole Miss in the third round Friday morning.

    South Carolina’s 32nd-ranked duo of Mihov and Thiago Pinheiro were methodical in their 8-4 win over Sean Karl and Brandon Fickey of Tennessee. The win sets up a match against No. 42 Maxx Lipman and Stephane Piro of Florida on Friday. Freshman Andrew Schafer and Sam Swank fought out an 8-5 win over LSU’s Justin Butsch and Erie Perez in their debut. They are set to face No. 12 Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant of Texas A&M in third-round action on Friday.

    Ranked No. 14 in the nation, Mihov battled Georgia’s Nick Wood to a first-set tiebreak, during with the Gamecocks’ All-American overpowered his younger foe 7-1 to take the set. Mihov was up 2-1 in the second set when Wood retired the match. The victory put Mihov into the third round of the event, where he will face No. 113 Jordan Angus of Mississippi State, who won two matches Thursday to advance.

    Koch picked right up where he left off in 2012-13, efficiently dispatching Jarryd Chaplin of Tennessee 6-2, 6-3 to stay in the main draw for Friday’s play. In the third round, Koch will take on No. 39 Piro (Florida), who yielded just three games in his win over Texas A&M’s Max Montague in the second round.

    Cox and Schafer each fell in the second round to nationally ranked opponents. Cox was steady against No. 52 Florent Diep of Florida, but could not break serve in a 6-3, 6-3 defeat. Schafer struggled early in this college debut against No. 72 Hernus Pieters of Georgia, falling 6-0 in the first set. The freshman found some confidence in the second set, but fell 6-3. In the consolation bracket on Friday, Cox will face Mississippi’s Vinod Gowda, while Schafer will look to rebound against John M. Busch of LSU.

    Swank got off to a quick start in his first college match, taking the first set from Auburn’s Joseph Van Dooran 6-2. The Tigers’ sophomore, who had won his first-round match in three sets to start the day, recovered to outlast the Gamecock freshman, winning the final two sets 6-3, 6-4 to advance. Swank moved into the consolation bracket to face Arkansas’ Jovan Parlic on Friday. Ben Barnette came up just shy in both sets of his loss to Ole Miss’ Zach Wilder, falling 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) to slide into the consolation bracket, where he will face Dante Saleh of Auburn. Pinheiro dropped a 6-3, 6-4 decision to Trinh (LSU) in the main draw and will take on Sean Donohue of Alabama in the consolation bracket Friday.

    Friday’s play will include two rounds of play in the singles main and consolation brackets and one round of doubles. Action begins at 8 a.m.





    Four Singles Victories Highlight First Day For Auburn At SEC Fall Classic

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Auburn men’s tennis team scored three singles victories on the first day of the SEC Fall Classic Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. Returning players Daniel Cochrane, Joseph Van Dooren and 75th-ranked Lukas Ollert all advanced to the round of 32 in the tournament with wins earlier today.

    Ollert, who came in as the 10-seed of the tournament had a first-round bye before playing Eric Perez of LSU. The junior rolled through to his first win of the year with a 6-3, 6-1 victory and will play Sean Karl of Tennessee tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. Karl won his first match on Thursday as well, defeating Arkansas’ Juan Marino, 6-3, 7-6(5).

    For the senior, Cochrane, he as well had a first-round bye and topped fellow Englishman, Mike Nott of Arkansas, 6-3, 6-3. Cochrane moves on and will look for a second-straight win on Friday when he faces Gordon Watson of Florida at 9:30 a.m. Watson defeated Vanderbilt’s Nils Eswaran, 7-5, 6-3, on Thursday.

    As for the sophomore, Van Dooren, he had to play two matches today, playing Alabama’s Hayes Brewer in the first round. The Belgian toughed out a three-setter, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, and advanced to play Sam Swank of South Carolina. Even after the long first match, Van Dooren, again, went three sets, but still came out on top against Swank, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, and will play Tennessee’s Brandon Fickey, the tournament’s 16-seed on Friday. Fickey won his first match today, 7-6(4), 6-4, against Tito Moreiras of Texas A&M to advance to the round of 32 against Van Dooren.

    The one singles drawback Auburn suffered today was the second round loss by freshman Dante Saleh. In his first collegiate match as a Tiger, Saleh was up against Tennessee’s Hunter Reese and went to a tiebreaker in the first two sets. Saleh was able to win the first set, 7-6(5), but dropped the second frame, 7-6(9). The third set went to Reese, 6-2, but not until after Saleh put up a great fight.

    It wasn’t the best day in doubles for the Tigers as both doubles teams suffered first match losses. Veteran duo, Cochrane and Van Dooren were awarded a first-round bye before the tournament, but were ousted in the second round by Vanderbilt’s Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman, 8-6. Ollert and Saleh suffered the same fate in their first round matchup against LSU’s Tam Trinh and Andrew Korinek, 8-4.

    Day two of the SEC Fall Classic will start with doubles at 8 a.m. and singles at 9:30 a.m. Live stats will not be available, but a full recap with complete Auburn results can be found on AuburnTigers.com following the day’s play.

    For complete coverage on the Auburn men’s tennis team, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow @MensTennisAU on Twitter and ‘like’ the Auburn University Men’s Tennis page on Facebook.





    Razorback Doubles Pairs Advance At SEC Fall Classic

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The University of Arkansas men's tennis team opened play at the SEC Fall Classic on Thursday.

    After the first day of competition, two doubles pairs have advanced to the next round of competition as a result of their strong play. Mike Nott and Manfred Jeske, the No. 3 seeded pair, defeated Jarryd Chaplin and Markus Kerner of the University of Tennessee 8-2 while teammates Jovan Parlic and Pete Thomason overcame Texas A&M's Frankie Colunga and Max Montague by a score of 8-2 as well. Nott/Jeske and Parlic/Thomason will face pairs from the University of Florida and Vanderbilt, respectively, Friday at 7 a.m.

    Following a tough day in the singles bracket, all Razorback competitors will move forward in the consolation bracket. The first round of singles consolation play will begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

    For more information on Arkansas tennis, follow @RazorbackMTEN on Twitter.





    Three Gators Advance to Third Round of 2013 SEC Fall Invite Singles Draw

    The Florida men’s tennis team began its 2013-14 campaign on Thursday at the 2013 SEC Fall Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

    The Gators have six players participating in the event, with three players reaching the third round of the singles draw and two tandems reaching the Round of 16 in the doubles draw.





    LSU Doubles Duo Knocks Off Top Seed in SEC Classic

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The LSU men’s tennis team opened the 2013 fall season today in Nashville, Tenn., at the Currey Tennis Center at the 2013 SEC Fall Classic. The tournament, which is hosted by Vanderbilt, will last through the weekend and the first and second rounds of singles and doubles play were conducted this morning and afternoon.

    The highlight of today’s action came in LSU’s second round doubles matchup between Chris Simpson and Boris Arias and the tournament’s No. 1 doubles pairing of Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai of Kentucky. After taking down Arkansas’ duo of Johan den Toom and Jacob Herndon 8-2 in the first round, the Tigers pair upset the No. 1 pairing 8-6 to advance to the third round. Jomby and Lai are currently ranked No. 4 in the country.

    “Chris Simpson and Boris Arias were playing well together at the end of last season, so this was not unexpected,” head coach Jeff Brown said. “Overall, the team played hard and we saw some good things.”

    LSU’s Simpson, the tournament’s No. 4 singles seed, rolled in his second round matchup 6-0, 6-1 over Arkansas’ Jovan Parlic, advancing to the third round. Simpson will face Texas A&M’s Frankie Colunga tomorrow in the third round.

    Sophomore Tam Trinh got off to a fast start in the first round and took down Arkansas’ Pete Thomason 6-1, 6-3. In his second round match, Trinh defeated South Carolina’s Thiago Pinheiro 6-3, 6-4 to move on to the third round where he will square off against Harrison Adams of Texas A&M.

    “Hard work has paid off for Chris Simpson and Tam Trinh,” Brown said. “What you do in the summer gives you confidence that you deserve to compete well.”

    Sophomore Boris Arias had his singles run cut short after losing 6-7, 3-6 to Mississippi State’s Florian Lakat in the second round.

    Redshirt freshman John Michael Busch was eliminated from singles after falling to Vanderbilt’s Mason Vierra 3-6, 3-6.

    Sophomore Harrison Kennedy was also eliminated following a 6-2, 1-6, 4-6 loss to Ole Miss’ Zach Wilder.

    Freshman Justin Butsch was eliminated as well, dropping his match to the tournament’s No. 1 singles seed Jomby of Kentucky 2-6, 3-6.

    Andrew Korinek, a newcomer from the University of Texas, was defeated 3-6, 4-6 by Behzad Minavi of Texas A&M to wrap up singles play for the first and second round for the Tigers.

    In doubles play, LSU’s duo of Simpson and Arias advanced to the third round after winning their first two matches, including their 8-6 upset victory over No. 1 Jomby and Lai of Kentucky.

    LSU’s Korinek and Trinh dealt a 4-8 loss to Auburn’s Lukas Ollert and Dante Saleh in the first round. In their second round match, they were eliminated following a 3-8 loss to South Carolina’s duo of Chip Cox and Kyle Koch.

    After receiving a first round bye, the Tigers pair of Busch and Kennedy defeated Texas A&M’s Tito Moreiras and Minavi 8-6 to move on to the third round. The Tigers duo is set to face the tournament’s No. 4 doubles team in Georgia’s pair of Hernus Pieters and Nathan Pasha in the third round tomorrow.

    Also receiving a first round bye, LSU’s Perez and Justin Butsch fell 5-8 to South Carolina’s Sam Swank and Andrew Schafer.

    The third round of the tournament will be played tomorrow, with Simpson and Trinh competing in singles and the doubles pair of Simpson and Arias looking to carry their momentum into the next round as they will square off against Alabama’s Hayes Brewer and Stuart Kenyon. The doubles duo of Busch and Kennedy will also be in action tomorrow.

    For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's team on Twitter @lsutennis and follow head coach Jeff Brown @LSUCoachJBrown and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.





    Karl, Vols Advance at SEC Classic

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In front of family and friends watching him play for the first time in a year, freshman Sean Karl won his first two collegiate singles matches Thursday to open the SEC Fall Classic.

    Karl earned a three-set victory in the morning and outlasted his opponent in straight sets in the early afternoon to join three teammates in the third round of the individual conference tournament. Juniors Hunter Reese and Brandon Fickey advanced, as did freshman Markus Kerner.

    The Vols continue tournament action Friday morning with third- and fourth-round play. Live coverage will be at utsports.com.

    Diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago, Karl played his first tournament last week at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens, Ga. He took another step forward on the tennis courts Thursday with his first two singles wins in the Tennessee orange and white uniform.

    As a native of nearby Brentwood, Tenn., he had no shortage of supporters in the stands watching him play. For most of them, it was the first time they had send him compete since starting treatments last October.

    "It was fun playing in front of them," Karl said. "I haven't been able to do that in a long time. I think it was fun for both me and them."

    Karl had a long day of competition to make it to the first round. He was the only Vol not to get a bye into the second round. He started the day with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 win over Pen Binet of Vanderbilt and followed that with a long 6-3, 7-6 victory against Arkansas' Juan Marino.

    "In my second match, I didn't think I could go quite as long," Karl said. "I was trying to finish up some points a little quicker, especially at the beginning. As the match went on, the points gradually got longer. Being ahead the whole match really helped me."

    While he didn't log any singles wins in his career debut last week at the Southern Intercollegiates, Karl said the tournament helped him get back into the swing of things.

    "Last weekend was definitely tough," Karl said. "It was the first weekend back. I wasn't match tough at all, and it really showed up in some of my matches. I still wouldn't call myself match tough yet, but being able to play those matches last weekend, I felt a lot more comfortable today. I felt like I was playing my game a little better."

    In singles, the Vols enjoyed a largely successful opening day with four players reaching the round of 32.

    Reese, the tournament's No. 3 seed, defeated Auburn's Dante Selah in one of the longest matches of the afternoon 7-6, 6-7, 6-2. Fickey, a 9-16 seed, broke serve at the end of his match beat Tito Moreiras of Texas A&M 7-6, 6-4. Playing his match indoors, Kerner recovered from a 6-game slide in the first set to beat Vanderbilt's Mason Vierra 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

    Senior Jarryd Chaplin and freshman Sunay Bhat lost their opening matches and will play consolation.

    In doubles, the Vols did not fare as well with their three new doubles pairings. All three teams lost their first matches.