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    Saturday SEC Tennis Report

    Gamecocks Open Season with Win Over ETSU

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (January 18, 2014) — The No. 33 South Carolina women’s tennis team opened the season with a 4-3 victory over an injury-riddled East Tennessee State squad on Saturday in match one of a doubleheader at the USC Field House in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks return to the indoor courts this afternoon for a 3 p.m. match-up against College of Charleston.
     
    The Gamecocks actually won the match before playing a single point since the Buccaneers only had three healthy players. As a result, ETSU forfeited all the doubles matches and singles positions four through six to give Carolina an automatic 4-0 lead.
     
    The two teams agreed to still play the top three singles positions. The Bucs’ Anna Gerbasi finished first with a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Alex Martin to make the score 4-1, and Giulia Andreazza finished next with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over the Gamecocks’ Natalie Looney.
     
    South Carolina’s Katie Fosnacht played a tight first set against No. 118 Jessica Brumit. Fosnacht fell behind 5-4 in the first before winning two straight games for a 6-5 advantage. Brumit then forced a tiebreaker and pulled out the win by an 8-6 margin. In the second, Brumit earned an early break of serve to take a 2-0 advantage and Fosnacht was unable to break back for a 6-4 loss to close out the morning match.



    Georgia Starts Strong Vs. Memphis in Atlanta

    ATLANTA --- The third-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team started its spring season on a high note Saturday, posting six victories – five in singles – vs. 21st-ranked Memphis on the first day of the MLK Invitational at Georgia Tech’s Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
     
    The three-day indoor event pits the Bulldogs against players from Georgia Tech and Ole Miss as well as the Tigers. No team scores are being recorded, but singles and doubles champions will be crowned based on the round robin results.
     
    ITA experimental scoring is in place for the event.
     
    “Today was a very productive day,” said 26th-year head coach Manuel Diaz. “The guys did a terrific job, especially in singles. Memphis served us off the court in doubles. Give them a lot of credit. In doubles, the difference is one point here and there, and I think we need to focus on some of these rule changes, including not warming up with your opponent. We need to work on having a faster start. But I am proud of the way we bounced back.”
     
    “The guys won five straight singles that were all competitive, and played some good tennis. I felt like Ben [Wagland] did a good job against their No. 1 player from last year, and he did a good job coming forward on the fast courts. And then Eric [Diaz] didn’t seem to find his rhythm today. Tomorrow, everybody will have an opportunity to get better. Garrett [Brasseaux] played very well against their highest-ranked player from the fall, and I was very pleased with Hernus [Pieters] and Nick [Wood] – coming back after heel surgery in the fall. It looked like he never left. There were a lot of positives out there today.”
     
    Georgia dropped two of three doubles matches to Memphis before rebounding with five of seven singles victories. In doubles, the team of No. 12 Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland came away with a 6-3 win over third-ranked David O’Hare and Joe Salisbury, while the teams of Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux and Austin Smith and Nick Wood each suffered 6-2 setbacks. 
     
    In singles, 12th-ranked Smith rolled to a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 87 Johnny Grimal to set the tone, while Pieters beat O’Hare 6-2, 6-4. No. 102 Wood continued the winning ways as he went 6-5, 6-3 over Chadwell, and 21st-ranked Pasha was the fourth Georgia player to win in straight sets as he won 6-3, 6-5 vs. David O’Leary. No. 47 Brasseaux rebounded from a loss in the first set to defeat No. 49 Connor Glennon in three, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. 
     
    Memphis was able to snag the two remaining courts, as 48th-ranked Wagland suffered a three-set loss to No. 56 Salisbury, 5-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Eric Diaz fell 6-3, 6-4 to Cedric DeZutter.
     
    The Bulldogs will continue play tomorrow against players from SEC rival Ole Miss at 9 a.m., before concluding on Monday vs. the host Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m. Georgia opens the home schedule next weekend, hosting a leg of the ITA Kickoff Jan. 25-26 at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility in Athens.



    Ole Miss Wins Five to Open Season

    ATLANTA – The No. 11 ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team started the 2014 season with five victories – four in singles – vs. Georgia Tech on the first day of the MLK Invitational at Georgia Tech’s Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
     
    The three-day indoor event pits the Rebels against players from No. 3 Georgia and No. 21 Memphis as well as the Yellow Jackets. No team scores are being recorded, but singles and doubles champions will be crowned based on the round robin results.
     
    ITA experimental scoring is in place for the event including no-ad scoring and doubles being played to 6 with a tiebreaker at 5 all.  Singles also includes a tiebreaker at 5 all.
     
    “Overall it was a pretty good first day,” said head coach Billy Chadwick of his team’s first action since the fall.  It was good to get these matches in, but we are going to have to step it up tomorrow and Monday as the competition heats up.”
     
    The top two doubles matches were very close, with Ole Miss claiming one and Georgia Tech the other.  The Swedish lefty duo of William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark posted a 6-5(6) win over Nathan Rakitt and Casey Kay to improve to 7-4 on the year.  Nik Scholtz and Johan Backstrom, teaming up for the first time at the top spot, had several match points, but ended up falling 11-9 in the breaker to Eduardo Segura/Carlos Benito.  Vinod Gowda and Zach Wilder lost their match to Anish Sharma/Cole Fiegel 6-2.
     
    Ole Miss won four of the six singles matches, all in straight sets.  Scholtz, ranked No. 15 in the nation, led with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Rakitt.  Lindmark downed Segura 6-2, 6-3, Backstrom defeated Kay 6-4, 6-4 and Wilder beat Sharma 6-5, 6-1.  
     
    The Rebels return to action Sunday facing SEC rival Georgia at 8 a.m. CT.  Fans can follow live scoring by going to OleMissSports.com and clicking on the link in the calendar.  
     
    Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissMTennis and on Facebook at OleMissMTennis.



    Tennessee's Repic Sees Success on Day One in Charlottesville

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.  – University of Tennessee women’s tennis freshman and No. 53 ranked Eve Repic upset Virginia’s No. 28 Danielle Collins at No. 2 singles on day one of the UVA Winter Invitational. 
     
    Repic was the lone Lady Vol to earn a singles victory against the No. 13 ranked Cavaliers using three sets to do so and coming away with a  6-2, 6-7(6), 10-5 victory. 
     
    The day began with doubles as Tennessee mixed up the pairings on day one. Junior Joanna Henderson matched with freshman Victoria Olivarez in her first doubles match of the day falling 6-0 before pairing up with Repic, but fell 6-2 on court one. 
     
    Repic and Laurence Guevremont fell 6-1 on court two while Brittany Lindl and Ambika Pande and Tiffany Tavares and Ashlee Boles each dropped 6-2 decisions. 
     
    In singles action, Repic earned her upset victory, but Virginia’s lineup, with four ranked players in the top four spots came away with five of the six wins. 
     
    Tennessee pushed the Cavaliers to the limits forcing three set matches on three of the six courts. 
     
    The Lady Vols will return to action on Sunday morning at 9 a.m., an hour earlier than previously scheduled against a combination of players from Virginia Commonwealth and Marshall. 



    MSU Gets Sweep to Open Season

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Behind impressive performances from several newcomers, the 14th-ranked Mississippi State men’s tennis squad (2-0) swept their season-opening doubleheader in dominating fashion Saturday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. MSU blanked both of its opponents, defeating Jackson State (0-1) and Alabama State (0-1) 7-0 while not surrendering a set in either match.
     
    State got off to a hot start against the JSU Tigers, taking the doubles point in swift fashion. Freshman Rishab Argawal and veteran Zach White struck first on court three, with a 6-0 victory. The duos of freshman Florian Lakat and junior college transfer Tassilo Schmid and sophomore Jordan Angus and freshman Egbert Weverink followed suit to give MSU the doubles point.
     
    In singles play, State wasted no time in claiming victory. Freshman Robin Haden blanked JSU’s Hernan Geria for a straight-sets victory to kick off the action. Fellow newcomers No. 63 Lakat and Schmid easily dispatched their opponents, while Argawal mounted an impressive second-set comeback to take his match 6-1, 6-5(2) against JSU’s Camilo Patino.
     
    The veteran senior White and sophomore Angus also picked up strong wins, defeating their opponents 6-0, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-2 respectively, helping give MSU its third-straight season-opening victory and its 11th-straight home opening win.
     
    Much was the same against Alabama State, as the Bulldogs hit the ground running in doubles play. Angus and Lakat paired together for a 6-1 victory, with Schmid and White following with a 6-3 win to clinch the doubles point. The freshman duo of Agarwal and Haden claimed a thrilling victory, defeating Alabama State’s Dylan Cleary and Jarred Thompson in a tiebreaker, 6-5(2).
     
    The Bulldogs capped their successful Saturday with an impressive singles showing against the ASU Hornets. Lakat, Agarwal, Schmid and Haden again impressed, claiming straight-set victories, with the clincher coming from Agarwal. White and Angus rounded out play with straight-set victories as well, dropping only five games between the two.
     
    “I was really proud of the way the guys came out today,” coach Per Nilsson said. “We’re suppose to win these matches and we didn’t let down. Everything stayed focused and took care of business, which was good to see, especially from the new guys.”
     
    The Bulldogs remain at home for their next action, hosting the ITA Kickoff Weekend. Along with No. 14 MSU, No. 18 South Carolina, No. 21 Memphis and No. 27 Harvard will be featured at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on Jan. 25-26. The weekend’s winner will advance to Houston, Texas, to compete in the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship in mid-February.
     
    For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateMT), Facebook (HailStateMT) and Instagram (HailStateMT).


     

    Rebels Conclude Day One Of Michigan Invite      
                   
    ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Ole Miss women’s tennis team concluded day one of the Michigan Invitational Saturday at the Varsity Tennis Center with a win in doubles against Michigan and a win in singles against Georgia Tech.  
                   
    The Rebels started the day with doubles against No. 11 Michigan.  The team of Julia Jones and Zalina Khairudinova defeated UM’s Laura Ucros and Sara Remynse 6-3.  In a battle of two top 20 teams, Caroline Rohde-Moe and Marija Milutinovic (No. 20) fell to Brooke Bolender and Emina Bektas (No. 9) 6-2.
                   
    Following doubles, the Rebels took to the courts for singles against No. 20 Georgia Tech. Milutinovic was the lone winner, downing Nicole Murillo 6-0, 6-2 at the sixth spot.  Ole Miss had a chance to pick up two more wins, with the No. 2 and 4 matches going three sets.  Khairudinova, seeing her first action for the Rebels, lost a tough three-setter to Alexa Anton-Ohlmeyer 2-6, 7-6, 10-8.  Jones also dropped a tough match to Rasheeda McAdoo.  After dropping the first set 6-4, Jones rallied to win the second set 6-4, but McAdoo claimed the third set 10-7 for the win.
                   
    It was those close matches and sets that head coach Mark Beyers wants to see his team learn from as the season progresses.  
                   
    “We played pretty well in doubles,” Beyers said.  “Michigan is a top 10 team, especially indoors.  It was a very close doubles point which Michigan was able to win in the end.  In singles, we were unable to win any close sets or supertiebreakers, which turned out to be the difference today.  We have to have the confidence in ourselves not only early in the set, but at crucial points later in the set.  It is very early in the season and that is why these matches are so valuable. We can learn from our mistakes and get better each and every day.”
                   
    Ole Miss continues play Sunday with singles against No. 59 South Florida at 10 a.m. followed by doubles versus Georgia Tech at 1 p.m.   Fans can follow the action with live scoring and video by going to OleMissSports.com and clicking on the link in the calendar.
                
    Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissWTennis and on Facebook at OleMissWTennis.
     



    South Carolina Women’s Tennis Snags Second Match of Doubleheader

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (January 18, 2014) — The 33rd-ranked South Carolina women’s tennis team earned a 6-1 victory over College of Charleston on Saturday in the second match of a doubleheader at the USC Field House in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks dispatched East Tennessee State in the first match and are now 2-0 to start the season.

    South Carolina needed just 30 minutes to clinch the doubles point with dominating performances on courts one and two. Katerina Popova and Ximena Siles Luna won first by a 6-1 count against Mara Argyriou and Kelly Kambourelis. Minutes later, Meghan Blevins and Elixane Lechemia clinched the 1-0 lead after beating Jamie Harrell and Katherine Schofield 6-1 at the No. 1 position.

    On court three, the Gamecocks’ Caroline Dailey and Brigit Folland trailed Samantha Maddox and Brooke McAmis 4-3 when Lechemia and Blevins clinched the point. Their match was suspended with the doubles point already decided.

    Lechemia wasted no time putting Carolina ahead 2-0 after she made short work of Kambourelis at No. 1 singles, winning 6-1, 6-0 to improve to 7-4 on the season. As she was wrapping up her match, Folland took the first set from Argyriou at three, 6-4, and Blevins beat Schofield 6-3 in the first set of their match at the No. 4 position.

    Popova eventually won her first set 6-3 against McAmis on court two but she cruised in the second to win 6-0 and put the Gamecocks within a point of clinching the match. With the win, Popova improved to 6-4.

    Folland and Blevins finished within seconds of each other to provide the winning point. It was Blevins who snatched the win right before Folland with a 6-3, 6-1 decision and Folland secured a 6-4, 6-1 victory. Blevins upped her record to 5-7, while Folland earned her team-leading ninth triumph.

    With the match in hand, Dailey already had the first set under her belt against Maddox on court five by a 6-1 score. Maddox managed a 2-1 advantage after the first three games in the second, but Dailey recovered to pull back in front 3-2. The two continued to trade games back and forth until reaching a tiebreaker, which Dailey won 7-4 to make it 6-0 for the Gamecocks.

    Looney had just lost her first set at No. 6 singles to Grace Baker when Dailey provided the sixth point. In the second, Looney got off to a rough start by falling behind 4-0, but she recorded to straight games to cut the deficit in half. Baker grabbed the ensuing game for a 5-2 advantage, but Looney rallied again and tied it up at 5-all with the serve. Baker, though, broke Looney for a 6-5 lead and then held to win 7-5.

    The Gamecocks will take more than a week off between matches and will next host Furman on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m.




    Crimson Tide Adds Four Wins on Day Two and Wildcat Winter Classic

    EVANSTON, Ill. – The Alabama women’s tennis team collected four wins, all in singles on the second day of the Wildcat Winter Classic, bringing the Crimson Tide’s two-day total to 13 victories.

    Sophomores Maya Jansen and Natalia Maynetto and freshman Danielle Spielmann remained unbeaten in singles, winning their respective matches against opponents from Northwestern. Also adding a win for Alabama on Saturday was freshman Erin Routliffe.
     
    The Tide will play its final matches at the Combe Tennis Center on Sunday morning.
     
    Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaWTN on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.




    Alabama Men’s Tennis Sweeps Triple Header to Open the Season

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s tennis team opened its 2014 dual match season with a triple-header sweep over UAB, Alabama A&M and Troy on Saturday at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility. The Crimson Tide beat the Blazers, 4-1, the Bulldogs, 5-0, and the Trojans, 4-0.

    Alabama won six of the seven doubles matches that finished, clinching the doubles point against all three opponents. In singles, the Tide played all nine on its roster throughout the day. In the win over UAB, senior Daniil Proskura clinched the victory, topping Chris Helliar, 6-2, 6-2. In the win over the Bulldogs, it would be freshman Hayes Brewer, playing at the No. 1 position with the 6-0, 6-5, clincher over Dominique Alexander. Sophomore Becker O’Shaughnessey provided the final clincher of the day, beating Troy’s Mansingh Athare, 6-1, 6-2.

    Next up, Alabama heads to Malibu, Calif., where it will take on California in its opening match at ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Friday, Jan. 24. First serve is slated for 4 p.m. CT.

    Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaWTN on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.




    UF Women’s Tennis Doubles Team Nets Upset at Freeman Memorial

    LAS VEGAS – Florida’s doubles team of Kourtney Keegan and Sofie Oyen upset the nation’s No. 1-ranked doubles team to highlight the second day of play at the 12th annual Freeman Memorial Tennis Championships held at the Fertitta Tennis Complex on the UNLV campus.

    The Gator tandem topped top-ranked Robin Anderson and Jennifer Brady of UCLA, 7-5, to advance to the semifinals where they will play Southern California’s third-seeded and seventh-ranked Zoe Scandalis and Giuliana Olmos on Sunday at 10 a.m. PST.

    In main draw singles action, Olivia Janowicz fell 7-6, 6-3, to UCLA’s No. 24-ranked Brady in the quarterfinals, where Keegan dropped a 6-3, 6-2 decision to Stanford’s No. 94-ranked Ellen Tsay.



    Kentucky Defeats Cincinnati, Ball State

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s tennis team started its 2014 season and home opener Saturday, Jan. 18 with a 7-0 win over Cincinnati in the morning and a 4-2 win over Ball State in the evening at the Boone Tennis Center in Lexington, Ky.

    “It’s a great step in the right direction,” UK Head Coach Carlos Drada said. “Our players are really buying into the process and we have a lot of players that can contribute. They are seeing from each other how we are supposed to compete and it was a positive day. Even in the losses, we learned a lot.”

    The Wildcats began the Cincinnati match firing on all cylinders and claiming the lead early, winning all three doubles matches. No. 56 CeCe Witten and Kelsey Dieters completely dominated in the No. 1 doubles position taking down UC’s Caitlin O’ Gara and Kelly Poggensee-Wei, 6-1. UK duo Edmèe Morin-Kougoucheff and Aldila Sutijiadi followed suit and knocked off Ashleigh Witte and Lauren Bellinger, 6-2. Clinching the doubles point, Senior Caitlin McGraw and Sophomore Kirsten Lewis won the No. 3 doubles position over Cincinnati’s Sierra Sullivan and Katya Bure, 6-1.

    Kentucky’s dominant performance continued in the singles competition, winning all six of the singles points. The Wildcats swept Cincinnati beginning with Lederman’s all-star performance in the No. 4 position. In her career debut, she rolled over Katya Bure, 6-0, in both sets.  Shelby Township native, Dieters, won her first set easily, but struggled in the second. Exchanging games, Dieters was able to pull away and win the match over Witte, 6-2, 6-4 in her UK debut. Junior Morin-Kougoucheff showed off her improvement since the fall in her 6-2, 6-1 win over Cincinnati’s Caitlin O’Gara. Sutjiadi clinched the match in her first career win over Poggensee-Wei, beating the sophomore, 7-5, 6-3.

    “It feels good,” Sutjiadi said. “It was exciting to play in the No. 1 position. I was nervous at first, but I was able to control my nerves, so it feels great.”

    Returners Caitlin McGraw who opened the season in the No. 5 position and Stephanie Fox, the No. 6 position both won their singles matches. McGraw and Bellinger battled to the very end, but McGraw came out on top, 6-4, 7-5(7). Fox had little trouble taking down her opponent, Hannah Wille, 6-0 in both sets.

    The evening proved to be more difficult for the Wildcats as they took on Ball State.  The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead, taking the doubles point. Witten and Dieters defeated Bethany Moore and Kristel Saunders, 6-3 in No. 1 doubles while Morin-Kougoucheff and Sutjiadi took care of Toni Ormond and Courtney Earnest, 6-1 in No. 2 doubles and clinched the point. McGraw and Lewis finished the No. 3 doubles with a win over Courtney Wild and Ayaka Terashi, 6-1.

    The Wildcats struggled in the singles competition dropping two matches, but they were able to overcome the losses and win the match. Lederman and Dieters both fell in their singles competition, but the stellar play of Sutjiadi, Morin-Kougoucheff and McGraw made up for it. Sutjiadi won her second match of the day in the No. 1 singles position against Wild, 7-6, 6-2. Morin-Kougoucheff kept up her tempo from the morning matches and took down Moore, 6-0, 6-2. McGraw managed to clinch the match point against Toni Ormond, 6-3, 6-2.

    “The players are really pushing each other to new heights,” Drada said. “They are willing to do whatever it takes.”

    Kentucky is now 2-0 in dual matches for the season. The Wildcats will return to action on Jan. 24 against Tulane at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff Weekend in Durham, N.C.