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    SEC Men's Tennis Weekly Notebook

    The 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, 7-0, 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. 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.
    The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team finished the first weekend of 2014 competition with a 2-1 record, opening with a doubleheader win at home over Mercer. The Razorbacks won the first match 5-2 and the second 6-1. Arkansas hit the road on Sunday to face the Texas Longhorns and, despite the loss, the senior doubles pair of Hall Fess and Pete Thomason recorded a victory over the No. 35 ranked pair of David Holiner and Nick Naumann. Next, the Razorbacks will head to Stillwater, Okla., to take on ETSU and Dartmouth on Jan. 24-25.
    Auburn started off the 2014 dual match season by sweeping a doubleheader on Sunday against Jacksonville State and Mercer. The Tigers (2-0) dropped just one set between the two matches. The 37th-ranked duo of Dennis Lengsfeld and Lukas Ollert cruised to a pair of wins in doubles in the No. 2 spot, while the tandems of Daniel Cochrane/Petar Tomic and Oliver Plaskett/Dante Saleh earned a win, respectively. Seven Tigers combined to post a win in singles during the doubleheader. Freshman Petar Tomic was impressive in his first appearance as a Tiger, posting a 6-1, 6-1 win over Jacksonville State before cruising to a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Mercer in the nightcap. The Tigers face Troy on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. Auburn heads to Waco, Texas as a part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, facing Drake University on Saturday.
    Florida opens the 2014 season against North Florida on Wednesday, followed by hosting ITA Kick-Off Weekend with UNC-Wilmington, Florida State and TCU traveling to Gainesville. The Gators rank 15th in the preseason poll and have five singles players in the rankings. In addition, 13th-ranked Elliott Orkin and Gordon Watson lead a group of four doubles pairings in the rankings.
    The Georgia men’s tennis team opened its spring season over the weekend at the MLK Invitational on the campus of Georgia Tech. Though no team scores were recorded, junior Nathan Pasha was crowned the singles champion as he went 3-0 in the tournament including a victory over 15th-ranked Nik Scholtz of Ole Miss. In all, Georgia went a combined 20-7 in singles & doubles action vs. players from Ole Miss, Memphis, and Tech. The Bulldogs open the home and dual match slates this weekend, hosting a leg of the ITA Kickoff Jan. 25-26, hosting Columbia, Stanford, and Washington.
    The UK men’s tennis team started the 2013 season with three wins this weekend, collecting two 7-0 results over Dayton and Eastern Kentucky on Friday night, and then a 4-3 win at No. 7 Duke on Sunday afternoon. Kentucky’s win at No. 7 Duke was the program’s first win in Durham since the 1974 season. The win for Cedric Kauffmann marked his fifth win over a top-10 team in his 34 matches as the Wildcats’ head coach. Tom Jomby played No. 1 singles in all three matches, and went 3-0 on the weekend including a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 52 Jason Tahir of Duke. Jomby teamed with Kevin Lai in doubles to also go 3-0 on the weekend to accumulate a 6-0 weekend overall for the Frenchman. Senior Alejandro Gomez clinched the win at No. 7 Duke on Sunday afternoon with a 6-5 (6), 6-5 (4) win on court three over No. 95 Bruno Semenzato. After missing the entire second half of the 2013 season with injury, Gomez went 3-0 in action this weekend.
    The No. 24 LSU men’s tennis team won its season opener at Rice 4-3 with a come-from-behind effort in Houston, Texas on Sunday. With the match tied 3-3, junior Chris Simpson vaulted LSU to victory with a 6-4, 5-6, 6-5 win that came down to a third-set tiebreaker. 
    LSU (1-0) travels to Nashville, Tenn. to participate in the ITA Kickoff on Saturday, January 25. The Tigers will take on Wake Forest at 2 p.m. CT.  No. 19 Wake Forest (4-0) will be the first ranked team LSU takes on in 2014. 
    Ole Miss
    The No. 11 ranked Rebels wrapped up play in the MLK Invitational in Atlanta against No. 3 Georgia, No. 21 Memphis and host Georgia Tech.  Nik Scholtz won two of his three singles matches and teamed with Johan Backstrom to defeat the No. 12 ranked team in doubles vs. Georgia.  Stefan Lindmark also won two of his three matches in singles.  The Rebels now turn their attention to hosting the ITA Kickoff Weekend for the fourth time this Saturday and Sunday.  The team opens play Saturday at 10 a.m. vs. No. 26 Michigan.  The two teams last met in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Championships, with the Rebels winning 4-2 in Oxford.  The other two teams in the draw are No. 22 Illinois and No. 23 Clemson.  Prior to the start of his 31st season with the Rebels, head coach Billy Chadwick announced that he will retire at the end of the 2014 season.  Associate head coach Toby Hansson will become the head coach following the season.

    Mississippi State
    Domination was the name of the game as the 14th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-0) opened the 2014 season in the friendly confines of the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre with a Saturday doubleheader. The Bulldogs faced off against Jackson State and Alabama State, shutting out both opponents 7-0 and never relinquishing a set in either match. The two victories also gave the MSU tennis program (men’s/women’s) 300 total victories at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. In the two matches the Bulldogs showcased a total of five newcomers (four true freshmen and one junior college transfer). Freshman Florian Lakat held down the number one position in both singles and doubles of both matches, only letting his opponents earn a total seven games. Fellow freshmen Rishab Argawal and Robin Haden, along with JUCO transfer Tassilo Schmid also picked up multiple wins. State’s other freshman, Egbert Weverink, picked up a win in doubles. Rounding out the lineup was sophomore Jordan Angus and senior Zach White, who both earned wins in singles and doubles play. MSU returns to action this weekend, as they host the 2014 ITA Kickoff Weekend at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre, which will feature No. 18 South Carolina, No. 21 Memphis and No. 27 Harvard. Play is scheduled for Jan. 25-26.
    South Carolina
    South Carolina opened it’s 2014 season with a pair of 7-0 victories at home in Sunday. The Gamecocks exploded out of the gate with solid doubles play and carried that momentum into singles action. Junior Andrew Adams made his season debut and looked sharp in his first action since offseason surgery in his convincing wins. All-American Tsvetan Mihov set the tone in both matches, winning his doubles and singles matches. Freshmen Andrew Schafer and Sam Swank shook off the nerves of their dual-match debuts to post comeback victories in Sunday morning’s win over Furman and cruised to victories over The Citadel. The Gamecocks head to Starkville, Miss., for ITA Kickoff Weekend action beginning Saturday.
    The sixth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers (4-0) started the spring season with a pair of doubleheader victories at Goodfriend Tennis Center. The team beat Tennessee Tech, Eastern Kentucky, ETSU and Murray State. The weekend featured the dual match debuts of three Vols: junior Andrew Dromsky, sophomore Bartosz Sawicki and freshman Markus Kerner. Both Dromsky and Kerner went 4-0 in singles over the weekend and 4-0 in doubles together. Junior Hunter Reese played his second-ever weekend at the top of the singles lineup. Reese, ranked 16th nationally, went 3-0. The Vols host the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Saturday and Sunday against Michigan State and either N.C. State or VCU.
    Texas A&M
    Texas A&M opened the spring season with two 7-0 victories on Sunday over Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas-Pan American. Jeremy Efferding, Junior Ore and Jordan Szabo earned victories in both contests, helping clinch eight points total on the afternoon. All three players played singles and doubles in both contests. Efferding, the No. 13 player in the country, bested Damian Farinola of UL (6-1, 6-3) and later defeated Ivar Aramburu of Pan American (6-2, 6-3). The Texas A&M men’s tennis team will be in action again next Saturday, January 25, when it hosts UTSA and Lamar at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
    The No. 16 Vanderbilt men’s tennis team capped off a perfect opening sweeping both Marquette and Belmont. The ‘Dores defeated the Golden Eagles 7-0, and handed Belmont a 6-0 loss. Second-ranked Ryan Lipman and Gonzales Austin got the dual season off on the right foot winning 6-4 over Marquette’s top doubles team. Ninth-ranked Austin won his only match of the day in comeback fashion, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, winning six-straight games in the third set to avoid the upset. No. 57 Rhys Johnson went 2-0 and made his No. 1 singles debut, winning 6-4, 6-4 over Belmont. The ‘Dores host Texas, Wake Forest and LSU next Saturday and Sunday for the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Nashville.