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    SEC Tennis Today: Friday, January 24

    LSU Women's Tennis Defeats USF in ITA Kickoff Weekend

    CORAL GABLES, FLA. – The LSU women’s tennis team ran its season opening record to 3-0 by defeating USF (1-1) in the first round of the ITA Kickoff weekend on Friday.  

    "I was really proud of our team at every spot,” LSU head coach Julia Sell said.  “From our incredible leadership up top to our resilience down low, every player played a significant role in the win. We earned our stripes today.”

    The team of Gabrielle Otero and Abigail Owens dominated their doubles match as they notched a 6-1 victory over Vera Bessonova and Olga Martinez.  

    Ella Taylor and Ariel Morton battled hard but ultimately fell to Olaya Garrido and Fanny Fracassi, 6-2.

    The powerful duo of Joana Vale Costa and Skylar Holloway then secured the doubles point for LSU as they defeated Kayla Rizzolo and Loreto Alonso 6-4.  

    The Lady Tigers took a 2-0 lead on the Bulls as Noel Scott won a thrilling match over Loreto Alonso.  After splitting the first two sets 6-2, 3-6, the match moved into a tie-breaker per the ITA’s experimental format in play thru Feb. 10.  Scott’s 10-4 tie-breaker victory secured the match point for LSU.

    LSU’s Owens met defeat 6-4, 6-1 at the hands of Olga Martinez, but Otero’s 7-6, 6-3 victory over Olaya Garrido helped LSU maintain a 3-1 match lead.

    Vale Costa secured the match for the Lady Tigers as she defeated Kayla Rizzolo 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

    LSU will face Miami (Fla.) (1-0) on Saturday at 1 p.m. CST.  The Lady Tigers and the Hurricanes have a series record of 3-3.  They last met on May 16, 1998 when LSU won 5-3.  

    “Having the opportunity to play a Top 10 team this early in the season is a perfect measure of where we are at now,” Sell said.  “We have come a long way in a short time and we are excited to compete against a veteran program.”
     




    Georgia Beats Elon in Season-Opener, 4-0

    ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 4 Georgia women’s tennis team won its season-opener over Elon 4-0, advancing to Sunday’s ITA Kickoff Weekend Championship against Arkasnas at 1 p.m.

    Georgia quickly won the doubles point and then followed with four straight singles wins.

    “I thought we played great today,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “We got through singles really looking pretty good and then followed it up with a great job in singles. We’re looking forward to playing Arkansas on Sunday.”

    Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia blanked Elon’s Taylor Casey and Maria Camara Ruiz, 6-0. The No. 5 pair of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase clinched the doubles point with a 6-2 win over Elon’s Jordan Johnston and Frida Jansaker. The duo of Caroline Brinson and Lilly Kimbell led 5-1 when their match was suspended.

    In singles, No. 10 Silvia Garcia was first off the court with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Elon’s Frida Jansaker. No. 25 Maho Kowase gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Barbora Lazarova. Shortly after, No. 4 Lauren Herring clinched the Bulldog win with a shutout of No. 69 Jordan Johnston. Kate Fuller was leading Bryn Khoury 6-4, 3-0 when the match was suspended.

    The Bulldogs will return to action on Sunday against Arkansas at 1 p.m. in the championship match. Georgia will be attempting to clinch its 24th appearance in the ITA National Indoor Championships.






    No. 51 Arkansas Advances, Earns 4-2 Win Over Kansas State

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The No. 51 University of Arkansas women's tennis team (3-0) remained unbeaten and earned a 4-2 victory over No. 55 Kansas State (0-1) in the first round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kickoff Weekend at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts in Athens, Ga., on Friday.

    Opening with the doubles point and a win at number two singles, the Razorbacks jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, but the Wildcats fought back and made things interesting by trimming the lead to 3-2. Arkansas ultimately ended the comeback bid, clinching the 4-2 win with a straight-set victory at number six singles. Arkansas advanced to the Round of 32 for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

    "It was the tale of two matches out there today," head coach Michael Hegarty said. "For the first 2.5 hours, we were fantastic across the board. We had very sharp doubles play and some quality singles work. The last hour was not quite as impressive, so hopefully we can be more complete as a group for the whole match tomorrow."

    Arkansas started the dual match with an early 2-0 advantage, taking both the doubles point and a win at number two singles courtesy Hudson. Having been named SEC Freshman of the Week on Wednesday, Hudson played a large role in the quick start, continuing her strong freshman-season debut by improving to 3-0 in singles play and 2-0 in doubles.

    No. 42 Petra Niedermayerova helped the Wildcats trim the lead to 2-1 with her 6-1, 2-6, 1-0 (10-5) win at number one singles over No. 71 Yang Pang, in what was a battle of ITA-ranked foes.

    Sarah McLean gave the Razorbacks a 3-1 lead with her win at number three singles, but Iva Bago bested Kimberley - Ann Surin in a grueling match at number four singles, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-1), 1-0 (10-6), which allowed the Wildcats to pull back within one at 3-2.

    Freshman Oleksandra Shkorupeieva clinched the victory for the Razorbacks, locking up a straight-set victory at number six singles (6-3, 7-5) that closed out the 4-2 Arkansas win.

    With the win, Arkansas advances to face the winner of No. 4 Georgia and No. 74 Elon on Sunday. The winner in tomorrow's Round of 32 dual match clinches one of 16 berths for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. One spot is already filled by this season's host, the University of Virginia.

    The last time Arkansas made it to the Sweet 16 of the ITA Indoor Championships was during the 2010-11 season, as the Razorbacks pulled off a 4-3 upset of No. 4 Notre Dame, which played host to the ITA Kickoff Weekend that season in South Bend, Ind.

    This season, the ITA Kickoff Weekend marks the first national tournament to use the new, experimental formats decided upon by the ITA Division Operating Committee. The women will be playing all sets in singles and doubles to six games, with regular scoring and tiebreakers at 6-all. However, if a singles match splits sets, then a match tiebreaker will be played in lieu of a third set.

    For more information on Arkansas women's tennis, follow @RazorbackWTEN on Twitter.






    Razorback Men's Tennis Falls 4-3 In Stillwater

    STILLWATER, Okla. – A back-and-forth match came down to the wire for Arkansas men's tennis (2-2), with the Arkansas tennis team falling to Dartmouth 4-3 on Friday.

    Playing at the No. 1 position, senior Mike Nott and freshman Johan den Toom recorded a victory against their No. 36 ranked opponent, Ghorbani/Tannenbaum, 6-5 (5).

    The Razorbacks traded singles matches with Dartmouth, coming down to the final court and a tiebreaking set in a heartbreaking finish. Senior Hall Fess defeated Brandon DeBot in the No. 3 position, 6-5 (5), 6-5 (5), freshman Johan den Toom collected a win at No. 6 over Sam Todd, 4-6, 6-5 (7), 6-2, and sophomore Santiago Munoz recorded a victory at No. 4 over Cameron Ghorbani, 6-4, 2-6, 6-5 (4). A tough battle between junior Jovan Parlic and Chris Kipouras ended ended with Parlic falling 4-6, 6-2, 3-6 for the final team point of the match.

    Arkansas will return to action tomorrow, facing ETSU at noon. Live stats can be found at www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com as well as by following @RazorbackMTEN on Twitter.






    Kentucky Defeats Tulane at ITA Kick-Off

    DURHAM, N.C. – The University of Kentucky women's tennis team beat No. 53 Tulane, 4-1 at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend, hosted by Duke University in Durham, N.C. on Friday, Jan. 24.  

    "I am very excited for our ladies today," Kentucky head coach Carlos Drada said. "I am confident that this is a sign for great things to come if we continue taking care of the details."

    No. 42 Kentucky fell behind early losing the doubles point, but rallied back in singles with junior Kelsey Dieters clinching the match in the No. 3 position to take down the Green Wave. Freshman Aldila Sutjiadi and junior Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff stopped Tulane from sweeping the Wildcats in doubles by defeating Ipek Birol and Sophie Blom, 6-4.

    Junior Stephanie Fox tallied the first point for the Wildcats winning her singles match in the No. 6 position over Emily Dvorak, 6-1 in both sets. Morin-Kougoucheff and senior Caitlin McGraw added two more points to the board with wins over Blom and Meredith Maltby, respectively, before Dieters capped of the match with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Jacqui Katz.

    "We started our singles with great poise and determination after losing the doubles point," Drada said. "We won against a mature and talented team today and have put ourselves in a great position for our match against Duke."

    Kentucky will take on No. 10 Duke, Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. ET in the ITA Kick-Off championship match. The winner of the match will receive a berth to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.






    No. 8 Kentucky Beats BYU in ITA Regional Semifinal

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 8 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team defeated the No. 45 BYU Cougars, 4-0 in just 97 minutes on Friday afternoon at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center, booking its spot in the regional final of the 2014 ITA Kick-Off Lexington Regional.

    The Wildcats secured the doubles point with wins on courts two and three beforepromptly locking up the march with three straight-set wins in singles on courts one, three and four.

    In doubles, for the first time all season, sophomore Beck Pennington teamed with Alejandro Gomez, as the duo combined to win 6-1 on court two and give the Wildcats the early leg up in the doubles point. Newcomer Nils Ellefsen teamed up with senior Ryuji Hirooka on court three to clinch the doubles point with an easy 6-2 win on court three. Kevin Lai and Tom Jomby were serving for the match at 5-4 when the 1-0 lead was clinched, and the match was stopped.

    In singles, freshman Jerry Lopez wasted no time for Kentucky, breezing through his match, collecting a 6-3, 6-0 win on court four to give Kentucky the commanding 2-0 lead in the match. After exchanging service breaks in the first games of the set, Lopez controlled the rest of the match, winning the last eight games of the match.

    On court three, Gomez continued his hot play as of late, upping is undefeated record to 5-0 on the year, as he tallied a 6-2, 6-2 win on court three. Gomez was in control of the match from start to finish, and gave the Wildcats the 3-0 lead.

    The match was clinched in just 97 minutes from start to finish when Jomby served out a 6-4, 6-4 win on court one. Jomby got a single break each set, and was not broken during the course of the match. The win for Jomby also upped his record to 5-0 on the season.

    Kentucky (5-0) with the win, advances to the Lexington Regional final, where the Wildcats will face the winner of No. 29 Notre Dame and No. 39 Minnesota on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. ET for a ticket to the ITA National Indoors inHouston, Texas in mid-February.

    “This was a good win today,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “We are looking for a big crowd tomorrow as we look to advance to the ITA National Indoors in Houston. A big turnout by the Big Blue Nation would be a great thing for our team and would really help us tomorrow night.”
     




    Alabama Men’s Tennis Edged by No. 16 California, 4-2

    MALIBU, Calif. – The Alabama men’s tennis team dropped its first dual match of the season on Friday, falling 4-2 to No. 16 California at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center on the campus of Pepperdine University. The Crimson Tide (3-1) will now face San Diego (0-1) in the consolation match of ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Saturday at Noon CT.

    Alabama earned a pair of 6-4 wins in doubles to capture the early point. The Golden Bear duo of Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton gave Cal a 6-3 win on court two over Sean Donohue and Becker O’Shaughnessey, but wins by Nikko Madregallejo and Daniil Proskura on court one and Andrew Goodwin and Stuart Kenyon on court three awarded the Tide the 1-0 lead heading into singles.

    Bayane would tie the match for Cal, winning 6-3, 6-2 on court five over Kenyon, however O’Shaughnessey, ranked 51st nationally in singles, gave Alabama the lead back moments later with a 6-4, 6-4 victory from court two. The remaining four matches all split sets, forcing third sets across the board. The Bears would end up winning the next three straight on court one, three and four to secure the team victory.

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