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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 23 LSU men's tennis team (1-1) fell 4-1 to No. 19 Wake Forest (5-0) in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Classic in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday.
“There are a few details here and there that are a still work in progress,” said LSU head coach Jeff Brown. “One thing that is a really high level is this team’s fight. I’m extremely comfortable taking these guys into any match because of how hard they fight. I know that they are working to improve.”
Sophomore Boris Arias secured LSU’s lone point of the match winning on court four, 6-5, 1-6, 6-4. In doubles, No. 60 junior Chris Simpson and Arias cruised to a 6-0 win over Adam Lee and Pedro Dumont.
The Deacons won two of the three doubles matches and took the doubles point. No. 46 freshman Eric Perez and sophomore Tam Trinh fell 6-0 to Romain Bogaerts and Max Kan. Sophomore Andrew Korinek and freshman Justin Butsch fell 6-4 to Aws Laaribi and Anthony Delcore.
Butsch pushed his singles match to three sets winning the first set 6-5, but ultimately lost the second and third sets 6-3, 6-3. Trinh lost his singles match 6-4, 6-1 to Kan on court three, and Korinek fell to No. 59 Lee 6-3, 6-2.
No. 72 Simpson and sophomore Harrison Kennedy did not finish their singles matches to No. 20 Bogaerts and Laarbi, respectively. Simpson was at a third-set tiebreaker before his match was cut short.
LSU takes on No. 15 Vanderbilt (2-1) on Sunday at 10 a.m. in the consolation match. Vanderbilt is coming off a 4-0 loss to No. 20 Texas.
“Hopefully we can play a little better tomorrow against Vanderbilt, who is a very good team,” Brown said. “Vanderbilt is coming off a tough match that was closer than the score. I look forward to watching my team grow and continue to evolve.”
For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's team on Twitter and Instagram @LSUTennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.
Aggies Men’s Tennis Sweeps Twin-Bill With 6-1 Victories
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M men’s tennis team improved to 4-0 on the young season with victories over UTSA and Lamar at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon. The Aggies failed to claim the doubles point against the Roadrunners but won all 12 sets in singles on their way to the 6-1 victory.
“Starting with the doubles against UTSA, we put ourselves behind the eight ball which forced us to deal with some adversity for the first time this season and I felt like our guys responded well to that,” A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “Both matches were really competitive today and I liked the way our guys took care of business.”
The sophomore tandem of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant improved to 4-0 on the young season with two victories at the No. 1 line on Saturday. The pair downed Yannick Junger and Diogo Casa, 6-0, in the first match against UTSA and later ousted the duo of Nikita Lis and Steven McMullan, 6-2, of Lamar. Last season, both Adams and Vinsant were named to the All-SEC Freshmen team during their first season in Aggieland.
Junior Jeremy Efferding bolstered his early-season resume by improving to 4-0 in singles. The nation’s 13th-ranked player defeated UTSA’s Junger, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 2 singles position before besting Michael Feucht, 6-3, 6-2, of Lamar at the top line.
“Jeremy is becoming one of the real stalwarts for this team after he picked his game up moving from the No. 4 line to the No. 1 position for us,” Denton said on his top-singles player. “He is really starting to enforce his will in these matches and he is learning that every point is really valuable.”
Freshman Max Lunkin continues to impress early in his Aggie career by starting the season 3-0 after arriving in Aggieland in early January. The Russian downed Eric Buchalter, 6-4, 6-1, at the No. 5 line to give the Aggies a 5-1 lead against the Roadrunners. Later in the afternoon, Lunkin showed tremendous poise as he rallied through two tiebreaking points to secure the 5-6 (10), 6-0, 1-0 (8), victory at the No. 4 line.
“It was good for Max to face a couple tough opponents in a new environment and get two quality matches under his belt,” Denton said on his Russian freshman. “This competition will go a long way to help him with his confidence and get him acclimated to this new format. I was pleased with how he responded after being down 5-1 in the first set against Lamar, he really came back and competed there when a lot of guys would go away after a disappointing first set.”
Texas A&M will be back in action again next Sunday, Feb. 2, as it welcomes SMU and Nicholls State to the Mitchell Tennis Center at noon and 4 p.m., respectively. To learn more about the men’s tennis team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.
MSU Women’s Tennis Drops ITA Kick-Off Opener To No. 7 Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Despite a late comeback effort, the fourth-seeded Mississippi State women’s tennis team fell in its opening match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Saturday, falling 4-1 to seventh-ranked and top-seeded host Texas A&M.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 1-1 on the season and will face 68th-ranked San Jose State tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the consolation match. As the second seed, San Jose State fell earlier in the day to third-seeded DePaul 4-1.
The Bulldogs battled close with the seventh-ranked Aggies in doubles action to start the match Saturday. Timea Guibe and Alexandra Perper went back and forth on Court 1 with the 22nd-ranked A&M tandem of Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu, but ultimately fell 7-5. The Aggies would clinch the doubles point a few minutes later on No. 3, as Georgiana Patrasc and Naomi Tran were defeated 6-3 by the 51st-ranked duo of Rutuja Bohsale and Ines Deheza.
In singles action, the scoring began on Court 6 with Hristov defeating Bulldog newcomer Rosalinda Calderon 6-2, 6-0. Then, MSU’s 84th-ranked Patrasc fell on Court 1 to 14th-ranked Stancu 6-0, 6-2 to give the Aggies a 3-0 lead.
The Bulldogs got their first point of the day when Dion defeated Bohsale 6-1, 6-2 in an impressive performance at No. 5.
The Aggies then clinched the victory, with Saska Gavrilovska defeating Guibe 6-3, 6-0 on Court 3 to win the match, and play was suspended at that point with State holding leads in the last two contests.
MSU was just a point away from claiming victory on court 2, where Perper led 6-4, 5-4, while Tran was up 4-2 in a third-set supertiebreaker on court 4 that would decide the match.
“We had a great battle with a very good team today,” said head coach Daryl Greenan. “We had our chances to get the doubles point, and Rosie did a great job in her win. This could have been a 4-3 match either way and that’s a good sign for us early in the season. Tomorrow’s going to be another tough match, but if we compete like we did today, I like our chances of getting a solid win.”
Live stats will be provided for Sunday’s match with SJSU on AggieAthletics.com.
For more information on Mississippi State women’s tennis and updates on tomorrow’s action, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateWT), Facebook (HailStateWT) and Instagram (HailStateWT).
No. 42 Kentucky Falls to No. 10 Duke in Regional Championships
DURHAM, N.C. – The University of Kentucky women's tennis team fell to No. 10 Duke, 4-0, in the regional championship match on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend hosted by Duke University in Durham, N.C.
"We faced a high level team today that was more consistent at making disciplined choices during the match and closing out their leads," Kentucky head coach Carlos Drada said. "My team showed great effort today and we are hungry to get back onto the courts."
No. 56 CeCe Witten and Kelsey Dieters fell in No. 1 doubles to Beatrice Capra and Hanna Mar, 6-2. Duke claimed the doubles point after a well-fought match between Marianna Jodoin and Alyssa Smith, and Kentucky's Kirsten Lewis and Stephanie Fox. Jodoin and Smith won 6-4.
The Wildcats hoped to have better luck in the singles competition, but Duke controlled the courts. Dieters and Fox tried to spark a comeback, winning the first set in their singles matches, but their effort wasn't enough.
Freshman Taylor Lederman dropped her match in the No. 5 singles position to Jodoin, 6-0, 7-5, and Duke jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Smith expanded Duke's lead to 3-0 after her 6-2, 6-3 win over senior Caitlin McGraw. Court No. 3 clinched the match for the Blue Devils as Dieters lost to No. 45 Ester Goldfield.
"Everyone fought very hard this weekend and had a lot of energy from court to court," Dieters said. "Each match was a great learning experience and we are looking forward to applying what we've learned to help us succeed in future matches."
No. 42 Kentucky falls to 3-1 on the season. The Wildcats will travel to Penn State on Saturday, Feb. 1 before returning home for a doubleheader against Marshall University and Morehead State, Feb. 8.
No. 8 Kentucky’s Comeback Falls Short to No. 29 Notre Dame
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 29 Notre Dame Fighting Irish claimed the Lexington Regional Championship of the 2014 Intercollegiate Kick-Off Weekend by knocking off the No. 8 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team on Saturday afternoon in a wild 4-3 affair at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center.
The Wildcats were unable to secure the doubles point for just the second time all season on Saturday night, as the Fighting Irish picked up wins on courts one and two to take the early 1-0 lead in the match. Kentucky’s Nils Ellefsen and Ryuji Hirooka were the lone winners for UK in the doubles, as they secured a 6-2 win on court three.
UK’s Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez had a pair of match points on court two to give the doubles point to Kentucky, but lost both of them, and ended up losing the deciding tiebreaker.
In singles, Kentucky (5-1) won the matches on courts one, three and five to keep the match close, but the deciding factor was court six, as Notre Dame’s Eddy Covalski knocked off Hirooka in three sets, 6-3, 5-6 (5), 6-4.
Hirooka battled to the end, trailing early and forcing a deciding third set after winning a second-set tiebreaker. In the third set, which was the only courtplaying, Hirooka broke at 2-1 to take the 3-1 lead in the set, but Covalskitook five of the final six games to clinch the match.
With the win, Notre Dame (5-0) advances to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston, Texas, in mid-February.
Kentucky got singles wins from Jomby, Gomez and Grant Roberts, who tied the match at 3-3 and forced the deciding match on court six.
The Wildcats are back in action on Feb. 2, as Kentucky faces Notre Dame again in a regular-season match in South Bend, Ind. The action will commence at 1 p.m. ET.
No. 28 Auburn downs No. 32 Drake at ITA Kick-Off Weekend
WACO, Texas – Auburn’s 28th-ranked men’s tennis team used strong doubles play and picked up a trio of three-set victories to continue its unbeaten start to the season, knocking off No. 32 Drake 4-1 on Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
The Tigers (4-0) moved to 8-0 in doubles play this season with a pair of 6-3 victories and won three of the four singles matches, with all four going to three sets. Drake fell 2-2 to this season.
“It was a tough match tonight, but we found a way to win,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “The top of our lineup stepped up tonight. Dennis Lengsfeld was a warrior tonight, winning from a set and two match points down to clinch the match for us by winning his match.”
Auburn continued with its unbeaten mark in doubles this season and began play with a 6-3 victory by the No. 37 pair of Lengsfeld and Lukas Ollert over Drake’s Ben Lott and Alen Salibasic. Joseph Van Dooren and Dante Saleh picked up the doubles point for the Tigers with a 6-3 win against Drake’s Matt Frost and Ben Mullis.
The Tigers won the first set in all six singles matches, but had to battle back after dropping the second set in each match. Lukas Ollert, playing in the No. 1 spot, posted a 6-5 (7-0), 1-6, 6-2 win for Auburn giving the Tigers their first win in singles of the night. No. 112 Daniel Cochrane picked up the win in the No. 2 spot in the lineup by taking down Drake’s Ben Lott 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
The Bulldogs got on the board and cut Auburn’s lead to 3-1 with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win by No. 123 Matt Frost in the No. 4 spot over the Tigers’ Petar Tomic. The loss marked the first defeat for the freshman this season.
Lengsfeld claimed the match for Auburn with a gutsy performance in the No. 3 spot. The senior battled from a set down and survived a pair of match points against Drake’s Robin Goodman to win 2-6, 6-5 (9-7), 6-4.
Auburn will face No. 7 Baylor in the championship round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Sunday at 3 p.m. The winner advances to February’s National Indoor Team Championship in Houston.
For complete coverage on the Auburn men's tennis team, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow @MensTennisAU on Twitter and `like' the Auburn Men's Tennis page on Facebook.
Rebels Drop Opening Match At ITA Kick-Off
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 35 ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team dropped a 4-0 decision to No. 34 Oklahoma in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend here Saturday at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility. With the loss, the Rebels (1-1) will face William & Mary in the consolation match Sunday at 10 a.m.
The Sooners jumped on the Rebels early in doubles, winning the No. 1 match 6-0. After Julia Jones and Zalina Khairudinova won 6-2 at No. 3 doubles, all eyes turned to court two, where the match ended in a tiebreaker. The Sooner pair of Emma Devine and Morgan Chumney forced a tiebreaker to defeat Erin Stephens and Iris Verboven, 7-6(5), and clinch the doubles point for Oklahoma.
Stephens was first off the court in singles, losing to Devine 6-1, 6-3 at No. 5 as the Sooners went ahead 2-0.
The Rebels won three first sets, but in one of those, they weren’t able to win the match and two of them didn’t finish. Khairudinova won the first set against Chumney 6-3, but the Sooner came back to win the second set 7-5 and force a superbreaker for the third set, which she won 10-6 to give Oklahoma 3-0 lead.
The match ended when Sooner Whitney Ritchie finished off a 6-0, 7-5 win against 90th-ranked Jones at No. 2 singles.
“This was a disappointing loss today,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “Oklahoma is a good team and when we are unable to win close sets, tiebreakers and supertiebreakers, we are not going to win a match like this. We have to regroup and be ready to battle William & Mary tomorrow.
The Rebels will look to avenge a 4-3 loss to William & Mary last year in the first dual match of the year.
Bulldogs Beat Columbia To Start Dual Match Season
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 3-ranked Georgia men's tennis team began the 2014 dual match season with a 4-2 victory over Columbia in the ITA Kickoff Saturday at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.
The Bulldogs (1-0) will take on Stanford - which defeated Washington earlier in the day - Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. The winner will advance to the ITA National Indoor Tournament Feb. 14-17 in Houston, Texas.
All matches in the ITA Kickoff use the new experimental format, which includes tiebreakers at 5-all and no-ad scoring. Doubles are played to six games.
Georgia jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Saurday, but Columbia got to within 3-2 before senior Hernus Pieters clinched the match with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-5(3) win over Bert Vancura at No. 5.
"As a coach during the season you want to find out what you have, and I think today it was evident," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "At the end with Hernus and the match on the line, all of the momentum was with the other player, and it was not looking good for us. It was not because of bad play on our part; Columbia is just a great team and better than their ranking. They were being just as tough as us and just as determined and turned a 3-0 lead into anybody's match.
"We found out that we have a great group of guys that when the situation gets tough, they are going to respond and be tough to beat," Diaz said. "It's important for us to get some rest and come back tomorrow with that same energy."
Georgia won the doubles point to go ahead 1-0. At No. 3, Eric Diaz and Austin Smith defeated Eric Rubin and Vancura, 6-3, then at No. 2, Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha edged Mike Vermeer and Winston Lin, 6-5(3). The match at No. 1 featuring the Bulldogs' No. 12 team of Ben Wagland and Pieters was suspended when the point was clinched.
Sunday's schedule includes Washington vs. Columbia at 9 a.m., Georgia women vs. Arkansas at 1 p.m. and Georgia men vs. Stanford at 5 p.m.
Auburn women's tennis takes doubles point, falls to No. 17 Texas 4-1
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 23 Auburn women’s tennis team started strong, securing the doubles point against No. 17 Texas, but came up short in the match, falling 4-1 to the Longhorns on Saturday at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.
The Tigers (0-1), playing in the ITA-Kickoff Weekend, went up 1-0 early on the Longhorns (2-0) behind a pair of thrilling doubles wins. Needing to win two matches, the Tigers rallied as No. 17 Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger made it one match a piece with a 7-6 (3) victory over Texas’ No. 21 Breaunna Addison and Pippa Horn in the No. 1 doubles spot.
Michala Kucharova and Reka Muller sealed the doubles point for Auburn, battling to a 7-5 win over the Longhorns’ Elizabeth Begley and Nada Koprcina. The Tigers went into singles play, riding momentum but were unable to come up with a victory as Texas rattled off four wins to clinch the match.
“I felt we came out and played extremely tight from the very beginning and even though we were able to get the doubles point, it wasn’t the quality of doubles that we are used to putting on the court,” Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “We didn’t take the momentum from that point into single and credit has to go to Texas for coming out and playing well in their singles.”
Auburn will face Florida State (2-1) in Sunday’s consolation round match beginning at 10 a.m. The Seminoles fell 4-3 to Rice on Saturday afternoon and enter the weekend ranked No. 24 in the latest ITA rankings.
“I have faith that this team will meet the challenge of stepping up and rebounding for tomorrow,” Meisner said. “Every team here is a top-ranked competitor and we will need to come out tomorrow and play to our potential.”
For the latest on Auburn women’s tennis follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AUWomensTennis.
Vols Open ITA Kick-Off with 4-1 Win
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The sixth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers opened the ITA Kick-Off Weekend with a 4-1 victory over Michigan State on Saturday at Goodfriend Tennis Center.
The Vols (5-0) will play VCU on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the final of the two-day event. The winner advances to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships next month.
Tennessee clinched the doubles point on near simultaneous aces by junior Mikelis Libietis on court 1 and junior Andrew Dromsky on court 3. In singles, freshman Markus Kerner dropped just two games on his way to victory on court 6, and Libietis picked up a straight-set win to put the Vols ahead 3-0.
Junior Hunter Reese clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-5 (5) victory on court 2.
Now the Vols have an opportunity to qualify for the 16-team ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the sixth consecutive season.
The doubles point was close from the start. Libietis and Reese, the Vols' No. 1-ranked team broke Michigan State's serve early, but Brandon Fickey and Jarryd Chaplin fell behind early on court 2.
Tennessee swung the momentum in its favor with performance of its new doubles team of Dromsky and Kerner on court 3. Libietis served out the 6-3 win on court 1, and Dromsky followed suit a second later with an ace to secure a 6-4 win and the doubles point.
In singles, Kerner paced the Vols on court. He was on and off court 6 quickly with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Mac Roy, good for his 10th victory of the season.
Libietis came out playing his best tennis of the spring. After picking up a rare loss last week at No. 2 singles against ETSU, the Vols' ace pulled away from Aaron Pfister for a 6-4, 6-1 victory on court 1.
"Mikelis know what he means to this program; he know what the coaches and his teammates expect of him," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "Today was quite honestly par for the course. ... When you have that kind of attention on you, people look around and wonder `what's going on?' He's still a young kid who's still growing, still maturing. I thought today was a great performance by him because he knew he needed to be better."
Libietis hit 11 aces in the match.
"I've been trying all week in practices to get my momentum back," Libietis said. "My serve was there, and that helps me a lot."
After Libietis' victory, junior Brandon Fickey lost his first full match back in action 6-1, 6-3 to John Patrick Mullane on court 3. Play on the remaining three matches was close.
Chaplin and Dromsky both split sets with their opponents on courts 4 and 5 when Reese had a chance to put the match away. An up-and-down second set went into a tiebreaker and Reese won a double fault by Lied to record his team-leading 16th victory of the season.
With a team a near-even mix of returners and newcomers, Winterbotham said the team as a whole is still working on defining its on-court identity for the season.
"Our identity the last seven years of our program is that we have players go out and give everything they have and leave it all out on the court," Winterbotham said. "There's no drama. They fight for every point. ... We're not there right now. Do I expect us to be there right now? Probably not, but but I would like to see more consistency from top to bottom."
Missouri Tennis Falls to Harvard in ITA Kick-Off Opener
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Mizzou tennis team suffered a 4-0 loss to Harvard in the opening match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Saturday at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, Fla. The Tigers will now face Louisville in the consolation match on Sunday at 8 a.m. CT.
The Crimson barely won the doubles point as the final match came down to a tiebreaker. Harvard opened doubles action with a 6-0 win at No. 3 as Amy He and Amanda Lin defeated sophomore Kelli Hine and freshman Tracy Dong. The Tigers evened it up when senior Cierra Gaytan-Leach and freshman Cassidy Spearman earned a 7-5 win over Spencer Liang and Monica Lin at No. 1 play.
At No. 2 doubles, Mizzou's tandem of senior Rachel Stuhlmann and sophomore Madison Rhyner stormed back from 5-1 down to tie the match at 6-6. However, Harvard's June Lee and Hannah Morrill recovered to win 7-6 (7-5) and give the Crimson the doubles point.
Harvard earned a 2-0 lead when Rhyner suffered a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Lee. Hine then suffered a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Monica Lin as the Crimson took a 3-0 advantage. Harvard clinched the win after Amanda Lin notched a 6-2, 6-1 win over Dong.
Following Sunday's match against Louisville, Missouri travels to North Carolina to take on North Carolina State (Saturday, Feb. 1) and Wake Forest (Sunday, Feb. 2).
Gators Defeat Louisville, 4-0, in Season Opener
Gainesville, Fla. - Kourtney Keegan, Sofie Oyen and Stefani Stojic each won both their doubles match and a singles match to help Florida win its 30th consecutive season-opener with a 4-0 victory against Louisville on Saturday at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. The match was part of the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
Louisville won the first doubles match, but the tandems of Keegan and Oyen along with Alexandra Cercone and Stojic took the final two doubles matches to win the doubles point for the Gators.
In singles competition, Florida won three of its matches in straight sets to seal its first dual match victory of the season. Keegan finished her match first, defeating Louisville’s Elle Stokes, 6-0, 6-3, and pushing Florida to a 2-0 advantage.
Oyen took the third point of the match after beating Rebecca Bodine, 6-1, 6-2, on court four. Stojic defeated Olivia Boesing, 6-4, 6-1, and narrowly beating Cercone for bragging rights as the clinch point for the Gators’ victory. Cercone, who played the No. 1 spot for the first time in her career as a Gator, was in the middle of a tiebreak that would have decided the outcome of her match when Stojic won her single match and sealed the win for Florida.
The Gators will face Harvard in the championship final on Sunday at 10 a.m. to conclude the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.