UF Women's Tennis Captures 4-0 Victory over Harvard in ITA Kick-Off Championship Match
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida freshman Stefani Stojic clinched singles play for the second day in a row as the No. 2 University of Florida women's tennis team swept Harvard 4-0 in the championship match of the 2014 ITA Kick-Off at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex on Sunday.
Stojic was unable to finish her doubles match but pulled the Gators through in singles competition with a 6-3, 6-3, defeat over Harvard's Sylvia Li as Florida improved to 2-0 in dual matches on the year.
The Gators took the first two doubles matches, as senior Sofie Oyen and freshman Kourtney Keegan sealed it for Florida with a 6-4 defeat over Spencer Liang and Monica Lin.
In singles play, the Orange and Blue captured three-consecutive matches in straight sets. Oyen put away Hannah Morrill 6-0, 6-0 in just 34 minutes of action to edge the Crimson by a score of 2-0. Keegan then earned the third point of the day for the Gators after defeating Amanda Lin 6-0, 6-0, on court five.
Stojic followed with her victory on court six just before senior Olivia Janowicz and Liang were about to battle it out in a tie break. Janowicz dropped the first set, 2-6 but rallied from behind to take the second set, 6-4.
Bulldogs Beat Arkansas, Advance to ITA National Indoor Championships
ATHENS, Ga. -- The No. 4 Georgia women’s tennis team beat No. 51 Arkansas 5-0 Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the 24th time in program history. The Bulldogs were helped by loud crowd of more than 500 people in its two matches this weekend.
“It’s very exciting to be headed back to Charlottesville,” said head coach Jeff Wallace, now in his 29th season. “It’s great to get the spring started with some dual matches here at home. I thought we played some great tennis today against Arkansas. Arkansas has a young team and they fought hard. Doubles was great with Kate and Silvia closing it out and then everyone came out and looked sharp in singles. We’re looking forward to getting back to Virginia and making a run.”
Georgia (2-0) won a thrilling doubles point and quickly won five singles matches to advance to February’s Championships.
In doubles, the fifth-ranked duo of Maho Kowase and Lauren Herring beat the Razorbacks’ (1-1) Kimberley-Ann Surin and Brittany Huxley, 6-1. Silvia Garcia and Kate Fuller clinched the point with a 6-4 victory over Yang Pang and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva. Lilly Kimbell and Caroline Brinson fought back after being down two breaks to tie the match at 5-5 before it was suspended.
In singles, Georgia went up 2-0 when No. 33 Kimbell beat Surin, 6-1, 6-3. Shortly after, No. 10 Garcia topped No. 115 Hudson 6-1, 6-3 to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 advantage. No. 25 Kowase clinched the Georgia victory with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Arkansas’ McLean. Herring notched Georgia’s fifth point of the day with a 6-0, 6-3 win over No. 71 Yang Pang. Though the match outcome had already been clinched prior to the end of Herring’s match, the final point was in progress so it was allowed to finish, giving Georgia a 5-0 win.
The Bulldogs improve to 25-3 all-time against the Razorbacks. The two teams will meet again on April 4 in Fayetteville. With today’s win, Georgia will head to its 24th ITA National Indoor Championship on Feb. 7-10. The Bulldogs have won three national indoor team titles.
The Bulldogs will return to action against Clemson next Saturday at noon. All regular season matches are held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex and admission is free.
No. 15 Commodores drop No. 23 LSU in consolation final
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The No. 15 Vanderbilt men’s tennis team rebounded , Sunday, after a tough loss to No. 20 Texas in the ITA Kick-off opener. The Commodores knocked off SEC counterpart LSU, 4-1, in the ITA Kick-off consolation final at the Currey Tennis Center.
Vanderbilt got the morning off with a 6-4 loss at No. 3 doubles by Suresh Eswaran and Kris Yee, but that was followed up quickly by a 6-4 win by No. 2 Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman.
Rhys Johnson and Ryan Smith went up a break early at No. 2 doubles, but LSU broke back at 3-2 to get back on serve. The Vandy duo forced at tiebreak winning their serve at 4-5. However, the ‘Dores couldn’t take control, falling 5-7 in the breaker, dropping the doubles point.
Lipman got the Commodores on the board against No. 23 LSU in singles, cruising to a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 2. Yee kept the points coming, winning 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5, to give Vandy the 2-1 lead.
Anton Kovrigin, playing at No. 4 singles, dominated his first set, winning 6-2 over Boris Arias. In the second set, Kovrigin jumped out to a 3-1 lead before Arias broke to bring it back to 3-3. Kovrigin broke back, and then won the next two games to win the match 6-2, 6-3.
At No. 1 singles, 9th-ranked Austin matched up with No. 72 Chris Simpson. The two split sets to open the match, Austin winning 6-1 in the first, and Simpson winning 6-2 in the second. The Vandy junior took control early in the third set, jumping to a 3-1 lead after breaking in the fourth game. Simpson fought back to 3-3 before Austin got a break in the eighth game, with an opportunity to clinch the match.
Following a few well played points, Austin ripped a hard backhand, forcing Simpson’s shot far of the end line, to clinch the match for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt will now look ahead to Northwestern on February 2, at 12 p.m., from the Currey Tennis Center.
No. 13 MSU Downs No. 21 Memphis, Advances To ITA National Indoors
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After one senior clinched a victory for Mississippi State on Saturday, another stepped into the spotlight on Sunday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. Malte Stropp handled the pressure with ease, propelling the 13th-ranked Mississippi State men’s tennis squad (4-0) to a 4-2 win against No. 21 Memphis (1-1), punching the Bulldogs’ ticket to Houston, Texas, for the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship, Feb. 13-16.
Sunday’s match was a battle of two teams that reached the NCAA Round of 16 last spring.
“We knew today was going to be extremely difficult,” coach Per Nilsson said. “But, this team has come together amazingly quick in just two to three weeks. They’re playing as a team and there’s not a time where they aren’t playing their hearts out.”
Stropp, ranked 39th nationally, battled against Memphis’ 56th-ranked Joe Salisbury in a match that saw both sets decided in a tiebreaker. A late break from Stropp in the first set helped set up the first-set tiebreaker, which the MSU veteran took 6-5(3). The second set proved to be just as tough, with Salisbury going up 5-3 and a break. However, Stropp proved resilient and battled back, forcing a tiebreaker and then taking the match 6-5(3), 6-5(2), clinching the win for MSU. It capped a very close battle between the Bulldogs and Tigers during the afternoon, which saw Memphis go up 2-0 early on.
“We knew it was going to take something special, someone had to do something,” Nilsson said. “Malte (Stropp) wasn’t a 100 percent, but was able to pull that out and it was amazing.”
The visitors got on the board first with the doubles point. Memphis took a 6-2 victory from Connor Glennon and Cedric De Zutter against MSU’s Egbert Weverink and Zach White on court two to begin tandem play. The UM duo of Ian Chadwell and Johnny Grimal clinched the point for the Tigers, defeating MSU’s Florian Lakat and Tassilo Schmid 6-1 on court three. Play at the top spot was suspended at that point, with UM’s No. 3-ranked duo of David O’Hare and Salisbury leading MSU’s No. 52 Jordan Angus and Stropp 4-3.
Up 1-0, the Tigers struck first in singles play as well, gaining a 6-4, 6-3 victory from David O’Leary against MSU’s White on court four. However, that would be the last point added to the board for the Tigers on the day.
MSU freshman Rishab Agarwal earned his first win of the weekend, defeating UM’s Chadwell 6-4, 6-3 on court five. Following suit just moments later, the State sophomore Angus garnered his second-straight victory against a ranked opponent, defeating the Tigers’ No. 87 Grimal 6-2, 6-5(2), leveling the overall score at 2-2.
On court one, the Bulldog freshman Lakat, ranked 63rd in the nation, picked up his first ranked win of the spring, downing UM’s No. 49 Glennon in a tight 6-4, 6-5(5) win – overcoming a second-set break in the process - to energize the Pitts Tennis Centre crowd.
Attention then turned to Stropp on court two and Schmid on court six. After Schmid forced a third set with a tiebreaker victory in the second, Stropp went to work, clinching the match and sending the Maroon and White to Houston. Schmid’s match was suspended following Stropp’s victory, with the score 4-6, 6-5(4), 1-1.
“Incredible performance by the team today,” Stropp said. “I had so much fun playing out there today and fed off our great team chemistry.”
With the win, MSU advances to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship fro the second-straight season, while also improving to 7-3 in ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches.
The Bulldogs will now turn their attention to the road for the first time this season, as they travel to Lubbock, Texas, to take on No. 53 Texas Tech on Friday, Jan. 31 at 1:30 p.m. CT, and Rice on Saturday, Feb. 1, at a time to be announced.
For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateMT), Facebook (HailStateMT) and Instagram (HailStateMT).
No. 18 Gamecocks Push Past No. 26 Harvard 4-0
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- No. 18 South Carolina fought off a late surge by No. 26 Harvard to post a 4-0 win in the Gamecocks’ second match at the ITA Kickoff Weekend event at A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. South Carolina (3-1) scored the doubles point to kick off the match and got a comeback win from senior Chip Cox to clinch the victory.
For the second time in as many matches for the Gamecocks, the doubles point came down to a tiebreak in the last match on court. Harvard opened play with its 17th-ranked doubles team of Denis Nguyen and Casey MacMaster using early service breaks to top No. 24 Chip Cox and Kyle Koch, 6-2, at the top of the order. In the No. 2 spot, Thiago Pinheiro and Tsvetan Mihov got a break midway through the match en route to a 6-3 win over No. 48 Nicky Hu and Brian Young. The No. 3 duos for both teams were trading punches to a tiebreak to decide the early team lead. Andrew Adams and Andrew Schafer served first and got out to a 2-1 lead early. Leading 4-3, the Gamecocks’ newest duo won the next three points to secure the 1-0 lead for South Carolina heading into singles action.
South Carolina stormed out to early leads in five of the six singles matches, but the Crimson was up for the battle, forcing tie breaks in three of those sets. No. 103 Koch and Adams finished off their first sets in the Nos. 2 and 3 matches, respectively, in relatively quick order, but Cox dropped his first set 6-4. The Crimson turned early Gamecock leads in the other three matches into tiebreaks, and would come out on top in two of them.
No. 91 Schafer surged late in his tiebreak to win his first set over Andrew Ball 6-5 (2), but No. 41 Mihov and Pinheiro both lost their opening sets. At the same time, Cox turned the tables on Alex Steinroeder on Court 5 to win the second set 6-2 and was pushing the momentum early in the third. Schafer was in complete control on Court 6, wrapping up Ball 6-1 in the second set to make it a 2-0 Gamecocks’ lead.
Koch fell behind late in his second set as Shaun Chaudhuri forced a third with a 6-3 win. Adams and No. 81 Sebastian Bletrame went to a tiebreak in their second set with the Gamecock junior sprinting out to a 5-0 lead. The Crimson’s freshman fought back, winning four of the next five points to get to 6-4. Adams served out the in, though, as his 6-5 (4) victory made it a 3-0 South Carolina lead. Cox was moments behind with the clinching point as he finished off Steinroder 6-1 in the third.
The Gamecocks are back in action on Fri., Jan. 31, at Georgia Tech, before returning to Columbia for a doubleheader on Sun., Feb. 2.
Texas A&M Advances to National Indoor Championship With Win Over DePaul
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The No. 7 Texas A&M women’s tennis team punched its ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship with a 4-1 victory over DePaul in the championship match of the ITA Kick-Off Classic today at the sun-splashed George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
It is the second consecutive year the Aggies (2-0) have qualified for the 16-team national tournament, to be held Feb. 7-10, in Charlottesville, Va.
“From the biggest overview, what this (victory) is going to allow our young group to do is to go back up to Virginia and at a minimum play three top-20 teams, which is exactly what this team needs,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “If this match goes a little differently, we miss out on that experience.
“On the basis of getting the win, I’m absolutely thrilled. It gives us a week or so to prepare (for the national indoor tournament), and it’s a great opportunity for us. All in all, this was a good win.”
A&M raced to a 1-0 lead against the Blue Demons, easily winning two of the three doubles matches by identical 6-1 scores. Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu, ranked No. 22 in the nation in doubles, took just over 20 minutes to defeat DePaul’s Jasmin Kling and Kelsey Lawson at the No. 1 court. After unable to hold serve in the opening set, the Aggie duo won the next six games to close out the victory.
Saska Gavrilovska and Anna Mamalat quickly followed to clinch the point for the Aggies. The A&M pair broke away from a 1-1 tie against Rebecca Mitrea and Zaina Sufi at the No. 3 line, reeling off five consecutive games to win the match and put the Aggies ahead, 1-0.
DePaul’s Patricia Fargas and Ana Vladutu held a 3-1 lead over Rutuja Bhosale and Ines Deheza at No. 2 when the doubles point was decided and the match was stopped.
Gavrilovska, a freshman who clinched A&M’s victory against Mississippi State on Saturday to send the Aggies to the championship match, gave A&M a 2-0 lead at the start of singles, defeating Kling 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 3 line.
Vladutu, ranked No. 52 in singles, then put the Blue Demons on the board and within 2-1, after breaking away from a 4-4 first-set tie to down Mamalat 6-4, 6-0 at the No. 2 line.
Jana McCord, a freshman making her Aggie debut, had a come-from-behind victory against Mitrea at the No. 6 line to give A&M a 3-1 cushion. McCord dropped the first four games of the match but then won the next three to get within 4-3. Mitrea would go on to win the next three games to close out the set, but McCord cruised to a 6-0 win in the second set to force a 10-point tiebreaker for the decisive third set. McCord built an 8-4 lead before Mitrea rallied to knot the score at 8-all. McCord, however, won the next two points to post the victory.
“Today was her first shot as a freshman,” Joffe said about McCord. “I don’t know if she could have been more nervous or played worse in the beginning of her match. To her credit, she managed to figure stuff out and ended up running out a winner. For her I was thrilled, and for our team it became obvious that if Jana won, we were sort of over the hump. Hristov, as a function of insurance, was closing in on as well, but that was a big win in context of the match.”
Stancu, ranked No. 14 in the nation in singles, then capped the team victory for the Aggies. The lone senior on the team won three consecutive games to close out a 6-2 win in the first set and also won three straight to break away from a 3-3 second-set tie to win the match and secure the team win for the Aggies.
Hristov held a comfortable 6-3, 5-2 lead against Sufi at the No. 5 line, while Lawson had a 7-6 (6), 4-2 edge over Deheza at No. 4 when play was stopped.
In the consolation match played earlier in the day, Mississippi State defeated No. 68 San Jose State, 4-1.
A&M hits the road to take on No. 3 North Carolina on Feb. 4 in Chapel Hill, N.C., and then will head to Charlottesville. First serve against the Tar Heels is slated for 4 p.m. (CT).
Visit AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWomensTennis.
Bulldogs Punch Ticket To National Indoors With Win
ATHENS, Ga. -- The third-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team weathered a late charge by No. 40 Stanford en route to a 4-1 victory and a place in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships on Sunday evening at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.
The Bulldogs (2-0) used two wins this weekend over Columbia and the Cardinal to advance out of the ITA Kickoff’s Athens region and snag a spot in the prestigious 16-team field next month in Houston.
“It wasn’t easy this weekend – both matches were very tight,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “The Regional was very competitive, and our guys had to play their best to win. It’s a sign of how deep things are going to be this year. Nothing is going to be easy, but the guys really were up to the challenge. I thought we played much better doubles today than we have been, and we were able to win some good matches late and clinch a good victory.”
The Bulldogs started off strong in snagging the early doubles point with wins at Nos. 2 and 3. First off the court was the team of Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha at No. 2, defeating Yale Goldberg and Maciek Romanowicz, 6-3. They were shortly followed by the No. 3 team of Eric Diaz and Austin Smith, who posted a 6-4 victory over Trey Strobel and Jamin Ball to give Georgia the early 1-0 lead. The No. 1 match was unfinished with Georgia’s 12th-ranked pairing of Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters leading 4-3.
The squad took a 3-0 lead overall in the match with quick singles wins from Wagland and Pasha. Wagland defeated Strobel, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 3, and Pasha handed Daniel Ho a 6-0, 6-3 loss at No. 1 to leave Georgia just one win shy of the clinch and the berth.
But Stanford got on the board with a victory at No. 2, as Romanowicz beat Smith 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to cut it to 3-1. Then, after dropping a close first-set tiebreaker earlier, it would be Brasseaux who would provide the decisive fourth point for UGA, as he posted a 5-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 win over Anthony Tsodikov at No. 4 to seal it. The Nos. 5 and 6 matches were unfinished with Pieters and Wood both up sets and breaks on their courts.
The Bulldogs advance to National Indoors for the 11th straight season, and have failed to do so just one time (2003) since the tournament began in 1973. Georgia has won two indoor championships, coming in back to back years in 2006 and 2007, while reaching the finals six times – most recently in 2009.
Georgia is back in action next weekend, traveling to participate in the SEC/Pac-12 Showdown in Los Angeles with dual matches slated against No. 2 UCLA and No. 4 Southern Cal.
Maynetto Clinches 4-3 Victory Over Oklahoma to Send the Tide to National Team Indoors
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The 12th-ranked Alabama women’s tennis team overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat Oklahoma, 4-3, in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend championship match at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility. With the win, the Crimson Tide moves to 2-0 and advances to the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the second-straight season.
Sophomore Natalia Maynetto provided the match clincher on court six in singles, mirroring last year’s finish as she also clinched in 2013 on court six to send Alabama to its first national indoors.
The Tide found itself down early, dropping the doubles point, five first sets in singles, and the match on court two. Alabama came back and won the second sets on all five of those courts to force tiebreakers across the board.
“This was a well-fought match by both teams,” said head coach Jenny Mainz. “It was a fun day of tennis. I think we showed a tremendous amount of resiliency. We lose the doubles point, then five first sets and the match overall on court two. Slowly but surely we came back and wouldn’t quit. It was just a gutsy performance by the team that came down to a couple big points.”
The first of the big points came from sophomore Maya Jansen, who got the Tide on the board, winning 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 on court three. Next up was junior Emily Zabor, who had an incredible comeback by defeating Emma Devine 3-6, 6-0, 10-5 to tie the match up at 2-2. Moments later, freshman Erin Routliffe had an almost identical comeback win against Mia Lancaster, giving the Tide its first lead of the day after her 6-7, 6-0, 10-5 victory.
In what was perhaps the most back-and-forth match of the day, senior Mary Anne Daines dropped a heartbreaker to No. 50 Hermon Brhane, 6-7, 7-6, 10-7, to even the team score at 3-3. At that point it came down to the match on court six, where Maynetto came through as she did all last season, clinching under pressure.
“I want to commend Oklahoma,” added Mainz. “This match was what college tennis is all about. This is why we play. I was very impressed with Oklahoma’s spirit and competitiveness. They are a very good team. All four teams in this region were really good, and I felt any of them could advance out.”
Alabama returns to the courts on Saturday, Feb. 1, when it hosts Georgia State at Noon. The Tide will then head to Charlottesville, Va., for the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships, which will run Feb. 7-10.
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.
No. 23 Auburn women’s tennis defeats Florida State 4-1
AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior Jackie Kasler clinched Auburn’s first win of the season with a dramatic three-set victory over Florida State’s Majlena Pedersen on Sunday at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin, Texas in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
"We used the momentum from doubles and carried that over to singles. We played hungry and took a step forward, Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. "With Jackie, I look for her to act as a senior and she did that today. She's resilient and came back and got focused after falling a set down. In that tiebreaker she got down match point a couple times and I think this was a huge step forward for her to keep battling back. I was really proud of how we performed, but we've got a lot to work on.”
Auburn (1-1) took a 1-0 lead thanks to a pair of 6-3 doubles victories. The 17th-ranked pair of Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger picked up their second win of the season with a 6-3 win against Florida State’s Daneika Borthwick and Emily Fanning.
“I was pleased with the rebound from Saturday's loss. We came out hungry and redeemed ourselves. This weekend for our team was good in that we won both doubles points in both matches. I think that’s something we can build on because it’s our goal to always win that point. I thought we were aggressive and much more prepared to go out and win the doubles today. I was pleased with quality and it set the tone."
After Auburn’s tandem of Jen Pfiefler and fell 6-4 to Florida State’s Daniela Schippers and Mia Vertens 6-3, the duo of Michala Kucharova and Reka Muller provided a 6-3 victory over FSU’s Kerrie Cartwright and Kristin Schleich to seal the doubles point for the Tigers.
The Seminoles earned their lone point on Kerrie Cartwright’s 6-1, 6-3 victory over Auburn’s Paula de Man. The Tigers rebounded quickly as Kucharova rattled off a 6-2, 6-3 win in straight sets to put Auburn back on top 2-1. Reka Muller followed up with a quick dismantling of FSU’s Duda Santos 6-2, 6-2. The freshman improved her record to 13-5.
"We've been preparing for these 10-point tiebreakers in practice. I just tried to start over and take the next set to go to the tiebreaker," Kasler said after her three-set win. "I played more aggressive later in the match and started to get to the net more. All of our practice with tiebreakers really was key, plus I was really proud of our underclassman especially, Michala and Reka, with how they clinched the doubles point for us."
Burgmans was up a set, trailing 5-6 in the second set before playing was suspended, while No. 98 Flickinger took the first 7-6 (5) after trailing 4-1 to Schippers early in the first. The match was halted at 3-3 in the second set.
Auburn is in action on Saturday when it opens its home slate with a doubleheader against Alabama A&M and Troy. Play begins at 11 a.m. at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
For the latest on Auburn women’s tennis follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AUWomensTennis.
State Women’s Tennis Downs No. 68 San Jose State In ITA Kick-Off
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- After falling to No. 7 Texas A&M on Saturday, the Mississippi State women’s tennis team rebounded well on Sunday, upsetting 68th-ranked San Jose State 4-2 in the consolation match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
With the win, State improved to 2-1 on the season and finished with a 1-1 split in this weekend’s action.
The Bulldogs kicked off the match in thrilling fashion, earning the doubles point, thanks to an intense 7-6(2) tiebreak win on Court 1 from Timea Guibe and Alexandra Perper over the Spartans’ Sabastiani Leon Chao and Marie Klocker. The MSU duo of Georgiana Patrasc and Naomi Tran also picked up a big win for the Bulldogs, edging Gaelle Rey and Jessica Willett 7-5 on Court 2 just prior to the win on No. 1.
In singles action, the scoring began on Court 5, where Bulldog Roseline Dion remained undefeated in 2014, rolling for her third consecutive straight-set win at 6-2, 6-0 over San Jose State’s Willett. From there, three straight matches would come down to super tiebreakers to determine their outcome, setting the stage for an intense battle.
The Spartans claimed the first of the three on Court 4, as Julianna Bacelar edged Tran 2-6, 6-2, 1-0(8), to give San Jose State their first point of the day and cutting the team score lead down to 3-1. The Bulldogs responded by claiming Court 2, where Perper rallied to defeat Chao 3-6, 6-4, 1-0(1), extending the Bulldogs lead to 3-1. On Court 6, MSU newcomer Rosalinda Calderon gave an impressive effort in just her second collegiate match, but would fall 3-6, 7-5, 1-0(7) to SJSU’s Deleval.
But the Bulldogs would ultimately clinch the match on Court 3, as Guibe defeated Rey 6-4, 7-5, giving Mississippi State the 4-2 win. Tied at 5-5 in the second set, Guibe held a crucial game to 6-5 and then broke at love to hand State the team victory.
Play on Court 1 was suspended at that point.
“It was a great battle today as expected,” said head coach Daryl Greenan. “Winning the doubles point proved to be critical for us. We started off strong in singles, but had to battle extremely hard to finish. I give San Jose State credit for their fighting spirit and I am very proud of our girls for their effort in the hard-earned win.”
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m., as they host Tennessee-Martin at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on the MSU campus.
For more information on Mississippi State women’s tennis, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateWT), Facebook (HailStateWT) and Instagram (HailStateWT).
UF Men’s Tennis Beats TCU 4-2; Advances to ITA National Team Indoor Championships
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida men’s tennis team beat TCU 4-2 on Sunday afternoon to earn a berth in the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston on Feb. 14-17. UF won the doubles point over the Horned Frogs and then Gators’ freshman Maxx Lipman, playing in his second collegiate dual match, clinched the victory with a straight-set win at No. 6 singles.
With the victory, the Gators are 3-0 on the season and hit the road next weekend with a West Coast trip to Los Angeles. The Gators will play UCLA next Saturday at 1 p.m. and Southern California on Sunday and 4 p.m.
The doubles competition was tight on Sunday, as the two teams split courts one and two. Lipman and sophomore Gordon Watson won at No. 2 doubles while TCU’s Nick Chappell and Will Stein, ranked 11th in the country, beat UF’s Mike Alford and Stephane Piro at No. 1 doubles.
On the deciding court, the Gators’ Diego Hidalgo and Spencer Newman took an early lead and had a chance to serve for the match at 5-3, but the Horned Frogs fought back and forced a tiebreaker. Up 6-3 in the tiebreak, Hidalgo slammed an overhead to win the doubles point and give Florida a 1-0 lead.
Watson used the momentum from the doubles victory and the energy from the crowd to breeze to a straight-set win at No. 4 singles, 6-2, 6-1, in less than an hour. TCU picked up its first point with a win on court three, but Florent Diep answered for the Gators with a victory at No. 5 singles for a 3-1 advantage in the match.
The Horned Frogs made things interesting, picking up another point with a win at the top singles spot, but Lipman shut the door with his match-clinching point on court six.
In Sunday’s consolation match, Florida St. defeated UNC Wilmington 4-0.
Ole Miss Women Shut Out William & Mary
OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 35 ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team rebounded from a disappointing loss in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend to dominate No. 40 William & Mary 4-0 here Sunday at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility.
“We took care of business today, not giving William & Mary any chance to get into the match,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “We are proud of the girls for the way they bounced back after such a tough loss Saturday.”
The Rebels did not drop a set in the entire match. Julia Jones and Zalina Khairudinova shut out the W&M team of Julia Casselbury/Sydney Smith 6-0 at No. 3 doubles, to remain undefeated at 5-0. Coach Beyers switched up the top two doubles teams Sunday, and it worked. The 19th ranked duo of Caroline Rohde-Moe and Marija Milutinovic downed Nabila Farah and Melanie Roy 6-2 to clinch the point.
It didn’t take long for the Rebels to gain the early advantage in singles, as they won all six first sets. First off the court, Milutinovic lost only one game to Casselbury, 6-0, 6-1 at No. 5 singles, to make it 2-0 and pick up her 10th win of the year.
Khairudinova downed Roy 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles to give Ole Miss a 3-0 lead, and then sophomore Mai El Kamash clinched the victory with her 6-0, 6-1 win over Farah at No. 4 singles.
When play stopped, the Rebels were up on all remaining courts.
Ole Miss returns home to host Jacksonville State next Saturday at 10 a.m.
Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissWTennis and on Facebook at OleMissWTennis.
No. 16 ‘Dores headed to second-straight Team Indoor Championship
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The No. 16 Vanderbilt women’s tennis team is headed to its second-straight ITA National Team Indoor Championship after knocking off No. 19 Georgia Tech, 4-3, in the ITA Kick-off final at the University of Nebraska Tennis Center.
“It was a really close match,” said Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald. “Give a lot of credit to Georgia Tech, they played a heck of a match. Lauren and Georgina played really well at No. 3 doubles to win the point, and then Georgina played a tough match, winning 10-5 in the third-set tiebreak.”
Vanderbilt got to the Kick-off final after defeating No. 18 Texas Tech, Saturday, 4-1. Fourth-seeded Georgia Tech, defeated the top-seed and host Nebraska.
The Yellow Jackets won the first doubles match of the afternoon at No. 1, as No. 4 Woodard and Kurey defeated No. 28 Ashleigh Antal and Sydney Campbell, 6-3.
The Commodores won back-to-back doubles matches to win the point at No. 2 and No. 3. Courtney Colton and Marie Casares won at No. 2, 6-4, then the ‘Dores clinched the point with a tough 7-5 win by Lauren Mira and Georgina Sellyn at No. 3.
Georgia Tech jumped out of the gates in singles, winning two matches quickly at No. 6 and No. 1.
Casares won 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 5 position to tie the match up at two, but the Yellow Jackets answered with a win at No. 2, 6-4, 6-1.
With two matches remaining the Commodores needed wins at No. 4 by Frances Altick and No. 3 by Sellyn.
Altick, who won quickly in the first set, was able to take care of business in the second, knocking off Tech’s Anton-Ohlmeyer 6-2, 6-3, to tie the match up at three apiece.
Sellyn and Rasheeda McAdoo split sets, forcing a third set 10-point tiebreak. After losing 1-6 in the second, Sellyn ran away with the breaker, clinching the match, 6-3, 1-6, 1-0 (10-5).
The win over the Yellow Jackets gives the Commodores a bid to the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship in February.
“It’s an honor to get back to National Indoors,” said Macdonald. “It’s just another opportunity for us to get in some matches against elite teams, and we’re really looking forward to it.”
It is the second-straight year that the Commodores have made it to the tournament, both times as a low seed.
National Indoors runs from February 7-10 at the Boar’s Head Tennis Club in Charlottesville, Va. Of the 60 women’s teams participating in the Kick-off weekend, Vanderbilt was the only non-host school to advance to National Indoors.
Prior to National Indoors, the Commodores will hit the road for a match against No. 31 Northwestern on February 2.
Tennessee WTennis Falls In ITA Kickoff Championship Game
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Despite a hard fought battle, the Tennessee women’s tennis team fell 4-0 to No. 13 Clemson Sunday afternoon in the ITA Kickoff Weekend Championship game.
The Lady Vols are now 1-1 on the season while Clemson improves to 4-0.
Clemson began the day by clinching the doubles point thanks to victories at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies defeated Joanna Henderson and Brittany Lindl 6-1 followed by a Joana Eidukonyte/Romy Koelzer win over Tiffany Tavares and Victoria Olivarez, 6-3.
Just points away from winning, Laurence Guevremont and Eve Repic’s game was halted on court two, 5-2, as Clemson clinched.
Clemson added to its lead when #74 Yana Koroleva defeated Repic 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles while #103 Tristen Dewar bested Tavares 6-1, 6-3 on court four.
The Tigers sealed the match with a 6-0, 6-3 win on court three and will advance to the ITA Indoor Team Championships in Charlottesville.
The Lady Vols will return to action on Sunday, February 2 vs. Michigan in their season opener at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. The match will begin at 11 a.m.
Rebels Drop Another Hard-Fought Match At ITA Kick-Off
OXFORD, Miss. -- It has been said sometimes adversity is what you have to face to become successful. For the No. 10 nationally ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team, this weekend was not what they wanted, as they came away with two tough losses in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, the latest, a 4-2 setback to No. 25 Clemson on Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center.
Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Clemson went much like Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Michigan, with the Rebels unable to win any tiebreakers and very few deciding points.
“It’s tough, because we wanted to advance,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We have a young team at some different positions, especially five and six. We had an injury up at the top with William Kallberg, and he’s getting over that. We knew it was going to be tough. I am proud of the guys, they fought hard. We played better top to bottom today than we did on Saturday. The objective with these early matches is to see the weaknesses and what we need to improve on. We know we what need to work on, and the guys are committed. We’ve got our sights on the SEC season.”
Doubles was the Achilles heel again for the Rebels. Clemson won 6-1 at No. 3 doubles and then clinched the point with a 6-3 win at No. 2.
Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 15 in the nation, showed why is one of the best players in the country, capping his weekend with another strong performance in singles. He took out Clemson’s Hunter Harrington 6-4, 6-3 to improve to 11-5 overall, 2-0 in dual matches. Johan Backstrom also turned in a great performance this weekend in singles, winning both his matches in straight sets as well. Sunday, he defeated Austin Ansari 6-0, 6-4.
“I played well this weekend in both matches, especially in the first sets,” Backstrom said. “I’ve been working with the coaches in practice on some things, and it was great to be able to show it in the matches.”
Sophomore Stefan Lindmark won a big three-setter Saturday against Michigan, but came up short Sunday after dropping a tough tiebreaker to Clemson’s Alejandro Augusto. Augusto was able to win the tiebreaker 9-7 and then used that momentum to win the second set 6-1 giving his team the lead.
“Nik Scholtz played really well. He has really proven himself to be one of the best players in the country,” Chadwick said. “Johan played absolutely great. The person I thought fought the hardest this weekend was Stefan. He fought hard in both matches, but he got a little unlucky in today’s match. With the no ad scoring, the difference in winning and losing comes down to a point here and there.”
The match came down to courts five and six again with the Rebels needing to win both to win the match. Vinod Gowda, playing just his second dual match for the Rebels, was on the verge of winning, when Clemson clinched. After dropping the first set 6-1, Gowda came back to win a second set tiebreaker 7-4 to keep the Rebels alive. He was leading 5-3 in the third when the match ended.
In the deciding match at No. 6, Oxford native Zach Wilder served for the first set up 5-4, but CU’s Fernando Sala broke to force a tiebreaker. Wilder held a set point there, but Sala won three straight points to win the set 6-5(6). In the second set, Sala jumped to an early break, but Wilder battled back. Unfortunately, at 4-4, he was broken again and Sala served it out 6-4 to clinch the win for the Tigers.
“Vinod was much improved, and was about to win,” Chadwick said. “Even though Zach lost, he played much better than he did the day before. He doesn’t quite have the experience to step up and deliver in this type situation. I think he lost at least three 3-3 all points in the second set, but if you play enough matches, that evens out. Overall, we just didn’t win enough of the big points as Michigan did the first day and Clemson did the second day.”
The Rebels will be back in action Feb. 7 when they host Southern Miss.
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No. 28 Auburn handed first loss by No. 7 Baylor
WACO, Texas -- Auburn battled tough against No. 7 Baylor on Sunday, but fell 4-1 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend championship match at the Hurd Tennis Center.
“We had a couple of tough matches tonight. I felt like we were in all the singles matches and we had some chances to make things happen,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “We saw some positives on our end and the kids battled tough with a really good team in Baylor.”
The No. 28 Tigers (4-1) lost the doubles point for the first time this season in a match as Baylor’s Julian Lenz and Robert Verzaal defeated Auburn’s Dante Saleh and Joseph Van Dooren 6-1, while Patrick Pradella and Mate Zsige dropped the the Tigers’ Daniel Cochrane and Petar Tomic 6-3.
In singles, Auburn took Baylor to three sets in five of the six matches as the Tigers won the first set in four. Trailing 2-0, Van Dooren got the Tigers on the board with a tough 6-5 (4), 6-5 (6) win over Baylor’s Vince Schneider. The Bears clinched the match as Lukas Ollert fell to second-ranked Julian Lenz 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Cochrane and Saleh had moved their respective matches into the third set when played was stopped, while Tomic dropped his match in a tight three-setter 4-6, 6-5 (2), 6-1.
Auburn returns to action on Saturday as the Tigers host Alabama A&M and Davidson in a doubleheader at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. Play begins at 11 a.m.
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.