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    SEC Women's Tennis Weekly Notebook

    For the second year in a row the Alabama women’s tennis team advanced to the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors after winning both of its matches at ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide (2-0) downing William & Mary, 4-0, before pulling out a 4-3 nail-biter over Oklahoma. It would again be Natalia Maynetto with the clincher in the championship match, this time winning 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 on court six. Alabama remains at  home this week, hosting Georgia State on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Noon CT.
    The No. 51 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team competed at ITA Kickoff Weekend, splitting a pair of dual matches over the first two rounds of tournament play. The Razorbacks opened with a 4-2 win over No. 55 Kansas State in the Round of 64 on Friday, but were then defeated 5-0 by No. 4 Georgia in the Round of 32 on Sunday. Shannon Hudson was named SEC Freshman of the Week by the league office last Wednesday for her 3-0 start individually, including a win over a ranked doubles team. Arkansas returns home for a weekend full of action, welcoming North Texas to the George M. Billingsley Center on Friday, Southern Illinois on Saturday, then both Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts on Sunday.
    Auburn split its weekend matches at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Austin, Texas. The Tigers opened with No. 17 Texas on Saturday, falling 4-1, despite clinching the doubles point over the Longhorns. The 17th-ranked team of Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger posted a 7-6 (3) win, while Michala Kucharova and Reka Muller won 7-5 to clinch the point as the last match on the court. Against No. 24 Florida State on Sunday, the Tigers also clinched the doubles point with wins by Burgmans/Flickinger and Kucharova/Muller. In singles, Jackie Kasler clinched the match winning a third-set tiebreaker 13-11. Kasler dropped the first set 6-3, before rallying in to win the second 6-1. Auburn returns home Feb. 1 and hosts Alabama A&M and Troy in a doubleheader at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
    The second-ranked Gators (2-0) play host to UCF on Wednesday at 3 p.m. before playing at No. 19 Baylor on Sat., Feb. 1. Florida swept Louisville and Harvard in the ITA Kickoff Weekend to launch its season and earned a spot in the 16-team National Team Indoor Championships that will be held Feb. 7-10 in Charlottesville, Va. The Gators sport a 123-match home win streak, the longest active home win streak of any NCAA Division I women’s team in any sport. It is the second overall longest NCAA Division I win streak behind the Ohio State men’s tennis run. Florida also has won its last 18 matches versus instate opponents.
    Georgia punched its ticket to the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships with wins over No. 75 Elon and No. 51 Arkansas over the weekend. The Bulldogs beat Elon 4-0 on Friday before topping Arkansas 5-0 on Sunday. The berth in the prestigious 16-team field is Georgia’s 24th in program history. In singles, Georgia’s top three courts of No. 4 Lauren Herring, No. 10 Silvia Garcia and No. 25 Maho Kowase each went 2-0. In doubles, Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia won two matches including a critical doubles point clincher in Sunday’s win vs. Arkansas. Georgia will play host to Clemson on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.
    The University of Kentucky women’s tennis team participated in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend and made it to the championships against No. 10 Duke University. The Wildcats routed Tulane in the semifinals winning four straight singles points to claim the match. Junior Kelsey Dieters clinched the match for Kentucky with a win over Jacqui Katz in the No. 3 position. Kentucky was swept by Duke in the championship match, falling behind early after losing the doubles point. They tried to rally back, but Duke won the match decisively, 4-0. 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. 
    The LSU women’s tennis team is 3-1 on the season after playing No. 59 USF on Friday and No. 9 Miami on Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla. during the ITA Kickoff Weekend.  The duo of Gabrielle Otero and Abigail Owens notched a doubles win against USF while Joana Vale Costa and Skylar Holloway secured the doubles point for LSU.  Vale Costa, Noel Scott and Otero each secured singles wins to earn LSU the 4-1 victory over the Bulls.  On Saturday, the team dropped its first match of the season, falling 4-0 to No. 9 Miami. 
    Ole Miss
    The Rebels went 1-1 at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to finish 2-1 for the week, after a season-opening 7-0 win over Jackson State.  In the loss to No. 34 Oklahoma in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off, the match was much closer than the final score.  The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker at No. 2.  When the Sooners clinched, the Rebels were winning in two of the three remaining singles matches. The Rebels rebounded from the disappointing loss to Oklahoma to dominate No. 40 William & Mary 4-0 in the consolation match of the ITA Kick-Off.  In the win, the Rebels did not drop a set in avenging a 4-3 loss to the Tribe last year. In fact, the Rebels only lost 10 games total in the two doubles and three singles matches they won to clinch the victory. Freshman Zalina Khairudinova made her dual match debut last week and finished 5-1 in singles and doubles in three matches.  Her only loss in singles came down to a third-set supertiebreaker against Oklahoma.  In the other two matches, she only lost five games total in singles and doubles.  Khairudinova and junior Julia Jones are off to a 5-0 start this spring, including 3-0 in dual matches at No. 3 doubles.  They have lost only five games total in the five matches they’ve played together this spring. The Rebels begin a four-match homestand this Saturday, Feb. 1 with Jacksonville State at 10 a.m.   
    Mississippi State
    After opening the season with a solid win over Alabama State, the Mississippi State women’s tennis team traveled to Texas A&M this past weekend for the ITA Kick-Off Classic. The Bulldogs started off the weekend by facing the seventh-ranked and host Texas A&M Aggies. The Bulldogs fell in doubles action and were never able to fully recover falling 4-1, despite a singles win by Rosie Dion and two more matches where the Bulldogs were leading before play was suspended. The Bulldogs would face another ranked opponent on Sunday, No. 68 San Jose State. The Bulldogs took the doubles point, and would later win the match, following three consecutive tiebreakers. The win was the first victory over a ranked opponent in the 2014 season. State moves 2-1 overall after the previous weekend’s action and will have a full week off before hosting UT-Martin on Feb. 8. 
    The Mizzou tennis team suffered losses to Harvard and Louisville at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Gainesville, Fla. During the weekend, Missouri’s top doubles team of senior Cierra Gaytan-Leach and freshman Cassidy Spearman posted a 7-5 win over Harvard’s Spencer Liang and Monica Lin, who entered the match ranked No. 34 in the nation. The Tigers travel to North Carolina this weekend to face North Carolina State on Saturday and Wake Forest on Sunday. 
    South Carolina
    The No. 33 South Carolina women’s tennis team opened its season with a pair of wins in a doubleheader against East Tennessee State and College of Charleston on Jan. 18 at the USC Field House. The Gamecocks were supposed to host Furman on Jan. 28 but the match was cancelled because of a winter storm warning issued the day before. South Carolina will now take on VCU on Feb. 1 in Charlottesville, Va., and then Virginia the following day.
    The Lady Vols began their dual meet season this past weekend at the ITA Kickoff in Clemson, S.C. Tennessee came back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to go on and defeat No. 27 Purdue 4-3 in the opening round game. Freshmen Victoria Olivarez and Laurence Guevremont captured the game-tying and game-winning points for UT in the match. On Sunday, Tennessee faced a tough test in No. 13 and host team Clemson. The Tigers earned the doubles point and three straight singles matches for the 4-0 victory. UT will return to action on Sunday, February 2 at 11 a.m. in its home opener vs. Michigan. 
    Texas A&M
    Texas A&M went 2-0 in the season-opening ITA Kick-Off Weekend held in College Station to earn a berth in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the second consecutive year. The No. 7 Aggies defeated SEC-foe Mississippi State, 4-1, in the season opener and then topped DePaul, 4-1, to advance. A&M won the doubles point in both matches, and senior Cristina Stancu and freshman Saska Gavrilovska each went 2-0 in singles at the Nos. 1 and 3 courts, respectively. Gavrilovska clinched the winning point in the Aggies’ victory against the Bulldogs, and freshman Jana McCord, making her Aggie debut, clinched the win against DePaul with a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-0, 1-0 (10-8) victory at No. 6 singles. A&M takes on No. 3 North Carolina, Feb. 4 in Chapel Hill en route to the national indoor tournament Feb. 7-10 in Charlottesville, Va.
    The No. 16 Vanderbilt women’s tennis team clinched a trip its second-straight the ITA National Team Indoor Championship by winning the ITA Kick-off weekend Nebraska region. The ‘Dores went in as the No. 3 seed, defeating 18th-ranked Texas Tech, 4-1. No. 102 Ashleigh Antal clinched the match for the Commodores at No. 6 singles. In the championship match, Vanderbilt defeated No. 19 Georgia Tech, 4-3, in a thrilling match that came down to a third set tiebreak. No. 48 Georgina Sellyn clinched the win with a 10-5 win in the third set breaker. Prior to National Indoors, the Commodores will head North to Evanston, Ill. for a match with No. 15 Northwestern.