LOS ANGELES --- The third-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team suffered a 4-0 loss to No. 4 Southern California in the Bulldogs’ first match of the inaugural SEC/Pac-12 Showdown on Saturday at the Trojans’ Marks Tennis Stadium.
Georgia (2-1) came close to capturing the doubles point, but host USC (3-0) went on to claim the early lead and never surrendered control.
“USC played a great match against us, and unfortunately we didn’t play well enough to won today,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “That’s the bottom line. They’re a great team. Our guys fought hard, and did a great job at No. 3 doubles. We led with a break at No. 2 and couldn’t finish them off, and that was the difference in the doubles point. In singles we were competitive at No. 1, and I was most impressed with their No. 2 singles player. He played a great match, and Nathan [Pasha] fought well in the first set but didn’t play well in the second. When they took a 3-0 lead, that changed the flow of the match. We can play better than we did today. All the credit to USC because they certainly played more assertive in singles and really took it to us. Hopefully we show more mettle in the future than we did today. It doesn’t get any easier. The guys will be ready for a good battle (tomorrow vs. UCLA).”
After the Trojans’ team of Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento defeated Georgia’s 12th-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland by a 6-2 score at No. 1 doubles, the Bulldogs responded with a 6-5(0) decision at No. 3 for Eric Diaz and Austin Smith over Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson. USC eventually won the deciding match on court No. 2, with Connor Farren and Roberto Quiroz besting Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha, 6-4, to take the 1-0 lead in the team match into singles play.
The Trojans went on to win five of six first sets in singles, before taking a 2-0 lead with a 6-5(0), 6-1 win for No. 32 Hanfmann over No. 21 Pasha at No. 2. It moved to a 3-0 lead as 67th-ranked Johnny Wang posted a 6-3, 6-1 win over Pieters at No. 5, and the clinch came at No. 1 as No. 10 Sarmiento beat No. 12 Austin Smith, 6-4, 6-4.
The Bulldogs were in good shape in two of the suspended matches, as Brasseaux was one game away from giving Georgia its first point at No. 4, and Wagland was up a break looking to force a third set at No. 3.
Georgia is back in action in the tournament tomorrow, taking on second-ranked UCLA (4-0) at 1 p.m. ET. The defending national runner-up Bruins defeated Florida today. The Pac-12 Network will televise the Sunday matches, including a video stream with a subscription to a participating cable provider, with Paul Sunderland and Paul Goldstein on the call. The ITA’s experimental scoring format is in place for the duration of the weekend, with sets in all matches played to six games, tiebreakers at five-all, and no-ad scoring.
Kentucky Rolls over Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A strong performance in doubles and exceptional singles play led the No. 40 University of Kentucky women's tennis team to its fourth win of the season. The Wildcats downed No. 50 Penn State University, 6-1, Saturday afternoon at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center.
"I am very excited for our team," Kentucky head coach Carlos Drada said. " They have really bought into our process and it's great to see how much they've grown on the court as a result of their commitment."
In Kentucky's first true road match, they lead early getting the doubles point with Cece Witten and Caitlin McGraw's, 6-1, win over Carmen Sandor and Taylor Shukow in the No. 1 doubles slot. Edmée Morin- Kougoucheff and freshman Aldila Sutjiadi followed with a 6-4 win over Katia Blik and Dasha Sapogova to clinch the point.
Sutjiadi expanded the lead beating Sandor, 6-2, 6-1 in No. 2 singles play. No. 108 Nadia Ravita notched her first singles win of the season, beating Blik 7-5, 6-4, in the No. 1 singles position. McGraw and junior Stephanie Fox both tallied wins after Morin-Kougoucheff's match against Marie Bedard secured the win for the Wildcats. She beat Bedard, 6-3, 7-5.
"I am so excited about our win today," Morin- Kougoucheff said. "We've all worked extremely hard so it was rewarding to get the win. I can't wait for the rest of the season."
The junior is now 4-0 in singles play and this is her second time clinching the win for the team. UK is now 4-1 to begin the dual-match season and has tied the series with the Nittany Lions, 1-1.
"They were disciplined during key moments and that helped us win the match," Drada said. "This was a big win for our team."
The Wildcats will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 8, with a doubleheader against Marshall University at 10 a.m. ET and Morehead State at 6 p.m. ET.
Cercone Wins 100th Career Singles Match, Clinches Florida Sweep at No. 19 Baylor
WACO, Texas - Senior Alexandra Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) became the 26th Gator to win 100 career singles matches as she also provided Florida's clinching dual match victory in a 7-0 decision against No. 19 Baylor at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center on Saturday.
The second-ranked Gators took control from the start of the doubles matches, winning on courts one and two to secure a quick 1-0 lead.
In singles action, freshman Belinda Woolcock (Melbourne, Australia) got her first taste of a road dual match and didn't show any jitters in front of a large, hostile crowd as she was the first off the court with a 6-0, 6-2 victory against Alex Leatu.
Senior Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) followed with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Blair Shankle on court four, before Cercone dropped Victoria Kisialeva, 6-2, 6-2 on court two to secure Florida's fourth win of the season and her career milestone victory.
Brianna Morgan (Beverly Hills, Calif.) and Kourtney Keegan (Roswell, Ga.) added more points to the final score with wins on their respective courts, before senior Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) polished off the sweep with a thrilling rally, where she overcame a couple match points in the second set which she took in a tiebreaker and forced a third set, which she won 10-3 in the new format.
Missouri Tennis Suffers 5-2 Loss to North Carolina State
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Mizzou tennis team suffered a 5-2 road loss at the hands of North Carolina State on Saturday, Feb. 1 in Raleigh, N.C. The Tigers fell to 2-3 on the year, while the Wolfpack improved to 3-0.
North Carolina State swept all three doubles matches to take the doubles point. At No. 1, senior Cierra Gaytan-Leach and freshman Cassidy Spearman fell to Elisha Hande and Nicole Martinez, 6-3. The Wolfpack also won at No. 2 with 6-1 victory from Joelle Kissell and Sophie Nelson over senior Rachel Stuhlmann and sophomore Madison Rhyner, and posted a 6-2 win at No. 3 as Liza Fieldsend and Rachael James-Baker defeated sophomore Kelli Hine and freshman Tracy Dong.
Gaytan-Leach knotted the match at 1-1 with a victory at No. 1 singles. The senior dropped the first set but came back to post a 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 win over Kissell.
North Carolina State earned wins at No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 singles to clinch the match. Hine fell to James-Baker, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 2, Rhyner suffered a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 loss to Martinez at No. 3 and Stuhlmann was bested by Liza Fieldsend, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, at No. 4 action.
At. No. 5 singles, Dong posted her third dual match victory of the season in a 2-6, 6-3, 10-6 win over Natalia Janowicz.
Mizzou returns to the court on Sunday, Feb. 2 when the squad takes on Wake Forest at Noon ET.
Auburn sweeps Alabama A&M and Davidson, moves to 6-1
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn men’s tennis recorded its second home doubleheader sweep of the year, taking down Alabama A&M 7-0 and Davidson 5-2 on Saturday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
“This morning we had a job to do and we went out and did it. Alabama A&M was playing two players down, but our guys didn’t let up and accomplished the job,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “Against Davidson, we had several of our young players step up and we really challenged them. I liked how they played and that will help us build depth down the road for us.”
The Tigers quickly dispatched Alabama A&M in the morning session in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Bulldogs were down two players so Auburn clinched the doubles point promptly with 6-0 victory by the tandem of Oliver Plaskett and Petar Tomic. No. 3 doubles was won by the Tigers due to forfeit, while Dante Saleh and Joseph Van Dooren were up 4-2 when play was stopped.
Auburn continued to dominate play winning the four singles match that were played, dropping a combined four games between the matches. Van Dooren took the win on court three after Alabama A&M’s Farai Chiridiza retired in the first set down 5-1 to put the match away. Plaskett was the first Tiger to complete his match for the Tigers with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
Saleh also picked up a 6-0, 6-0 victory on court two, while Tomic won 6-2, 6-1 in No. 1 singles.
Auburn started off the day’s second match by clinching the doubles point with wins by its top two teams. Dante Saleh and Joseph Van Dooren picked up a 6-4 win on court won to clinch the match after Oliver Plaskett and Petar Tomic were the first team off the court with a 6-2 victory.
Davidson tied the match 1-1 Jordan Hart downed Auburn’s Jack Nicholas 6-2, 6-3 in No. 5 singles. The Tigers quickly regained the lead as Dante Saleh provided Auburn with a straight set 6-3, 6-4 win on court two. Saleh moved his winning streak in singles to nine straight matches and is a perfect 5-0 in dual match play this year.
Joseph Van Dooren’s 6-4, 6-3 win over Davidson’s Ethan Kallick on court three. Oliver Plaskett clinched the match for Auburn behind a strong performance in No. 4 singles with a 6-1, 6-5 (5) win.
Davidson picked up its other win in singles by knocking off Auburn’s Nicholas Kiger in three sets 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. Petar Tomic dropped the first, but battled back to knock off the Wildcats’ Robert Lightbourn at the top of the lineup 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Auburn faces a quick turnaround and hosts UAB on Tuesday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The match is set to begin a 2 p.m. and admission is free.
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.
No. 21 Auburn sweeps Troy 7-0
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn women’s tennis clinched the doubles point for the third straight match and swept each singles match to defeat Troy 7-0 on Saturday afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
“Troy’s a very aggressive team so you have to start hot and go after them. We knew they were scrappy and would make us play and they did that,” Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “I’m very proud of how we started out with doubles and we transitioned well into singles, coming up hot in most of our spots.”
The 60th-ranked duo of Michala Kucharova and Reka Muller made quick work of Troy’s (1-4) Anja Cosovic and Trang Huynh 6-0 in No. 2 doubles. Auburn’s (2-1) Jackie Kasler and Jen Pfeifler posted a 6-2 victory over Troy’s Lyubov Dorofeeva and Brooke Durden to secure the point for the Tigers in the No. 3 spot. Kasler earned her 128th career win in an Auburn uniform, which ranks fifth in school history for combined victories.
The No. 17 tandem of Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger were up 5-2 when play was abandoned. Auburn has won the doubles point in all three matches to begin the dual match season.
In singles, it was Burgmans who got off the court first. The 12th-ranked sophomore did not drop a game, winning 6-0, 6-0 against Troy’s Dorofeeva. Kucharova posted a 6-2, 6-1 win over the Trojans’ Monica Gonzalez. Auburn clinched the match as Muller defeated Troy’s Margot De Haan 6-3, 6-0.
“Pleun played excellent. She played stellar tennis and got the job done. I’ve got to give credit to Troy, they came out swinging on courts two and three, but we told our girls to weather the storm and play some close points. Both (Emily Flickinger and Paula de Man) came back from down 4-1 and showed mental toughness to win the first set 6-4,” Meisner said.
“On courts four through six, we still had great intensity and our players played to their potential. This was a good 7-0 win. I’m happy to get out first home win and we are going to keep working towards next weekend,” Meisner said.
Ashley Kitchen picked up her first dual match win of the season, taking a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Troy’s Brooke Durden on court six. Flickinger rallied from an early first-set deficit to win in straights, 6-4, 6-2 in No. 2 singles. Paula de Man took the win on court three, earning a 6-4, 6-4 against Anja Cosovic.
“Credit to her (Trang Huynh) she came out and painted lines early on. I didn’t have my best in the beginning, but I started to get a lot more balls in the court and began to break her game down,” Flickinger said following Auburn’s second victory of the year.
The Tigers return to action on Sunday, Feb. 9 with a doubleheader against Georgia Southern at 11 a.m. and Samford at 5 p.m. Admission is free to all home Auburn tennis matches.
For the latest on Auburn women’s tennis follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AUWomensTennis.
No. 49 Razorback Women's Tennis Sweeps SIU
FAYETTEVILLE -- Spring cleaning has already begun for the University of Arkansas women's tennis team (5-1), as the Razorbacks swept their second straight dual match in convincing fashion Saturday and earned a 7-0 victory over Southern Illinois (0-1) at the George M. Billingsley Center in Fayetteville, Ark.
Entering the morning's dual match having just wrapped up a 7-0 victory over #63 North Texas nearly 12 hours earlier, the Razorbacks showed no signs of fatigue on their way to another sweep, this time of the Salukis.
"We definitely competed well today and are looking good in numerous areas," head coach Michael Hegarty said. "I'm excited for how sharp our doubles continues to look, which bodes well as we move toward conference play."
In repeat fashion from the night prior, Arkansas jumped out to an early 1-0 dual-match lead and secured the doubles point in swift fashion. Shannon Hudson and Sarah McLean earned a quick 6-2 win at No. 3, which was then followed by a win from Yang Pang and Sasha Shkorupeieva at court two.
Kimberley - Ann Surin improved to 2-0 on the weekend in singles and got things rolling for the Razorbacks again with a 6-1, 6-0, win at No. 4 over Gisela Cairo Baza. Shkorupeieva defeated Lola Garcia, 6-1, 6-1, while Brittany Huxley clinched the 4-0 dual-match win at No. 5 in a 6-1, 6-3 win over Polina Dozortseva.
Their second dual match in as many days, the Razorbacks continue their marathon weekend by hosting a pair of dual matches on Sunday. Arkansas looks for its third win over a ranked opponent this season and will begin the day squaring off against No. 31 Oklahoma State at 11 a.m.
The Razorbacks will wrap up their weekend's work against Oral Roberts at 3 p.m. Sunday.
For up to date results and information on Arkansas women's tennis, follow @RazorbackWTEN on Twitter.