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    SEC Tennis Notebook: Sunday, February 2

    Offerdahl clinches 4-2 win over No. 29 Northwestern

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt men’s tennis team pulled out a gutsy 4-2 win over No. 29 Northwestern, Sunday, at the Currey Tennis Center. After dropping four first sets the Commodores were able to battle back in a big way. Junior Jeffrey Offerdahl made his first appearance at No. 5 singles this season and clinched the match, winning 5-6 (4), 6-1, 6-3.

    Vanderbilt improves to 4-1 overall and 2-1 against ranked opponents with the win over the 29th-ranked Wildcats. Northwestern falls to 4-2 this season.

    The Commodores were able to win the doubles point, after not winning the point the last two times out. After Rhys Johnson and Ryan Smith dropped their match 3-6, 2nd-ranked Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman were able to take their match at No. 1, 6-3.

    At No. 3 doubles Offerdahl and Anton Kovrigin were able to go up a break in the seventh game before taking the match and clinching the doubles point, 6-4.

    The ‘Dores started slow in singles play, dropping four-of-five first sets. The lone Commodore to come out hot was ninth-ranked Austin was able to take care of business at No. 2 singles, winning in straight-sets, two and four.

    Both Kovrigin at No. 4 and Offerdahl at No. 5, dropped tough first set tiebreaks, five and four, respectively. However, they were able to battle back, splitting in convincing fashion, winning 6-1 on both courts.

    After Lipman dropped his match 2-6, 6-4, 3-6 it was Kovrigin who won 6-3 in the final set to setup Offerdahl’s clinch at No. 5.

    Kris Yee came out ready to play at No. 6, giving Offerdahl a run as to who would clinch the match. Yee’s match went unfinished with the Vandy junior leading 6-2, 4-2.

    57th-ranked Johnson fell to No. 114 Sam Shropshire, 1-6, 2-6, at No. 3 singles.

    Vanderbilt will be back in action at the Currey Tennis Center next weekend, when they host No. 56 Middle Tennessee and Lipscomb for a Sunday doubleheader.





    No. 17 South Carolina Battles to Doubleheader Sweep

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 17 South Carolina fought for and earned every point in a Sunday doubleheader, topping No. 56 Middle Tennessee State 4-3 in the morning and finishing with a 4-1 win over Wofford. Freshman Andrew Schafer clinched the win over the Blue Raiders as the last match on court with the score tied 3-3. In the afternoon match, senior Tsvetan Mihov rallied back from a set down to deliver a third-set tiebreak for the win.

    “These were tricky matches today,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “There are a lot of upsets going on around the country with the new scoring format, which puts every team in the mix. We’re still adapting to that. So, we’re not necessarily playing poorly. We’re just not constructing points as well as we should in this format. We’re not firing on all cylinders, but hopefully these wins today will provide us a platform to jump off for our tough matches coming up this weekend.”

    Doubles was going the Gamecocks’ way early in the first match, but the Blue Raiders fought down to the wire forcing tiebreaks in two out of the three matches, taking the first point of the contest. No. 24 Kyle Koch and Chip Cox faltered to the nation’s No. 22 Victor Cornea and David Fox, 6-5 (4). After a defeat in the number one position, Andrew Adams and Schafer finished off their 6-4 win in the No 3 match, and the Gamecocks’ No. 2 pairing of Tsvetan Mihov and Thiago Pinheiro forced a tiebreak. Despite rallying, the duo fell 6-5 (5) to give Middle Tennessee State the doubles point.

    In singles, Adams came out firing on all cylinders to a speedy 6-2 win in the first set over Yannick Born in the No. 4 match. The junior remained steady through the second set, winning 6-3 to get the Gamecocks on the board and even the score, 1-1. In the No. 1 position, No. 41 Mihov struggled to find his groove in the first set. He fought back in the second set against No. 98 David Fox, forcing a grueling tiebreak, in which Fox prevailed 6-5 (4) to give the Blue Raiders a 2-1 advantage.

    Pinheiro was on Victor Cornea’s heels from the beginning of the No. 3 match, battling for the tying point. The Gamecock junior's dominating play allowed him to break Cornea in consecutive games to control the set, 6-4. Coming out in his second set, Pinheiro kept the momentum flowing as he broke Cornea twice, giving South Carolina its second point of the match with his 6-4 decision.

    Just after Pinheiro's win leveled the team score at 2-2, Koch refused to go down without a fight. Despite losing his first set 2-6, Koch bounced back quickly as he defeated Ettore Zito in the second set, 6-3. After a hard fought third set, the junior fell 6-4, giving the advantage back to Middle Tennessee, 3-2.

    With the momentum swaying in favor of the Blue Raiders, Cox and Schafer both came out on fire, determined to give South Carolina the win. After dominating early in his first set, Cox let Victor Hoang back in. The Gamecocks’ senior eventually clinched the first set in the tiebreak 6-5 (7). Feeding off the energy of his teammate, Schafer took an early 3-0 start over Sam Matheson. Cox got up early in his second set and did not let up this time, winning 6-2 to knot the match at 3-3.

    The win would come down to the No. 6 match, and all eyes were on Schafer, who had won the first set 6-4, to clinch a Gamecock win. The freshman was up early but saw Matheson battle back. Schafer stayed focused, though, grinding out points to his eventual 6-4 victory that delivered the final point needed for the Gamecock win.

    Against the Terriers, the Gamecocks came out explosively in doubles, but could not lock down the point even with an impressive showing by Mihov and Thiago Pinheiro at the No. 2 spot in the order. The duo came out on fire and kept its foot on the gas, winning 6-0. The Terriers scored a 6-3 win in the No. 3 match to put the point in the hands of the top of the lineup. No. 24 Chip Cox and Kyle Koch fell behind 5-3 but won the next two games against Rob Galloway and Haris Poric to force a tiebreak. Wofford’s tandem jumped out early in the tiebreak and delivered the 6-5 (3) victory.

    In singles, No. 91 Andrew Schafer dominated in the No. 6 spot, dropping just one game in his 6-1, 6-0 win over Parks Thompson to even the match at 1-1. Cox handled Trevro Gotkowski in the first set 6-1, but the Terriers’ freshman managed his service games better in the second and took it to a tiebreak. South Carolina’s senior got on top early and fought off a late charge to make it a 2-1 Gamecock lead with his 6-5 (4) victory.

    Pinheiro stretched the Gamecocks’ advantage to 3-1 with his workman-like effort in a 6-2, 6-2 win over Keith in the No. 3 spot. The match would come down to the top two spots in the order, both of which were in their third sets.

    In the No. 1 spot, Mihov fell behind Galloway early in the first set and had to battle back to force a tiebreak, which the Terriers’ junior won 6-5 (5). South Carolina’s All-American took the second set 6-2 after an early service break. The third set again saw Mihov score an early service break, but Galloway fought back to send it to a tiebreak. The Gamecocks’ veteran powered through the tiebreak, punctuating his 6-5 (3) win with an ace on match point.

    The Gamecocks resume play this Fri., Feb., 7, at 5 p.m. at No. 20 Wake Forest then head to No. 35 NC State for Sunday match.





    LSU WOMEN’S TENNIS TOPS SMU

    DALLAS, TEXAS -- The No. 60 LSU women’s tennis team improved to 4-1 on the season after defeating No. 64 SMU (1-3) 6-1.

    “I was proud of the way we handled the adversity this week,” said LSU head coach Julia Sell. “Between injuries, illness and inclement weather we haven't been able to prepare as well as we would have liked, so to come away with the win today shows the heart that this team possesses.”

    SMU forfeited court three in doubles play. On court one, Mary Jeremiah and partner Noel Scott then secured the doubles point for LSU by defeating Anna Kate Anderson and Hristina Dishkova 6-2.

    “I thought Noel (Scott) and Mary (Jeremiah) did an exceptional job in doubles in their first match together after both fighting back from injuries,” said Sell. “They showed a lot of leadership out there mentally and physically.”

    On court two, Skylar Holloway and Joana Vale Costa fell behind early but settled in to defeat Holly Verner and Macie Elliott 6-4.

    SMU forfeited courts five and six in singles play. On court one, LSU’s Scott defeated Dishkova 6-3, 6-1, while Vale Costa secured the match for LSU as she took down Anderson 6-1, 6-2 on court two.

    Ella Taylor captured a singles victory on court three as she topped Verner 6-0, 6-2, but LSU’s Otero fell 6-2, 6-3 to Macie Elliot on court 4.

    The Lady Tigers will take the court again on Saturday as they face No. 27 Florida State at noon CST in Tallahassee, Fla. The match, which is part of ESPN’s College MatchDay, will be shown on ESPN3.

    Follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.





    Fickey Delivers Another 4-3 Thriller

    TULSA, Okla. -- With the match coming down to his court, junior Brandon Fickey once again delivered the victory for Tennessee.

    Fickey rallied from a break down in the third set to beat No. 71 Carlos Bautista 6-4, 5-6 (3), 6-4 on court 3 to clinch the Vols' 4-3 victory over Tulsa at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

    The Vols (7-1) won the doubles point and took a 3-0 lead in the match on victories by Hunter Reese on court 2 and Markus Kerner on court 6. Tulsa rumbled back to tie the match at 3-3 a few minutes later, setting a familiar stage for Fickey.

    With all eyes glued to his entire third set, the Knoxville native was relaxed. After all, he'd been there before.

    "As soon as it was just him left, I just started smiling," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "I knew he was going to perform great. That's all we could ask for."

    Twice last season, Fickey wrapped up 4-3 victories for the Vols, doing so against Wake Forest on the road and Clemson in the second round of the NCAA Championships. Like the Clemson victory, Fickey had been struggling to find his form on the singles court because an injury layoff. He entered this spring season having missed four months of practice while recovering from a back injury.

    "The hardest thing to do sometimes is figuring out how to win a match when you've been off," Fickey said. "When it came down to it and I knew it was up to me, I actually felt more relaxed having been in that situation and come through on several occasions."

    Fickey and Bautista exchanged leads early in the third set, but Bautista broke Fickey's serve to go ahead 4-3.

    "That's the kind of match it had been the entire time, we'd been breaking each other left and right," Fickey said. "I just knew I had to hang in there. The pressure was on him a lot of times with the home crowd. I just let my racquet do the talking."

    Tulsa fans chanted for the Golden Hurricane during the changeover, but Fickey stayed calm as he returned to court. He rallied to win the last three games of the match while his teammates cheered him along the neighboring court.

    With Bautista serving down 5-4, Fickey hit a backhand winner on the approach to capture the Vols' first road victory of the season.

    The win represented a rebound from the Vols' 4-2 loss two days earlier at the hands of Oklahoma State. Tennessee heads home for a tough ACC weekend against talented Duke and Wake Forest teams.

    "I think we had an opportunity to get better today," Winterbotham said. "The challenge we continue to face is even though our intentions were good from everybody going out there, the performances weren't up to the level they can be. That's where as coaches we've just got to figure out how to bring their performance level up. I think they were all out there and committed to each other. After a tough loss, you need to see that."





    Vandy picks up big road win at No. 15 Northwestern

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The No. 15 Vanderbilt women’s tennis picked up its first true road win of the season, Sunday, knocking off No. 16 Northwestern, 5-2, at the Combe Tennis Center. Frances Altick clinched the match at No. 4 singles, winning 6-3, 6-1.

    Vanderbilt improves to 3-0, with all three wins coming against teams ranked in the top 20.

    The Commodores had no problems winning the doubles point. Ashleigh Antal and Lauren Mira teamed up at No. 1 doubles and took down 35th-ranked Veronica Corning and Alicia Barnett, 6-2. Then it was Courtney Colton and Marie Casares who clinched the point at No. 2 doubles, winning 6-2, as well.

    Northwestern picked up two points with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singes, though the point at No. 2 didn’t come easy. Vandy’s Colton, split after dropping the first set to No. 105 Belinda Niu, 2-6. In the third-set tiebreak Niu just barely pulled it out over Colton, winning 12-10.

    Despite dropping both matches at the top of their lineup, the Commodores bottom four singles players were able to take care of business.

    48th-ranked Georgina Sellyn was the first to pick up a win, 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3 singles. It was then Casares who got the win at No. 5 to extend the Vandy lead to 3-1. Altick then clinched the match with her win at No. 4, three and one, over NU’s Sze Leung.

    Casares and Altick have been dominant for the Commodores this spring. The two have combined to win all 11 sets played in dual matches, and have won 21 of 22 sets so far in 2014.

    Up next on the schedule for the Commodores is the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, in Charlottesville, Va., from February 7-10.





    WTennis Drops 6-1 Match To No. 11 Michigan

    KNOXVILLE -- The University of Tennessee women’s tennis team took on a tough opponent in No. 11 Michigan Sunday at Goodfriend Tennis Center, falling 6-1 to the Wolverines in their home opener.

    The Michigan win marked its first victory in Knoxville in the series history.

    With the loss, Tennessee drops to 1-2 on the season while Michigan improves to 3-0.

    Though freshman Laurence Guevremont was the lone Lady Vol to garner a singles win on the day, each member of the squad fought hard in their respective matches.

    “We are battlers,” said co-head coach Mike Patrick. “We have to get a lot more disciplined in what we are doing out there. We have to get a lot more comfortable, for a lot of them it was their first home match and they were looking up in the stands and seeing people and getting a little nervous. That is to be expected, that is over now and hopefully we will build off of it and be better for our next home match.”

    Tiffany Tavares and Ambika Pande teamed up for a 6-0 shut out at No. 3 doubles, but Michigan fought back on courts 1 and 2 to capture the doubles point.

    Eve Repic and Guevremont fell 6-1 on court two to even things up and despite a hard fought battle, Joanna Henderson and Brittany Lindl dropped a 6-3 set to the nation’s No. 9 ranked doubles pair of Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender.

    Michigan jumped out to a 3-0 lead after No. 21 ranked Bektas defeated No. 53 ranked Repic 6-0, 6-4 on court one while Lindl fell 6-4, 6-1 to Bolender on court three.

    The Lady Vols got on the board as freshman Laurence Guevremont came back from a tough second set to dominate in the third set tiebreak 6-3, 0-6, 1-0 (3) to give the Lady Vols their first point of the day.

    But the Wolverines would clinch the match on court six as Kristen Dodge edged Pande 6-2, 6-3 in Pande’s first singles action of the spring season.

    Michigan added to the lead when Amy Zhu bested Tavares 6-0, 7-5 on court four and the day rounded out as No. 99 Henderson fell 6-3, 7-5 in a highly contested battle on court two to No. 100 Sarah Lee.

    “[Playing against tough opponents] gives us opportunities to see where we are at. We played a good Michigan team today, we had some chances in spots but we didn’t capitalize very often. This group wants to learn, I think they all learned something today.”

    The Lady Vols will have the following weekend off from competition and will return to action on Saturday, February 15 vs. Georgia Tech at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in a match that will begin at 12 p.m.





    No. 49 Arkansas Falls To No. 31 Oklahoma State

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Competing in its third dual match in as many days, the No. 49 University of Arkansas women's tennis team (5-2) was defeated 6-0 by No. 31 Oklahoma State (1-3) at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, Ark., on Sunday.

    It was a gritty effort from the Razorbacks, including No. 115 Shannon Hudson hanging tough with No. 59 Kanyapat Narattana, but Arkansas was ultimately defeated on the day.

    After splitting courts one and two, the doubles point came down to court three with Sarah McLean and Shannon Hudson facing Karyn Guttormsen and Katarina Adamovic. The Razorback duo battled back from an 0-3 deficit to tie the match up at 3-3, but the Cowgirls were too much and pulled away with a 6-3 victory to clinch the doubles point.

    In singles, Karyn Guttormsen closed the first match at No. 6 defeating Brittany Huxley and giving Oklahoma State an early 2-0 lead. The Cowgirls would go up 3-0 and it came down to McLean again in a big spot to try and keep Arkansas alive. The junior saved nine match points and tried to keep herself and the Razorbacks alive, but was ultimately defeated on the 10th match point, 7-5, 6-3.

    Arkansas fell to 5-2 on the season, going 3-1 on the weekend. Oral Roberts was scheduled to face the Razorbacks at 3 p.m., but the dual match was postponed due to weather.

    The Razorbacks return to action Feb. 14 at home against Oklahoma. The dual match is scheduled to begin at noon.

    For additional updates and information on Arkansas women's tennis, follow @RazorbackWTEN on Twitter.





    Bulldogs Fall Just Short Against No. 2 UCLA

    LOS ANGELES -- The third-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team won the doubles point and took a 2-0 lead in the match, but went on to drop a close 4-3 decision to second-ranked and defending NCAA runner-up UCLA on Sunday on the final day of the SEC/Pac-12 Showdown at Marks Tennis Stadium on the campus of USC.

    The loss drops UGA to 2-2 on the season following the pair of losses this weekend to the No. 4 Trojans and No. 2 Bruins.

    “It was a really close match today,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “I am really happy with how we fought today. It was just one of those great matches that we’ve had versus UCLA for years and years. Today, they were just one point better than us here and there in those last couple of matches, and that made the difference. Overall, I was very pleased with the way we responded in doubles, and the way we competed overall. The match could have gone either way, and I think we learned a lot this weekend. I’m very encouraged with our team going forward.”

    Georgia took the 1-0 lead by claiming the early doubles point with wins on courts two and three. The first win came at No. 2, as Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha defeated Clay Thompson and Joseph Di Giulio, 6-3. They were followed by Eric Diaz and Austin Smith, who beat Karue Sell and Dennis Mkrtchian by the same score at No. 3 to put the Bulldogs on top heading to singles.

    UCLA won four of six first sets in singles, but Georgia won the first completed match at No. 5, as No. 102 Nick Wood posted a 6-5(4), 6-1 win over Mkrtchian to make the lead 2-0. The Bruins cut the Georgia lead to 2-1 as 120th-ranked Gage Brymer beat No. 47 Brasseaux, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 4. The score drew even at 2-2 overall as No. 11 Marcos Giron defeated No. 12 Smith by a score of 6-5(7), 6-3 at No. 1 singles.

    But Georgia went back on top at 3-2 and in need of just one more point following 21st-ranked Pasha’s 6-5(3), 6-5(5) win over No. 62 Mackenzie McDonald at No. 3. That left just lines two and six on court, with Ben Wagland trying to force a third set and Hernus Pieters headed to his third set for the Bulldogs.

    No. 48 Wagland would drop his match in straight sets, falling 6-4, 6-5(4) to top-ranked Thompson at No. 2 to bring the team match even at 3-3 and just No. 6 singles left to play. There, Pieters and Di Giulio traded early breaks in the third set, but it was Di Giulio who was able to pull away late, snagging the 6-0, 5-6(7), 6-4 win over Pieters to seal it for the Bruins, with the team match going 4-3 in favor of UCLA.

    The Bulldogs return home to host East Tennessee State in dual match action on Thurs., Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m. at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility. Live scoring and the Georgia Tennis Live Chat will be available.





    Razorback MTEN Falls To Minnesota

    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- The Arkansas men’s tennis team (4-3) fell to Minnesota (4-2) on Sunday at the Baseline Tennis Center by a score of 6-1 to split its weekend competition.

    Senior Christian Lee recorded the only Razorback win of the afternoon, defeating Jeremy Lynn 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (4) at the No. 5 singles position.

    Arkansas will return home this weekend to host a double header against UT-Pan American on Friday, Feb. 7, and Purdue on Sunday, Feb. 9.

    For updates on Arkansas men's tennis follow @RazorbackMTEN on Twitter.





    No. 22 Notre Dame Wins See-Saw Affair with No. 13 Kentucky

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish outlasted No. 13 Kentucky for the second-straight weekend on Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 match which featured three lead changes, as Notre Dame got a break at four-all in the deciding set in the deciding match to take the 4-3 win for the second-straight weekend.

    Notre Dame was again able to capture the doubles point over Kentucky with wins on courts one and two. Kentucky’s doubles pair of Ryuji Hirooka and Nils Ellefsen won easily, 6-2 on court three for the second-straight weekend, while the Fighting Irish’s top pair knocked off Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai, 6-2 on the first court. On court two, sophomore Beck Pennington and junior Alejandro Gomez lost 6-5 in a tight tiebreaker, which clinched the 1-0 lead for Notre Dame. It was also a tiebreaker on court two which decided the doubles point on court two in last weekend’s meeting in Lexington.

    In singles, Kentucky quickly responded, as senior Grant Roberts squared the match at 1-1 with a quick straight-set win at 6-3, 6-2 on court six. Roberts got up early and often on his opponent and never let his foot off the gas petal to even the match.

    The new Intercollegiate Tennis Association format would very much be relevant on Sunday, as after Roberts and Lai clinched their first sets, all four remaining sets on courts one through four went to a tiebreak at five-all. Kentucky and Notre Dame split the tiebreaks, with UK winning on one and four, with Notre Dame winning the tiebreaks on two and three.

    Kentucky then took a 2-1 overall lead as Jerry Lopez won 6-5, 6-3 on court four. Lopez won a first-set tiebreaker to take the early lead, and then was up a break early in the second set and served out a 6-3 second set to claim the win. The lead for Kentucky was it’s first of the match.

    The UK lead would be short-lived, as Beck Pennington lost his match on court three, 6-5, 6-3, and then playing at the No. 2 position for the first time this season, Alejandro Gomez lost 6-5, 6-4 to give ND the lead right back at 3-2.

    No. 68 Tom Jomby continued his great play to start the season, as he knocked off No. 22 Greg Andews for the second-straight weekend on court one, 6-5, 6-4. Jomby won a first set tiebreak, and then got a late break in the second set to serve it out and tie the match at 3-3.

    The match would then come down to court five, where Kevin Lai was playing for the Wildcats. Lai took the first set quickly, winning 6-1 to take the lead in the match. Lai then was up a break at 5-3 and serving for the match in the second set before he was broken back and was forced into a tiebreak. Notre Dame then won the tiebreak, and forced a deciding set on the deciding court of the match.

    Lai served first and held for the first four service games, as it was 4-4 late in the frame. Lai then was broken at four-all in the set, and the Fighting Irish’s Eddy Covalschi served out a 1-6, 6-5, 6-4 win to clinch the match for Notre Dame. Covalschi also clinched the match for Notre Dame last weekend over Kentucky, as he broke at 4-4 as well against Ryuji Hirooka in the third set and served out the win.

    The Wildcats are back in action on Friday, Feb. 7, as Kentucky travels to No. 5 Ohio State to take on the Buckeyes at 6 p.m. ET in Columbus.





    Gamecocks Drop 5-2 Decision at No. 14 Virginia

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (Feb. 2, 2014) — The No. 33 South Carolina women’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the season Sunday, falling to No. 14 Virginia 5-2 in Charlottesville, Va., at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. South Carolina is now 3-1, while the Cavaliers improve to 3-0.

    The Cavaliers took a close doubles point by winning courts one and three. Stephanie Nauta and Maci Epstein took the No. 3 spot first by a 6-2 score over Caroline Dailey and Ximena Siles Luna. At one, UVa’s eighth-ranked tandem of Julia Elbaba and Rachel Pierson pulled out a 7-5 victory over Meghan Blevins and Elixane Lechemia to secure the point.

    At No 2 doubles, the Gamecocks’ Katerina Popova and Brigit Folland held a 4-3 lead against Danielle Collins and Li Xi and were one point away from extending the lead to 5-3 when play stopped since UVa had clinched the doubles.

    Virginia quickly pushed the team score to 2-0 with No. 11-ranked Elbaba defeating Lechemia 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. Pierson, ranked 43rd, made the score 3-0 after she squeaked out a 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, (10-5) triumph against No. 113 Folland on court three. Marie Faure gave the Cavs the win after she dispatched Dailey in straight sets at the No. 6 position 6-2, 6-4.

    The Gamecocks, though, finished the day strong by taking two of the final three matches on court. At five, Blevins upended Epstein 6-3, 7-5 to make the score 4-1. Popova then recorded one of the top victories of her career by downing No. 28 Collins 7-5, 4-6, (10-3) on court two. Collins is the highest ranked player the senior has beaten in her career. No. 85 Nauta closed out the day with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Siles Luna at the No. 4 spot.

    The Gamecocks return to the courts Wednesday when they host Furman at 4 p.m. to make up the Jan. 28 contest that was cancelled when winter weather pounded large portions of the Palmetto State.





    Men's Tennis Loses 4-0 to No. 4 Southern California in Los Angeles

    LOS ANGELES -- The Florida men's tennis team lost to No. 4 Southern California on Sunday afternoon 4-0 in Los Angeles. The Gators fell to 3-2 on the season while USC improved to 4-0.

    Florida dropped the doubles point for just the second time this season, as the Trojans won at the top two doubles spots. UF led on court three but play was halted when the doubles point was clinched.

    In singles, USC kept the momentum going with a win at the No. 1 position. The Trojans then won in straight sets on courts two and four to take the victory.

    Gordon Watson was leading in the third set when his match was halted. Florent Diep was also in a third set with a chance to win while Mike Alford won the first set and was tied 4-4 in the second set when play was stopped.

    Florida will take the week off from competition before heading to Houston for the 2014 ITA Men's National Indoor Championships February 14-17.





    Wake Forest Defeats Mizzou Tennis, 5-2

    WINSTON-SALEM , N.C. -- The Mizzou tennis team fell to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 5-2, on Sunday, Feb. 2 in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Tigers fell to 2-4 on the year, while the Demon Deacons improved to 5-0.

    Wake Forest recorded wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to claim a 1-0 edge in the match. First Kimmy Guerin and Karen Foreman posted an 8-3 win over Missouri sophomores Kelli Hine and Madison Rhyner. The home squad clinched the doubles point after Xue Zhang and Kasey Gardiner defated senior Cierra Gaytan-Leach and freshman Cassidy Spearman, 8-6.

    The Demon Deacons posted wins at No. 1, 3, 5 and 6 singles to record the victory. Gaytan-Leach fell to Andrea Retolaza, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, at No. 1 action, Spearman suffered a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Gardiner at No. 5 singles, and freshman Tracy Dong lost to Zhang, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6.

    Rhyner came back to take the second set but ultimately fell to Guerin, 7-4, 4-6, 6-0 at No. 3 play.

    The Tigers notched wins in the final two matches of the day. At No. 2 singles, Hine posted a 7-6 (7-1), 7-5 win over Samantha Asch. Then senior Rachel Stuhlmann recovered after dropping the first set to post a 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) win over Luisa Fernandez.

    Mizzou is idle until Sunday, Feb. 16, when the squad travels to Wichita, Kan., to take on Wichita State at 11 a.m.