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    SEC Men's Tennis Weekly Notebook

    The Alabama men’s tennis team stands at 4-2 on the season after dropping a 4-0 decision at No. 14 Texas last week. The Longhorns gained the early advantage after winning the doubles point. Texas picked up a 6-3 victory on court three in doubles, however the point came down to the wire with the matches on court one and two playing out in a tiebreaker. The Longhorns would eventually grab the 1-0 lead, winning 6-5(5) on court two. Once the point was secured, the matchup on court one was suspended with senior Daniil Proskura and freshman Nikko Madregallejo leading the No. 5 team in the nation, 6-4, in the tiebreaker. Texas got off to a quick start in singles, winning first sets on all six courts, and eventually the matches on courts two, four and five. The remaining three matches went unfinished, thus giving the Longhorns the 4-0 victory. Next up, Alabama plays a pair of matches at home, hosting Oklahoma State and Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 8, and Sunday, Feb. 9, respectively.
    The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team left Minneapolis, Minn., with a 1-1 record. The Razorbacks opened with a 4-3 victory over the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, sweeping doubles play and winning three singles matches. Senior Hall Fess is 5-2 starting the season, his best start in his career as a Razorback. Arkansas then fell to No. 39 Minnesota 6-1, with freshman Johan den Toom recording the team’s only victory of the day at the No. 5 singles position. Arkansas will return home to host a doubleheader against UT-Pan American on Friday and Purdue on Sunday.
    The Auburn men’s tennis team swept a Saturday doubleheader on its home court, sweeping Alabama A&M, 7-0, before taking down Davidson, 5-2. The Tigers dropped just four games in singles play against Alabama on Saturday morning in the teams’ first-ever meeting. The freshman pairing of Oliver Plaskett and Petar Tomic securing the deciding doubles match, quickly posting a 6-0 win in No. 2 doubles. In the nightcap against Davidson, 89th-ranked Dante Saleh extended his team-leading winning streak to nine matches with a 6-3, 6-4 win in No 2. singles, while Plaskett clinched the match for Auburn with a 6-1, 6-5 (5) win in No. 4 singles. The Tigers return to action by hitting the road this weekend to take on Florida Gulf Coast on Friday.
    The Florida men’s tennis team traveled cross-country last weekend to Los Angeles for the Pac-12/SEC Challenge against two top-5 opponents. On Saturday, the Gators faced No. 2 UCLA. After winning the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead, UF’s No. 1 singles player Spencer Newman suffered an injury in the first set of singles play and had to resign, giving UCLA its first point. The Gators then dropped matches at No. 4, 3 and 6 singles and the Bruins took the victory, 4-1. Freshman Maxx Lipman had double match point in his match when play was halted, while Diego Hidalgo had won the first set in his match and was suspended in the second set. On Sunday, Florida faced No. 4 USC and fell behind early after losing the doubles point. The Trojans momentum continued with three straight-set wins at 1, 2 and 4 singles for the win. Two of the three remaining matches were in a third set, while Mike Alford had won the first set and was tied 4-4 in the second set. UF is off until the National Team Indoors in Houston on Feb. 14-17.
    The third-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team had a tough weekend on the West Coast, dropping dual match decisions to No. 4 Southern California (4-0) and No. 2 UCLA (4-3) at the SEC/Pac-12 Showdown at Marks Tennis Stadium on the USC campus. The losses dropped Georgia to 2-2 on the season. The Bulldogs return home to host ETSU on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.
    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. 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. He is 7-0 on the season. 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.
    LSU men’s tennis (1-2) returns to action this weekend for two days of double headers during its home opening weekend in Baton Rouge. LSU welcomes North Florida and Liberty on Saturday and Southern Miss and Jackson St. on Sunday. During the off week, sophomore Boris Arias, who is a member of LSU’s No. 60 doubles team, competed in the Davis Cup for Bolivia. First match for LSU on Saturday is North Florida, and first serve is set for noon CT.
    Ole Miss
    The Rebels were off last week, but junior Nik Scholtz traveled back to his home country, South Africa, to represent them in Davis Cup. With his country down 0-1 to Monaco, Scholtz won an exciting five-setter against world No. 276 ranked Benjamin Balleret to even the tie.  South Africa ended up winning the tie 3-2.  It was the third time for Scholtz to represent South Africa in Davis Cup. The Rebels are back in action Friday, Feb. 7 playing a doubleheader against Southern Miss.
    Mississippi State
    Hitting the road for the first time during the 2014 campaign, the Mississippi State men’s tennis Bulldogs (6-0) served up a thriller match in a Friday contest against the 53rd-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. Finding themselves down 3-0 after dropping the doubles point and two early singles matches, the Maroon and White rallied behind wins from Jordan Angus, No. 63 Florian Lakat and Zach White to pull even with TTU. With the match on the shoulders of Malte Stropp for the second-straight week, the MSU senior took a third-set tiebreaker victory to move the Bulldogs to 5-0. The following day, MSU took care of business against the Rice Owls, earning a 5-2 victory to move to 6-0 on the year. State now returns to Starkville for a Sunday, Feb. 9 doubleheader against No. 66 Samford and Alcorn State. The first match is set for 12 p.m. CT, with the second scheduled for 5 p.m. Following the quick home stand, MSU will then hit the road for the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship and then the 2014 Blue-Grat National Collegiate Classic before beginning SEC play.
    South Carolina
    South Carolina improved to 5-2 on the season after sweeping its second home doubleheader of the season. The Gamecocks shook off a tough loss at Georgia Tech Friday night to push past No. 56 Middle Tennessee State and Wofford on Sunday. Freshman Andrew Schafer remained undefeated in singles action, scoring the team’s lone singles point at Georgia Tech after teaming with Andrew Adams to clinch the doubles point in a tiebreak. Schafer was the last match on court in a 3-3 tie with Middle Tennessee State and overcame early nerves with the situation to deliver the victory. Junior Thiago Pinheiro improved to 3-2 in dual-match play with a pair of wins on Sunday as he played the most efficient singles matches of the day. Junior Andrew Adams is 4-1 this spring and 4-2 on the doubles court with Schafer, playing in the No. 2 spot. Senior Chip Cox has played his best tennis early this spring with a 6-1 dual-match record that includes a pair of tiebreak wins on Sunday. The Gamecocks head to Atlantic Coast Conference territory this weekend to take on Wake Forest and NC State.
    The Tennessee Volunteers collected a win and a loss in their first road trip of the season, losing to Oklahoma State 4-2 before bouncing back for a 4-3 victory at Tulsa. Junior Brandon Fickey came through for the Vols with a clinching victory at Tulsa, improving his record to 3-0 when he is charged with winning the deciding point. Junior Hunter Reese continued his all-around winning ways, going 2-0 in singles and 2-0 in doubles with Mikelis Libietis. He is now 19-6 in singles and 18-2 in doubles with Mikelis Libietis. Freshman Markus Kerner also stayed unbeaten in dual matches and is now 7-0 at the No. 5 and 6 positions and 8-0 in doubles with Andrew Dromsky. The Vols host Duke and Wake Forest this weekend.
    Texas A&M
    The ninth-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team defeated SMU and Nicholls State on a chilly Monday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The Aggies bested the Mustangs, 4-0, and held off the Colonels, 6-1. The 6-0 start to the season marks the second time in as many years the maroon and white have opened with six-consecutive victories. Three newcomers earned singles victories against the Colonels, freshmen Max Lunkin, Tito Moreiras and Frankie Colunga claimed points against the Colonels. The Aggie will be back in action Friday for a top-20 matchup with Illinois followed by a top-10 showdown with the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday.
    The No. 16 Vanderbilt men’s tennis team improved to 4-1 on the year with a win over No. 29 Northwestern, Sunday. The Commodores started the afternoon by winning the doubles point for the first time against a ranked team this season. Anton Kovrigin and Jeffrey Offerdahl clinched the point with a 6-4 win at the No. 3 position. In singles the Commodores picked up wins at No. 2, 4 and 5. Ninth-ranked Gonzales Austin improved to 3-0 in dual play with his win at No. 2. Both Kovrigin and Offerdahl needed three sets but Kovrigin set up the clinch at No. 4 and Offerdahl won it for the Commodores with his win at No. 5. Vanderbilt looks ahead to a double header with MTSU and Lipscomb on Sunday.