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    SEC Tennis Today: Friday, February 7

    Georgia Advances with 4-0 Win Over No. 9 Miami

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The fourth-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships Friday afternoon with a 4-0 shutout of No. 9 Miami.

    The Bulldogs won a thrilling doubles point and then won three singles matches to claim victory and advance to the quarterfinals. Georgia led in two other singles matches when play was suspended.

    "I thought we came out and got off to great starts in doubles and singles," said head coach Jeff Wallace. "We started strong winning the doubles point and then came out and rolled in singles, just losing one set. It's a great way to start the tournament and we're looking forward to tomorrow."

    In doubles, Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia were first off the court with a 6-4 win over Kelsey Laurente and Melissa Bolivar. Lilly Kimbell and Caroline Brinson clinched the doubles points, beating Lina Lileikite and Stephanie Wagner, 6-4. The No. 5 pair of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase led No. 29 Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno, 6-5 when the match was halted.

    In singles, No. 25 Kowase gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage with a quick 6-2, 6-3 win over Miami’s Lileikite.  Shortly after, No. 4 Herring picked up her seventh win in a row, beating No. 32 Wagner 6-2, 6-2. Mia King sealed the Georgia shutout with a 6-4, 6-0 win against Melissa Bolivar.

    The Bulldogs will meet No. 8 Cal in the quarterfinals. Ironically Georgia played the Bears and won 4-1 in last year’s quarterfinals. The match start time has yet to be determined.
     




    Vandy’s upset bid of No. 3 North Carolina falls short

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Courtney Colton did everything she could facing 5th-ranked Hayley Carter, but her backhand return in the second-set tiebreak went just wide, ending Vandy’s upset bid of No. 3 North Carolina.

    The 15th-ranked Vanderbilt women’s tennis team fell 4-3 to the Tar Heels in the opening round of the 2014 National Team Indoor Championship, Friday morning, at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.

    “I am incredibly proud of the fight and effort we showed today,” said Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald. “Some opportunities slipped away from us, we could have won the doubles point along with singles at two and four. The key going forward is to be resilient and to take advantage of each opportunity in front of us.”

    The Commodores move on to the consolation round, where teams will be reseeded following the completion of all the first round matches.

    “The great thing about this tournament is the opportunities it presents,” Macdonald said. “Every team is in the top 15, so each match you play provides you with a chance at a great resume building win.”

    Vanderbilt began the morning with a very contested doubles point. Neither the ‘Dores or ‘Heels had lost a doubles point prior to the match.

    The ‘Dores won the first match at No. 3 with a quick 6-1 win by Georgina Sellyn and Frances Altick over No. 42 Laura Slater and Kate Vialle.

    UNC answered shortly after as No. 12 Jamie Loeb and Hayley Carter knocked off Marie Casares and Courtney Colton, 6-4.

    It came down to a tiebreak at No. 1 doubles between 10th-ranked Whitney Kay and Caroline Price against Ashleigh Antal and Lauren Mira. Facing match point Antal and Mira were able to force a tiebreak at 6-all, but Kay and Price were able to take the breaker 7-5, after a line call in favor of the ‘Dores was overturned.

    North Carolina jumped to a 2-0 lead with a quick 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 1, by 2nd-ranked Jamie Loeb. Loeb, the nations top freshman, improved to 25-1 on the year with the win.

    Vanderbilt answered with a win by Antal at No. 6, but the Tar Heels would extend their lead to 3-1 with a win at No. 4 over Altick. Alticks’s six-match win streak was snapped after dropping the third set tiebreak 10-7 to UNC’s Price.

    Facing defeat at 3-1, Vanderbilt fought back to tie the match at 3 apiece. Casares picked up the next win for the Commodores, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 singles, followed by 48th-ranked Sellyn at No. 3 singles.

    After dropping her first set 6-4, Sellyn was able to bounce back and force a third set tiebreak with a 7-5 win in the second set. Facing two match points, the sophomore from Scotland was able to win five-straight points to take the match 11-9 in the breaker, forcing the match to be decided at No. 2 singles.

    Colton, who was matched up with 5th-ranked Carter, did everything she could to keep Vandy in the match. The Vandy sophomore forced a tiebreak in the first set, before coming from behind in the second set to force another tiebreak.

    Carter proved to be too much, taking a quick 5-1 lead in the breaker, before clinching the match for the Tar Heels, 7-2 in the break.

    “This was one of the better fights I’ve seen in my 20 years with Vanderbilt,” said Macdonald. “This was a chance for us to see the level of competition that is going to be played in NCAA’s, and we leave this match knowing we are right there with the best.”

    Vanderbilt will await the days remaining matches to see who they will face in the consolation round, on Saturday.






    No. 24 Auburn men’s tennis defeats Florida Gulf Coast 5-2

    AUBURN, Ala. – No. 24 Auburn battled back from an early deficit for the second straight match as the Tigers knocked off Florida Gulf Coast, 5-2, on Friday night at the FGCU Tennis Complex.

    Auburn (8-1) dropped the doubles point for the second straight match, but quickly regained ground in singles play against FGCU (1-5). Dennis Lengsfeld was the first Tiger off the court with a 6-2, 6-2 win on court two over FGCU’s Tianyu Bao. Petar Tomic cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 victory on court three to put the Tigers in front 2-1.

    No. 89 Dante Saleh moved his winning streak to 11 straight matches, taking down FGCU’s Lucas Vaz 6-1, 6-4. Oliver Plaskett provided the clinching win to claim the match for the Tigers, posting a 6-4, 6-5 (5) win on court six over the Eagles’ Lance Lvovsky.

    No. 112 Daniel Cochrane provided the highlight of the night, ending the nation’s longest winning streak as the senior downed FGCU’s No. 66 Jordi Vives 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. Vives had not lost a match since Oct. 13, while the win was Cochrane’s ninth straight victory.

    FGCU’s kept the Tigers from sweeping the singles as Joseph Van Dooren dropped a tough three-setter. The sophomore took the first set, but fell 5-6 (4), 6-4, 1-0 (7).

    The Tigers had to overcome an early deficit has FGCU’s Bao/Lvovsky secured the doubles point with a 6-5 (5) victory over Auburn’s pair of Saleh/Tomic. Lengsfeld and Plasksett provided the Tigers with a 6-4 win on court 3.

    Auburn returns to the road next weekend for a pair of matches against ACC foes. The Tigers face Georgia Tech on Friday, Feb. 14 before heading to Clemson on Sunday, Feb. 16.
     

     



    No. 21 Rebels Sweep Southern Miss 7-0
                   
    OXFORD, Miss. -- Playing without their No. 1 player, the No. 21 nationally ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team shut out visiting Southern Miss 7-0 here Friday at the Gillom Sports Center. The Rebels picked up their first win of the season to improve to 1-2.
                    
    “We were nervous about this match,” head coach Billy Chadwick said.  “When you are playing without your No. 1 player, everything is equal.  I was proud of the guys for responding and stepping up.”
                    
    With Scholtz out of the lineup, the Rebels shuffled their doubles lineup.  Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark got back together and played No. 1 doubles.  Zach Wilder and Joe Rogers  finally got their first dual match win together at No. 3 doubles, 6-3 and then their teammates, William Kallberg and Vinod Gowda posted a 6-3 win at No. 2 doubles to give the Rebels the 1-0 lead.
                    
    Everyone moved up a spot in the singles, but the Rebels were ready.  In the only spot where the Rebels did not win the first set, Lindmark rallied to dominate his opponent, USM’s Brad Marriott, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles to make it 2-0.
                    
    Shortly thereafter, Backstrom finished off Golden Eagle Vasco Valverde 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3 to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead.  He remains unblemished (3-0) in dual matches in singles.
                    
    Kallberg took care of USM’s Paulo Alvarado 6-4, 6-4 at the top spot to clinch the victory and earn his first dual match singles win of the year.
                    
    Vinod Gowda, who came agonizingly close to a couple of wins on the opening weekend of play two weeks ago, finally got his first dual match victory.  He downed Alex Doleac 6-0, 6-3 at No. 4 singles to add to the total.
                    
    Oxford native Zach Wilder earned his second career dual match singles win, defeating Juan Escobar 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6 singles.  
                    
    All eyes then turned to sophomore Joe Rogers, playing in his first singles dual match and first singles match in more than two years.  Rogers won the first set 6-4 against Chao Yu Huang, but dropped the second 6-1.  Since the match was already decided, the two played a supertiebreaker, which Rogers won 10-6 for his first singles win at Ole Miss.
                    
    “We knew it was going to be tough, but the guys responded. We played with a lot of energy in doubles, and played really tough at one, two and three to clinch the match. I was impressed with our four, five and six to come out and complete the sweep.”
                    
    Backstrom talked about the importance of getting the first win and building on it.
                    
    “This match was huge,” he said.  “It was a great day for everyone on the team.  It was important for us to gain some confidence again and show that we improved from two weeks ago.”
                    
    The Rebels are off until Feb. 22 when they travel to Waco, Texas to face SMU followed by a match the next day against No. 7 Baylor.
     



    No. 5 Ohio State Outlasts No. 17 Kentucky

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes got wins in the doubles point on two tiebreakers to claim the 1-0 lead, and then got singles wins on courts one,four, five and six to defeat No. 17 Kentucky at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio.

    In the doubles point, Kentucky got off to a good start, collecting a win from freshman Nils Ellefsen and junior Ryuji Hirooka on court three, 6-4 to take the early advantage. Hirooka and Ellefsen have developed into a good pair for UK in the early part of 2014, as they now sit 10-0 on the season, and 7-0 in dualmatches in their career together.

    On courts one and two, Kentucky found itself again in tiebreaker situations for a chance to claim the point and take the early lead in the match. On court two, Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez exchanged holds of serve for the match up until the tiebreak, and fell on court two 6-5. On court one, in the deciding match of the doubles point, Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai were down 0-3 to start the match, and rallied to come back and force a tiebreak at five-all. UK wound up losing the tiebreak, and eventually losing the point.

    In singles, Ohio State collected three wins on courts one, four, five and six. The first match to finish and give the No. 5 Buckeyes the 2-0 lead was court five, as No. 97 Kevin Lai fell in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. The Buckeyes would quickly escalate their lead to 3-0 in the match, as Kevin Metka outlasted Jerry Lopez on court four in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.

    Ohio State would clinch the match on court one, as No. 68 Tom Jomby suffered hisfirst loss of the season in a three-setter to No. 31 Peter Kobelt, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Jomby, who is now 7-1 on the season, had won his first seven matches of the year before Friday night’s three-set loss in Columbus.

    Alejandro Gomez dropped the first set, 6-4 before forcing a third set on court two, where the match was on serve at 3-2 in the deciding frame at the time of clinch.

    Beck Pennington also was in a third set at the time of the clinch. The Bowling Green, Ky., native was the only UK player to capture an opening-set win, before dropping the second set, 6-2. As with Gomez on court two, his match was on serve at 3-2 at the time of the clinch.

    Grant Roberts returned to the UK singles lineup on Friday for the first time in two weeks, after suffering from a slight illness vs. Notre Dame. Roberts exchanged 6-4, 4-6 frames in the second set, before the match was stopped at three all in the final set.

    So, for Kentucky, there were three final sets going on at the time of the clinch, with UK leading or on serve in all three of those matches.

    The Wildcats are back in action on Sunday, Feb. 7, as Kentucky returns home for a match with Michigan State at 1 p.m. ET.
     




    No. 22 Illinois defeats No. 8 Texas A&M

    URBANA, Ill. – The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis team suffered its first setback of the spring season Friday evening at No. 22 Illinois by a score of 4-1 at the Atkins Tennis Center.

    The Aggies (6-1) began the night capturing the doubles point behind a 6-4 win by the No. 6 duo of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow over No. 4 Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon, the highest ranked win the duos’ history. The No. 20 tandem of Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo defeated No. 31 Brian Page and Alex Jesse 6-3 on the doubles three line. Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant fell to No. 27 Farris Gosea and Jared Hiltzik.

    “We came out and played with a lot of energy and confidence early on,” head coach Steve Denton said. “We were pleased with the doubles matches, especially with Ore and Withrow’s great match to win the doubles point for us.”

    The Fighting Illini (3-2) jumped out to a quick start in singles winning five of six first sets and never looked back taking four singles matches to defeat A&M 4-1. No. 46 Lopinski defeated No. 13 Efferding (6-1, 6-3) on court three to start the rally, quickly followed by a win at number one line by No. 4 Hiltzik over No. 38 Vinsant (6-3, 6-2).

    “Illinois took the momentum winning the first set on five of six courts,” Denton said. “We just had to play catch up too much. We turned a couple matches around in our favor but we couldn’t come all the way back tonight.”

    No. 106 Gosea bested No. 19 Adams (6-3, 6-5) on court two, followed by the clinching point at court five of Blake Bazarnik over Withrow (6-4, 6-5).

    “We missed opportunities with a couple tiebreakers that would have given us a chance with the final two matches that were abandoned,” Denton said. “This was our first time on the road this year and Illinois handled the conditions better than we did, we just need to come out more focused when the crowd isn’t on our side.”

    After Illinois clinched the match Ore and Page (6-4, 5-5) on court four and Guignon and Lunkin (6-4, 4-5) on court six went unfinished.

    The maroon and white stay on the road to face No. 5 Ohio State Sunday afternoon in Columbus, OH. To learn more about the men’s tennis team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.






    UF W-Tennis Wins Thriller at Virginia in ITA National Team Indoors

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The second-ranked and top-seeded Gators earned a hard fought 4-2 over No. 14 Virginia at the Boar's Head Sports Club in the opening round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships hosted by Virginia on Friday evening.

    Florida advances to the quarterfinals of the 16-team event and plays No. 16 Northwestern on Saturday. The Wildcats posted the lone upset in the first round, knocking off eighth-seeded Texas A&M, 4-3.

    The doubles team of Sofie Oyen and Belinda Woolcock earned a 6-4 win against eighth-ranked Rachel Pierson and Julia Elbaba to secure the important doubles point for the Gators, who dropped the decision on court three before the tandem of Olivia Janowicz and Kourtney Keegan took a 6-3 win on court two to even the scoring.

    Virginia quickly evened the team scoring when Elbaba defeated Janowicz on court one, halting the Gator senior's singles dual match win streak at 18.

    Senior Alexandra Cercone came right back with a 10-6 third set victory, before the Cavaliers tied the dual match with a victory on court five.

    Sophomore Brianna Morgan then topped Rachel Pierson, 7-5, 6-4, and gave the Gators a 3-2 lead, as she won her 15th consecutive singles dual match.

    Woolcock, a freshman, provided the clinching dual match heroics with her 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 win against Marie Faure on court six.
     




    No. 12 Crimson Tide Outlasted by Sixth-Ranked Trojans, 4-3, at Indoor Championships

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 12th-ranked Alabama women’s tennis team came within one point of advancing to the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, but came up just shy, falling 4-3 to No. 6 Southern California on Friday at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The loss was the Crimson Tide’s first of the season, putting Alabama at 3-1 overall, while the win brings the Trojans to 4-0.

    The Tide came out blazing in doubles to earn the first point of the match. On court three, juniors Emily Zabor and Luicelena Perez dominated the No. 3 team in the nation of senior Brynn Boren and freshman Zoe Katz, 6-2, just before Alabama’s duo on court one clinched it as sophomore Maya Jansen and freshman Erin Routliffe posted a 6-3 victory over the 2013 NCAA Doubles Champion duo of senior Kaitlyn Christian and junior Sabrina Santamaria.

    UA got off to another quick start in singles, leading on four courts, but USC battled back in all the matches and would even the score at 1-1 after Boren secured a 1-6, 6-2, 10-8 win over Tide freshman Danielle Spielmann on court two. Zabor then put Alabama back on top with a 6-2, 6-1 victory against junior Gabriella DeSimone on court five, and senior Mary Anne Daines followed with a huge win from the No. 1 spot, beating Santamaria, 6-4, 4-6, 10-5. The Trojans would go on to win the next three straight, clinching the team victory on court six.

    Alabama will play a pair of consolation matches on Saturday and Sunday with the first coming against Texas at 5:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.

    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.
     




    Texas A&M Suffers 4-3 Loss to No. 16 Northwestern

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 7 Texas A&M women’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the season, falling to No. 16 Northwestern, 4-3, this evening in the opening round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championship at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.

    “Naturally our group is bitterly disappointed with the loss,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said, “however Northwestern deserves a ton of credit for playing with great passion and skill. I was very proud of our fight, and hopefully we learn and profit from the experience."

    The Aggies (3-1) got off to a slow start and dropped the doubles point for the first time this season. A&M’s 22nd-ranked pair of Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu suffered its first loss in three decisions, falling to 35th-ranked Alicia Barnett and Veronica Corning, 6-3, at the No. 1 line.

    The Wildcats (3-1) then took a 1-0 lead as Nida Hamilton and Maddie Lipp finished off 57th-ranked Rutuja Bhosale and Ines Deheza, 7-5, at No. 2. Northwestern also held a 5-4 lead at the No. 3 line when play was stopped.

    "We missed out on a number of opportunities in the doubles, which is unfortunate,” Joffe said. “That made the pressure and task for a young team too great tonight."

    The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead at the start of singles with Hamilton defeating Bhosale, 7-5, 6-1, at the No. 6 line before Hristov put A&M within 2-1 with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Jillian Rooney at No. 5.

    Northwestern then went up 3-1 as Corning held off 14th-ranked Stancu in a contentious three-set match at No. 1. Stancu pulled away from a 4-4 tie to win the first set, 6-4, but Corning won three straight games to close out a 6-3 win in the second set to force a third-set super tiebreaker. Corning was serving for the match leading 9-7. Stancu claimed the ball went through the net on the server and therefore did not play the ball. The umpire overruled Stancu, and Corning was awarded the match-winning point that gave the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.

    Mamalat and Deheza kept the Aggies alive and knotted the team score at 3-3 with wins at the Nos. 3 and 4 lines, respectively. Mamalat defeated Barnett, 6-3, 7-6 (4), and Deheza held off Lok Sze Leung, 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (11-9).

    The match came down to the No. 2 court, where 105th-ranked Nia topped Gavrilovska, 7-5, 6-2, to give the Wildcats the victory.

    The Aggies will play host and 14th-ranked Virginia Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 CT) in a consolation match. Live scoring and video will be available at AggieAthletics.com.

    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.

    Visit the official ITA event page for complete coverage of the 2014 ITA Division I National Women's Team Indoor Championship, including access to draws and live scores and more.
     




    Razorback Men's Tennis Sweeps Doubleheader

    FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas men's tennis team swept Friday’s doubleheader against UT-Pan American.

    The Razorbacks won both matches by a score of 6-1, improving their home record to 4-0.

    Arkansas won all three doubles contests in the first match of the day, using the third different lineup of the season. Senior Mike Nott reunited with senior Manfred Jeske to win 6-2 at the No. 1 doubles position, seniors Hall Fess and Pete Thomason recorded a 6-2 win on court 2 and freshman Johan den Toom teamed up with sophomore Santiago Munoz and won their first match of the spring at the No. 3 doubles position, 6-2.

    The Razorbacks entered singles play with a 1-0 lead and won five of six singles battles. Seniors Mike Nott, Manfred Jeske, Hall Fess and Christian Lee were joined by junior Jovan Parlic in recording singles wins.

    Arkansas tested a different doubles lineup in the second match of the day, which resulted in three more wins. Fess and Thomason took court 1 for the first time this spring, winning 6-3, and den Toom and Munoz won only their second match together at the No. 2 doubles position, 6-3. Junior Jovan Parlic and senior Christian Lee combined to win the final doubles match 6-2.

    Den Toom and Munoz both entered the singles lineup for the Razorbacks in the second match and notched wins, 6-3, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-1, respectively. Fess, Lee and Parlic each recorded their second singles victory of the day as Arkansas went on to win 6-1.

    The Razorbacks will take the court at the George M. Billingsley Center on Sunday to face Purdue at 1 p.m.

    There will be live stats, a photo gallery and a full recap of Sunday’s match available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. For more information on Arkansas tennis, follow @RazorbackMTEN on Twitter.