HOUSTON, Texas – The twelfth-ranked Gators halted their three-match losing streak with a 4-2 upset over SEC-East foe No. 4 Georgia at the 2014 ITA Division I National Men's Team Indoor Championship at The Downtown Club at the Met in Houston.
Florida took an early lead in doubles play as the No. 24 senior duo Michael Alford and Stephane Piro led off with a dominant 6-1 victory over Georgia’s Hernus Pieters and Nick Wood. The Bulldogs then took the No. 2 doubles match, but Gators pair Diego Hidalgo and Florent Diep battled back to clinch the doubles point at No. 3.
In singles, UF sophomore Gordon Watson had a clutch performance and defeated UGA’s No. 109 Nick Wood to seal the Gator victory.
Play continues tomorrow at 12:30 pm ET as the Gators compete in their last match of the competition against either No. 9 Mississippi State or No. 16 Notre Dame. For the complete ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship draw, click here.
Head Coach Bryan Shelton Says: “It was pretty exciting. Gordon really played well to finish it for us. He had to deal with some pressure there. It’s not easy to close out a good team and he held his nerves together and played aggressively. It was good to see him to play to win. The tiebreak was tight the whole way through and then [UGA’s] Nick Wood finally gave him something. I thought Gordon did a great job of never letting up today.”
“As a whole, it was a team win. Any time you win a match and rely on more than one guy, it’s a great win. In doubles, we know how important it is to get to 1-0 in a match because it’s hard for a team to win those four points. What we did in doubles, I thought we were really clutch. Stephane and Michael, they never let the other guys in the match. At No. 2 doubles, we got down early but fought our way back to make it competitive against a very, very good team in [Nathan] Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux. As for No. 3 doubles, they were tremendous. They played aggressive on the big points and really took control of the match late in the set. Like with Gordon, it was great to see them step up, trust and believe and it was just an overall big win for our team.”
“Our guys want to finish this thing out and be 2-1 when we leave here. We’re going to get after it tomorrow.”
Tennessee Women Fall to GT
KNOXVILLE – The No. 27 Tennessee women’s tennis team battled the whole way but fell Saturday afternoon to No. 21 Georgia Tech 5-2 at the Goodfriend Tennis Center.
“There were a lot of competitive matches, but we need to convert,” said co-head coach Mike Patrick. “We need to finish off sets when we are ahead, we need to play less uptight. We are still getting to that point where we are showing our age and inexperience. We have to play through that. We are working hard, we just have to keep training.”
The Lady Vols (1-3) competed in tiebreaks five times, converting in two of them as Eve Repic won the first set tie break in her match en route to one of Tennessee’s two singles wins on the day.
Laurence Guevremont had the other in the third set to come away with a win to end the match vs. the Yellow Jackets (3-1).
“We just didn’t win enough of them,” said Patrick. “That is part of becoming a better team. When you are a little more experienced and a little tougher, you convert those. Georgia Tech was just a little more experienced in certain areas and spots and we have to pull those through.”
Despite a battle from the Lady Vols, Georgia Tech came away with the doubles point thanks to 8-4 victories on courts two and three.
Tennessee mixed up the doubles pairs with Repic and Victoria Olivarez teaming up at No. 2 doubles and Brittany Lindl and Ambika Pande pairing on court three.
At No. 1 doubles, the newly formed pair of Joanna Henderson and Guevremont stayed point for point with the nation’s No. 1 ranked doubles pair of Kendal Woodard and Megan Kurey. With Georgia Tech clinching the doubles point, the match remained unfinished with GT up 7-6 and the Lady Vols on serve.
“It is a good experience for [Jo and Laurence],” said Patrick. “We have been getting on them about being too passive and they played aggressive today. By playing aggressive they kept themselves in with a very good team. Hopefully they will build on that.”
Georgia Tech gained a 2-0 advantage as Tiffany Tavares fell 6-3, 6-4 on court five to Alexa Anton-Ohlmeyer.
The Lady Vols got on the board as No. 63 Eve Repic defeated No. 94 Kendal Woodard 7-6 (4), 6-1 at No. 1 singles forcing a first set tie break and easily taking the second set.
Lindl, who came back from a 1-6 first set loss took the second set 6-4, but fell in the third set 1-6 as Georgia Tech netted its third point of the match.
The Yellow Jackets clinched the match as Natasha Prokhnevska came back in the second set to defeat Henderson in the tiebreak 6-4, 7-6 (5) for the match win.
Georgia Tech forced third sets on courts four and six to close out the match.
Olivarez captured the first set on court four 6-4, but McAdoo came back 7-6 (3) in the second set to force a third set tie break which she won 1-0 (5) to put the fifth point on the board.
After being down 4-1, Guevremont rallied back winning five straight games to capture the first set 6-4 over Muriel Wacker. The Montreal, Quebec native continued on winning seven straight games to take a 2-0 second set advantage before giving up a point and eventually the second set 5-7. In the third set tiebreak, Guevremont had the advantage and came away with the 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (7) win.
The Lady Vols will be back in action on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. with an in-state double header. Tennessee will first face Belmont at 11 a.m. followed by a 4 p.m. match with Chattanooga.
Emily Zabor Clinches 4-3 Victory over No. 10 Virginia on Saturday
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Emily Zabor came from behind to win 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(2) on court five in singles to clinch No. 16 Alabama’s 4-3 victory over No. 10 Virginia on Saturday at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility. With the win, the Crimson Tide moves to 5-2 overall, while the loss drops the Cavaliers to 5-2 on the season.
“I needed to win,” said Zabor. “Our team works so hard, and it doesn't matter who the last one is. I feel like sometimes I'm better in high pressure situations like that. I was glad to pull it out, but this is definitely a team victory.
Alabama came out of the gates blazing, picking up early breaks on courts one and two to lead from the start. Mary Anne Daines and Danielle Spielmann maintained that momentum throughout the match and cruised to an 8-2 victory on court two over Stephanie Nauta and Maci Epstein. The match on court one got close midway through, but the Tide’s 20th-ranked duo of Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe held on in the end, winning three straight games to take the match 8-5 over No. 3 Julia Elbaba and Rachel Pierson. The match on court three was suspended at 5-5 once the point was clinched.
Alabama took a 3-0 lead after winning the first two singles matches starting with the victory on court six from Luicelena Perez. Perez wasted no time and took care of her court, winning 6-0, 6-2 over the Cavaliers’ Marie Faure. Spielmann gave the Tide its third point of the match with a win on court two, dominating No. 53 Danielle Collins, 6-1, 6-3. From there, Virginia went on to win three-straight points, taking the matches on courts one, four, then three, setting up for Zabor’s clincher on court five.
“We knew this was going to be a very close match,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “It tilted both ways, and even though we were up 3-0 Virginia had the momentum. We needed to settle down and work, and that's how you beat a team like this. Overall this was a great team win.”
Next up, Alabama travels to Montgomery, Ala., for the annual Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, which will be played Feb. 21-23.
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.
No. 9 MSU Falls To No. 16 Irish On Day Two Of ITA Nat’l Indoors
HOUSTON, Texas – Despite jumping out in front early with the doubles point, the ninth-ranked Mississippi State men’s tennis Bulldogs (8-2) fell to the No. 16 Notre Dame Irish (8-2), 4-1, on Saturday on day two of the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship.
The loss sets MSU up against fourth-ranked SEC foe Georgia (3-4) to close out play at the ITA Indoors for both teams on Sunday. The match is set for 6 p.m. CT.
For the fifth match in a row, State came out with the doubles point Saturday, thanks to victories on courts two and three. MSU’s Rishab Agarwal and Zach White improved to 5-0 on the season, defeating Notre Dame’s Ryan Bandy and Eric Schnurrenberger 6-2 at the three spot. The Bulldogs clinched the point with a 6-4 victory on court two from Florian Lakat and Tassilo Schmid against the Irish tandem of Josh Hagar and Billy Pecor, ranked 46th nationally.
Play on court one was suspended at the clinch, with Notre Dame’s No. 17 duo of Greg Andrews and Alex Lawson leading MSU’s No. 55 team of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp 5-4.
Notre Dame fired back in singles play, taking the first set on all six courts. The Bulldogs put together several second-set rallies to try and regain momentum, including a forced third set from senior No. 49 Stropp, but it was not enough to overcome the deficits on all courts.
Notre Dame’s 121st-ranked Bandy opened up singles play, downing MSU’s No. 115 Angus 6-2, 6-3 on court three to tie the overall score at 1-1. The Irish captured the lead when Schnurrenberger defeated State’s Schmid 6-3, 6-4 on court six.
A 6-2, 6-4 victory from UND’s Hagar against MSU’s White on court four and a 6-5(5), 6-4 win from the Irish’s No. 37 Andrews against the Bulldogs’ No. 52 Lakat at the top spot clinched the overall win.
Play on courts two and five was suspended at that point.
Auburn completes tough road weekend, posts two wins on Saturday
NEW ORLEANS – Auburn capped off a successful road weekend with two more wins on Saturday, taking down Northwestern State, 4-0, Nicholls State, 4-1, at the City Park Pepsi Center in New Orleans.
No. 20 Auburn (8-1) posted four wins overall on the weekend playing away from home for the first time in two weeks. The Tigers did not back down from a demanding four matches in a span of 48 hours
“This was a great road test for our team. Physically this was demanding playing four matches in two days against some really scrappy teams that make you work for point,” Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “We had to battle some ough wind and haven’t played outdoors in a while so at times it was more of a mental challenge that I think we did a good job pushing through and getting the job done.
“I ask a lot of this team both physically and mentally and I think we met the challenge of this weekend. We gained some much needed confidence,” Meisner said.
The Tigers swept No. 72 Northwestern State (2-2), 4-0, to begin play on Saturday morning. Auburn’s Reka Muller and Michala Kucharova kept their undefeated streak alive with an 8-4 win on court two, while Jackie Kasler and Jen Pfefiler took an 8-1 win on court three to help the Tigers secure the doubles point to open the match against the Lady Demons.
Jen Pfeifler was the first Tiger off the court in singles with a dominant 6-2, 6-0 win. No. 21 Pleun Burgmans also posted a 6-2, 6-0 win at the top of the lineup to put Auburn just one point away from securing the match. No. 68 Emily Flickinger closed out the match, recording a 6-4, 6-0 win on court two.
Auburn was leading in all three matches before play was abandoned. Paula de Man was up a set and tied 1-1 on court three, Muller was leading 7-6 (1) and 3-0 on court four, while Kucharova was up 6-4, 4-2 before play was halted.
In Auburn’s second match of the day, the Tigers posted a 4-1 win over Nicholls State (2-2). Strong doubles play continued to be the trend for the Tigers, securing the doubles point for the ninth straight match.
The 15th-ranked duo of Burgman and Flickinger cruised to an 8-0 win on court one, while Kasler and Pfeifler added their second win of the day on court three to give Auburn the doubles point. The Tigers have secured the doubles point in all nine matches this season.
Kucharova and de Man worked quickly in their singles matches. Kucharova dominated on court four, working quickly to win 6-2, 6-0. de Man finished up quickly as well, taking a straight-set victory on court three 6-1, 6-4.
Burgmans suffered second defeat of the weekend as the sophomore was upset on court one 6-0, 6-4 by Nicholls’ Stephanie Barnett. Despite suffering a pair of losses this weekend, Meisner believes that the sophomore will have plenty of time to recover and get ready for next week’s non-conference finale.
“She had some tough losses that she hasn’t really had in her college career and I have every bit of confidence that she is going to brush it off, get back to training hard this weekend be ready for redemption at the Blue Gray Tournament,” Meisner said.
Up 3-1, Pfeifler won the clinching point for Tigers on court five 6-1, 6-0. The junior has now won five straight singles matches and was undefeated on the weekend with a perfect 4-0 mark.
Off to an 8-1 start for the second straight year, Auburn will hit the practice courts this week for wrapping up non-conference play this weekend at the Blue Gray Classic in Montgomery, Ala., starting on Friday, Feb. 21.
“We are going to get a good rest and regroup and be ready to play some great tennis at the Blue Gray Tournament,” Meisner said.
Texas A&M Tops Tennessee at ITA Indoors
HOUSTON, Texas – The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis team topped No. 14 Tennessee 4-1 at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Center Saturday evening in front of a spirited crowd. The Aggies will conclude their participation in the ITA Indoor Championship Sunday against No. 22 Illinois at 2 p.m. at the Galleria.
“I was really happy for our guys to get a win over a quality team like Tennessee,” head coach Steve Denton said. “We had a couple close matches with them last year that did not go our way, but we finally got them in Texas and we were able to pull through.”
Once again the Aggie men captured the doubles point to start the match, No. 29 Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo topped Andrew Dromsky and Markus Kerner 6-2 on court three. Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant clinched the point with an identical score line over Jarryd Capline and Brandon Fickey on the second court.
“Really excited about our doubles teams being able to get that point it ended up being huge for us,” Denton said. “Today was a great chance to get back on the courts with a lot of fire and our guys were just hungry and prevailed tonight.”
The maroon and white quickly raced out to a 3-0 lead after Szabo dispatched of Dromsky (6-3, 6-3) on court five followed by No. 25 Efferding defeating Fickey (6-1, 6-3) on court three. The lone blemish on the score line came at court one as No. 45 Mikelis Libietis upset No. 22 Adams 6-5, 6-5 with both sets going into a tie breaker. Freshman Max Lunkin finished off the Vols on court six coming back from 3-5 to win in the tiebreaker 7-4 over Markus Kerner (4-6, 6-3, 6-5).
“It was big for Jordan to get us off to a good start in singles,” Denton said. “It was good for Jeremy to bounce back from last night, I know he was disappointed with that match and Max coming back from 5-3 in the third was huge for us to clinch the match.”
The Aggies will match up with No. 22 Illinois just nine days after falling to the Illini 4-0 in Champaign. The rematch is set for 2 pm at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club.
“We are looking forward to facing Illinois they pretty well handled us a couple Fridays ago,” Denton said. “The guys will look forward to competing with them tomorrow and they are a really good team. We will have to play well on all the courts to have a chance to beat them.
Vanderbilt's Colton clinches 4-3 win over No. 18 Baylor
WACO, Texas - Courtney Colton's win at No. 3 singles clinched the win for the Commodores against No. 18 Baylor. The Vanderbilt women's tennis team snapped its three-match losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Bears.
The Commodores jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Baylor picked up the win at No. 1 doubles with an 8-2 win, but Vanderbilt answered with a pair of 8-4 wins at No. 3 and No. 2.
Marie Casares and Colton clinched the point at No. 2, improving to 7-1 on the year.
Astra Sharma made her dual season debut playing alongside Georgina Sellyn at No. 3 doubles.
Baylor tied the match up at one, with a quick 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 5 singles.
Casares put the `Dores back on top with a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 6, extending her match win streak to nine.
The Bears won the next two matches at No. 2 and No. 1, with a chance to clinch the match at No. 4.
After dropping her first set 4-6, Frances Altick took control of the match at No. 4, winning 6-3 in the second and 6-2 in the third.
Altick's win at No. 4 forced a clinching situation for Colton at No. 3.
Colton, ranked No. 124 by the ITA, dropped her second set 0-6 to Baylor's Jordaan Sanford.
Both Colton and Sanford went back-and-forth in the third, but the Vandy sophomore came out on top clinching the match, 6-4.
Vanderbilt improves to 4-3 on the season and hands Baylor its second loss of the season.
The `Dores face Texas on Sunday at noon, as they conclude their eight-match road trip.