HOUSTON, Texas – Part one of the Texas road trip got off to a good start for the Mississippi State women’s tennis team Friday, as the Bulldogs claimed a 5-2 win over the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 4-1 on the season and 2-1 on the road.
The Bulldogs got off to a good start in doubles play, as the duo of Rosie Dion and Petra Ferancova defeated SFA’s Macarena Sedano Acosta and Valeria Terentyeva 8-2 on court 3. Timea Guibe and Alexandra Perper would clinch the doubles point, with an 8-1 win on No. 1 over Denise Maxl and Rachel Pierce. Georgiana Patrasc and Naomi Tran also took a highly contested 8-5 decision on court 2 over SFA’s Malena Gordo and Laura Servise.
The Ladyjacks were able to take the first singles point of the afternoon, as MSU freshman Rosalinda Calderon fell 6-2, 6-3 to Servise at No. 6. However, the Bulldogs quickly answered, as Dion took her match 6-3, 6-2 on Court 4 over Acosta. Perper would also pick up a win just a few minutes later, defeating Maxl 7-5, 6-1 on No. 1, putting the Bulldogs ahead 3-1.
A huge win from the 72nd-ranked Patrasc would clinch the match in favor of State, as she defeated Gordo 6-2, 6-4 on No. 2.
Guibe and Tran would split the remainder of action, with a 7-5, 6-4 win on court 3 and a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 loss on Court 5, respectively.
“Our girls worked hard for the win today,” said head coach Daryl Greenan. “The conditions were a big challenge. We haven’t played outside all week and the heavy winds made it tougher to find a rhythm or feel for the ball. But I was happy with how we handled ourselves. It was a solid win for us.”
The Bulldogs will stay in Houston to face the University of Houston on Sunday at 10 a.m. Live stats will be provided on uhcougars.com.
For more information on the Mississippi State women’s tennis team and updates on this weekend’s action, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateWT), Facebook (HailStateWT) and Instagram (HailStateWT).
Kentucky Clinches Match Over Ohio State
The No. 38 University of Kentucky women's tennis team clinched their sixth-consecutive home win when they faced off with Ohio State, Friday, Feb 14 at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center. They beat Ohio State 4-2, but it wasn't an easy.
"This is what a college tennis match is supposed to be, ups and downs, momentum shifts and it's just a battle," Kentucky assistant coach Kevin Calhoun said. "Our girls fought through some really, really bad spots and they deserved to win."
An unspoken rivalry between the two teams, Ohio State and Kentucky battled to the very end. With every exchanging point, emotions ran high, but Kentucky kept its composure. The team came out firing on all cylinders, claiming an early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point.
In the No. 2 doubles position, Jakarta, Indonesia natives, Nadia Ravita and Aldila Sutjiadi, scored six straight points to take a 6-0 lead. After dropping 2 games, the duo came back to win, 8-2. At the No. 1 doubles slot, senior tandem Caitlin McGraw and CeCe Witten earned every bit of their 8-7(5) win over Grâinne O'Neill and Noelle Malley. The two teams exchanged points and entered into a tiebreak. Witten and McGraw won the tiebreak 7-5 and clinched the doubles point for Wildcats.
"I think sometimes it can get pretty stressful on the court so we do our best to calm each other down," senior CeCe Witten said. "We've been friends for a while so that helps us when playing."
Ohio State didn't back off in the singles competition and took two matches over Kentucky. Junior Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff was handed her first loss of the spring season. Morin-Kougoucheff fell to Sandy Niehaus, 6-4, 6-0. Sutjiadi dropped a heartbreaking match in the No. 2 singles position against Miho Kowase. Winning the first set, 6-3, Kowase took took the second set, 6-1, forcing a third set. The Buckeye won the final set 6-3 and won the match.
Kentucky didn't let the losses get them down, but rather used them as motivation to polish off OSU. No. 56 Ravita knocked off No. 78 Gabriella De Santis in a thrilling three-set match in the No. 1 singles spot. Ravita finished off De Santis, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.
"Nadia is really great at using her emotions to play really well," Calhoun said. "She was down 4-1 in the third set and used her heart to win the match, more than her forehand or backhand. She won a really important match, not just for her, but for the team."
Kelsey Dieters, a transfer from Ohio State, also notched a win. Dieters cruised by Ferny Angeles Paz, 6-1, 6-4 in No. 3 singles. McGraw ended the match behind her 6-4, 6-1 win against Nicole Flower. The Orlando, Fla. native says that while she was nervous playing in the doubles competition, she felt completely comfortable knowing that she could clinch the match for the Wildcats.
"I've been in this position multiple times and I just embrace it," McGraw said. "I knew that if I did what I needed to do, I was going to come out on top."
Kentucky moves to 9-1 for the season with their only loss coming to then No. 10 Duke. The Wildcats travel to Bloomington, Ind. to take on Indiana University Sunday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. ET.
Follow Kentucky Women's tennis on Twitter and Instagram @UKWomensTennis and like the Kentucky Women's Tennis page on Facebook.
Texas Outlasts Georgia, 4-3, In Round Of 16
HOUSTON - The No. 4 Georgia men’s tennis team had bounced back from a 3-1 deficit to pull even with Texas at 3-3, before dropping the final match in a 4-3 loss to the Longhorns in round of 16 action at the ITA National Indoor Championships on Friday afternoon at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club in Houston.
With the team match even at 3-3 and court No. 3 hanging in the balance, sophomore Ben Wagland was overruled and assessed a code violation on his own match point. The code violation – which became a game penalty - resulted in his forfeiting the ensuing tiebreaker, and ultimately the match, as the 10th-ranked Texas claimed the 4-3 win.
The loss slips Georgia to 3-3 on the dual match season in 2014, and the Bulldogs will now take on SEC rival Florida in the consolation draw tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET.
“Texas was better,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “They were good, especially in the third sets that they won. Give them all the credit in the world. Our guys have to learn from this, grow from this, and try to be tougher tomorrow. It was an unfortunate way to lose today, but those are the rules. It will be a good battle tomorrow against Florida.”
The Bulldogs got out to an early 1-0 lead by way of the doubles point, as each of the Nos. 1 and 2 teams handed Texas 6-3 losses. First was the pair of Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux over Nick Naumann and George Goldhoff at No. 2, followed closely by 31st-ranked Hernus Pieters and Wagland over seventh-ranked Soren Hess-Olesen and Lloyd Glasspool at No. 1 to provide the clinch and the point.
The teams then went on to split first sets at three apiece in singles, and the Longhorns evened the team match at 1-1 when Naumann defeated sophomore Nick Wood, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 5. Texas took a 2-1 lead with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 win for Glasspool over Pasha at No. 2, and it became 3-1 as Hess-Olesen defeated Austin Smith, 5-6(5), 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1.
With Texas in need of just one more point and the Bulldogs in need of every court still on, all three were in third sets and the drama building. Pieters gave Georgia its next point, rallying from a loss in the first set to beat Sudanwa Sitaram by a score of 4-6, 6-5(6), 6-2 at No. 6 to cut it to 3-2. No. 59-ranked Brasseaux then overcame a close second-set tiebreaker loss to win the breaker for the third set, winning his match 6-3, 5-6(5), 6-5(3) at No. 4 to make it 3-3.
It was then that Wagland was assessed the penalty in the final game of the third set – overruled at 5-4 on match point for himself and game point for his opponent – to force the tiebreaker. The game penalty kicked in to cost him the breaker, and the match, as Goldhoff won it 2-6, 6-4, 6-5(0) in lifting the Longhorns to the 4-3 victory.
Following the overrule and the loss, Wagland had an outburst that include an exchange with the chair umpire. Diaz has announced Wagland’s suspension for the duration of the tournament.
“We are disciplining Ben for his actions,” Diaz said. “He will not be competing for the rest of the tournament. It was an unfortunate situation, but we have to send a strong message that our players need to keep their composure, and they need to represent themselves and their university in the right way at all times. Ben is a good kid – he cares about his teammates – and today he didn’t handle the situation the right way and he is embarrassed. We would like to apologize to the ITA, the University of Texas, and our host site. This is a hard lesson to learn, but hopefully Ben will better understand the way he needs to conduct himself.”
“I want to apologize for my actions at the end of the match,” Wagland added. “I was upset about the overrule – I thought I made the right call. After the match, I acted in a way that is not consistent with how I want to represent the University of Georgia. I feel like I let my team down today, and I am sorry. I will definitely grow from this experience.
Gators Battle, but Fall 4-1 to Ohio State in First Round of ITA Team Indoor Championship
HOUSTON, Texas – The No. 12 Florida men’s tennis team dropped their first match of the 2014 ITA Division I National Men's Team Indoor Championship to No. 5 Ohio State, 4-1, at The Downtown Club at the Met and the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club in Houston.
In doubles, Gator seniors Michael Alford and Stephane Piro, the 24th-ranked duo, kept it close in the first match, but the Buckeye’s pair of Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka, ranked No. 2 nationally, proved dominant and won 6-4. Ohio State’s No. 2 doubles pair Hunter Callahan and Herkko Pollanen clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 victory over Florida’s Maxx Lipman and Gordon Watson.
The Orange and Blue battled in singles play, with Watson taking a hard-fought match from OSU’s Pollanen at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 6-5 (7-5). But, the fifth-ranked Buckeyes held strong to take matches at 1, 4 and 6 singles to stay perfect on the season and advance to the quarterfinals.
Tomorrow, Florida takes on either No. 4 Georgia or No. 10 Texas at the ITA Team Indoors. For the complete ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship draw, click here.
Head Coach Bryan Shelton Says: “In doubles, they [Ohio State] came out and played the bigger points better than we did. We had some opportunities, but they were able to close the door and hold sure on some big points and we weren’t able to do that. In a six game set, you lose serve one time and that can be a set, and that was the case today on all three courts.”
“In singles, I felt like we had a good opportunity to get some of those points today. We just did not execute in a couple of spots. Whether it was just not being aggressive enough when we needed to be or not really playing with conviction, with a plan. A couple of our guys just didn’t really execute the plan and didn’t stick with it long enough out there on the court. We were definitely good enough to win four of those matches, but you have to give Ohio State a lot of credit. They played well and they definitely played better on the critical points than we did today and that was the difference.”
“We’ve taken losses to three quality teams and our guys are a little disappointed, but we have to bounce back quickly and get fired up for tomorrow. Our guys will be ready to go.
LSU Women Defeat USF, 4-3
BATON ROUGE – Skylar Holloway notched a singles victory to secure the match for the LSU women’s tennis team as they defeated the University of South Florida 4-3 in a Friday night matchup at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Stadium.
With this win, the Lady Tigers improve to 4-2 on the season, while USF fell to 3-3.
After splitting the first two sets on court six, Holloway fell behind early in the third set. The freshman rallied from being down 5-2 to defeat Olga Martinez 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (3).
“Skylar’s effort to come back from 5-2 down in the third is unbelievable,” said Sell. “It showed unbelievable heart. I thought Ella’s effort was great. Her staying out there and battling is what made Skylar able to do the same.”
LSU has been strong in doubles matches all season, and this match was no different as the Lady Tigers captured the doubles point, improving their doubles match record to 11-4 for the season.
“I think we have a lot of options (at doubles), and with the amount of injuries we've had I don’t feel like we feel solidified yet in our teams,” said Sell. “With the youth on our team, we are still learning so much, but we have all the tools to be a very good doubles team.”
LSU’s Abigail Owens and partner Gabrielle Otero led the way for the Lady Tigers as they defeated Fanny Fracassi and Olaya Garrido-Rivas 8-3 on court three.
The duo of Joana Vale Costa and Skylar Holloway continued to show their doubles dominance as they defeated Vera Bessonova and Martinez 8-3 on court two to clinch the doubles point for LSU.
In singles matches, LSU’s Noel Scott defeated Loreto Alonso 6-2, 6-2 on court two, while Vale Costa took down Kayla Rizzolo 6-1, 6-3 on court one.
LSU’s Otero met defeat 7-6 (4), 6-2 at the hands of Fanny Fracassi on court four, while Taylor fell to USF’s Garrido-Rivas 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
The Lady Tigers return to the court on Sunday for their second double header of the season as they face Northwestern State at noon CST and follow with a nightcap against McNeese State at 5 p.m. CST.
No. 24 Tigers topple No. 46 Georgia Tech in 4-3 thriller
ATLANTA – Senior Daniel Cochrane provided the Tigers with the clinching win, posting a three-set victory on court two as the No. 24 Auburn men’s tennis team knocked off No. 46 Georgia Tech, 4-3, on Friday night at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
Auburn (9-1) now has won six straight matches as the Tigers handed Georgia Tech (4-1) its first loss of the dual match season.
Auburn’s two seniors provided the tying and the clinching win in singles play. With the match tied at 3-3, Cochrane sealed the match, taking down Georgia Tech’s Carolos Benito 6-0, 5-6 (6-8), 6-3 at No. 2 singles. Cochrane now has won 10 straight singles matches, which is tied for the second longest winning streak in the country.
The Tigers trailed 3-2 late in the match, but Dennis Lengsfeld defeated Eduardo Segura 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 on court three to set up Cochrane’s win. Lengsfeld has now won seven out of his last ten matches.
“It was a good, tough win for us tonight,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “Our two seniors, Dan and Dennis, played really tough late in the match to get us the win. I liked what I saw with our team tonight battling back the way we did.”
Auburn dropped the doubles point, but made up ground in singles with wins from No. 85 Dante Saleh and Joseph Van Dooren. Saleh extended his winning streak to 12 straight matches, posting a 6-5 (7-1), 6-3 win on at the No. 4 spot in the lineup. Van Dooren tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-2, 6-4 win on court six.
Lukas Ollert on court one in tough three-set match, dropping a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 decision to Georgia Tech’s Nathan Rakitt to push the Yellow Jackets lead to 3-2.
In doubles play, Auburn dropped a pair of tight matches. No. 60 Ollert/Lengsfeld battled with the Georgia Tech’s No. 15 Benito/Segura 6-3, snapping a nine-match losing streak.
Casey Kay and Rakitt provided the Yellow Jackets with the doubles, topping Auburn’s Cochrane and Oliver Plaskett in tiebreaker, 6-5 (7-5), on court two. Auburn’s pair of Saleh and Van Dooren were tied 5-5 with Georgia Tech’s Cole Fiegel and Will Showers when played was abandoned.
The Tigers return to action on Sunday afternoon, taking on No. 23 Clemson in a top-25 showdown. First serve is set for 12 p.m. at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center.
No. 20 Auburn moves to 6-1 with road doubleheader sweep
NEW ORLEANS – No. 20 Auburn women’s tennis team swept a pair of matches, defeating Southern, 7-0, and Tulane, 4-2, on Friday at the City Park Pepsi Center in New Orleans.
Off to its second straight 6-1 start, Auburn cruised to a 7-0 sweep of Southern (0-4) in its first match of the day.
The Tigers secured the doubles point with three wins. Jackie Kasler and Paula de Man posted a 6-3 win on court one, while Ashley Kitchen and Michala Kucharova took a 6-0 win on court two. The tandem of Emily Flickinger and Lindsey Whitehead also won 6-0 on court three in their first appearance together in doubles.
The Tigers also swept all six singles matches against Southern. Flickinger was dominant at the top of lineup, winning 6-1, 6-0 over Southern’s Gabrielle Moore. de Man posted a 6-3, 6-0 win on court two, while Kasler cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 3 singles.
Auburn rounded out play as Jen Pfeifler won 6-2, 6-1 on court four over Southern’s Darnesha Moore. Ashley Kitchen cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win on court five, while Lindsey Whitehead picked up her second win of the season with a 6-3, 6-3, victory on court six.
In the nightcap against Tulane (3-4), the Tigers picked up their first road win of the year by securing the doubles point quickly along with Kasler’s three-set victory on court five to clinch the match.
Reka Muller and Kucharova moved to 6-0 in dual match action, taking a 6-3 victory on court two over Tulane’s Ipek Birol and Meredith Maltby. Kasler and Pfeifler were the first team off the court, earning a 6-2 win against Tulane’s Sophie Blom and Emily Dvorak, 6-2.
In singles, Muller continued her strong play, this time taking a 6-4, 6-2 win at the No. 4 spot in the lineup over Tulane’s Blom. The Green Wave cut the Tigers’ lead down to 2-1 as Margaux Hyman defeated Michala Kucharova on court six, 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (1).
de Man put the Tigers one singles win away from clinching the match as the sophomore cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 win on court three. Pleun Burgmans dropped a tight match on court one in a third-set breaker, falling to Klara Vyskocilova 6-1, 3-6, 1-0 (10).
Kasler put the match away, posting a three-set win on court five to knock off the Green Wave’s Maltby 0-6, 7-5, 1-0 (9). Emily Flickinger’s match with Ipek Birol was abandoned once the match was clinched.
The Tigers looks to extend their six-match winning streak and continue play tomorrow in the Big Easy, taking on Northwestern State 10 a.m. before taking on Nicholls State at 4 p.m at the City Park Pepsi Center.
Razorback Men's Tennis Falls At Tulsa
FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas men's tennis team (6-5) dropped a 5-2 decision to the University of Tulsa on Friday.
Arkansas won the doubles point with two upset victories over ranked pairs. Seniors Mike Nott and Manfred Jeske defeated No. 20 Clifford Marsland and Dylan McCloskey 6-5 (8-6) at the No. 1 doubles position. On court 2, seniors Hall Fess and Pete Thomason easily handled the No. 47 Alejandro Espejo and Japie De Klerk 6-0.
Freshman Johan den Toom notched the only Razorback singles victory, defeating Carlos Bautista 6-3, 5-6 (2-7), 6-3 at the No. 5 position. Den Toom is currently on a team-high five-match win streak, a career long for the freshman.
Arkansas will return to action on Feb. 22-23, when they host Oklahoma State on Saturday and welcome SIU-Edwardsville for a Sunday doubleheader. For more information on Arkansas tennis, follow @RazorbackMTEN on Twitter.
Rally Just Short As No. 9 MSU Falls To No. 11 Cal 4-3 At Nat’l Indoors
HOUSTON, Texas – Finding themselves down 3-1 in the match, the ninth-ranked Mississippi State men’s tennis Bulldogs (8-1) mounted an impressive rally, only to fall short to No. 11 California (6-0) in the first round of the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship. The Golden Bears escaped with a 4-3 victory Friday night at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club, handing State its first setback of 2014.
MSU, which still holds one of the most impressive starts in program history, will now face No. 16 Notre Dame (7-2) Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. It will mark the seventh meeting in history between the two programs and the first since 2009, with the Irish holding a 5-1 advantage.
MSU started off on the right foot Friday, taking the doubles point for the fourth match in a row. State gained the early advantage with a dominating 6-1 victory on court one from the 55th-ranked duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Strop against Cal’s Ben McLachlan and Andre Goransson. The Golden Bears leveled the playing field with a 6-2 victory from Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton against MSU’s Florian Lakat and Tassilo Schmid on court two. State’s duo of Rishab Agarwal and Zach White clinched the point, fending off Cal’s Filip Bergevi and Campbell Johnson 6-5(5) at the No. 3 position.
Down 1-0, the Golden Bears came out swinging in singles play, capturing straight-set triumphs on courts four, three and two. No. 118 Goransson downed State’s White 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4, with Cal’s Bergevi following suit with a 6-2, 6-4 win against No. 115 Angus on court three. Cal extended its lead to 3-1 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory from No. 68 Johnson against No. 49 Stropp on court two.
With their backs against the wall, the Bulldogs mounted a thrilling comeback to tie the match at 3-3, starting on court one. No. 52 Lakat, who seemed down for the count after dropping his first set 6-0, roared back into the match, defeating Cal’s No. 62 McLachlan 0-6, 6-5(4), 6-3 to pull State within one. MSU’s Schmid notched the tying point on court six, downing the Golden Bears’ Mads Engsted 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
Play then came down to court five, where the MSU rookie Agarwal and Cal’s Bayane split the first two sets. Despite enormous heart and effort, State’s freshman fell 5-6(6), 6-2, 6-3 to Bayane, advancing Cal to the quarterfinals.
A&M Falls to Baylor 4-3
HOUSTON , Texas - The No. 8 Texas A&M men’s tennis team fell to No. 6 Baylor in the tightest match of the opening day of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston on Friday. The Aggies and Bears met in the final first round match at the Downtown Club at the Met.
“Missed opportunities were the key thing we are taking to learn from today’s match,” head coach Steve Denton said. “We had set point on tiebreakers and could not take advantage similar to last Sunday at Ohio State.”
Texas A&M (6-3) opened the night capturing the doubles point over Baylor (7-0) off a valiant come-from-behind win on doubles court three by No. 29 Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo in an 8-6 tiebreaker over Julien Lenz and Robert Verzaal. No. 3 Jackson Withrow and Junior Ore continued their hot-streak winning on court one in the tie break 7-5 over Patrick Pradella and Mate Zsiga. Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant were tripped up by Diego Galeano and Tony Lupieri 6-4 on court 2.
Moving to singles Withrow was able to capture the first set 6-3 quickly on court five, but the match was far from over. Tony Lupieri handled Jordan Szabo 6-2, 6-4 on court 6 followed by a 6-4, 6-1 win by No. 6 Lenz over #22 Adams on court 1, to give the Bears a 2-1 lead.
No. 43 Vinsant brought the team score back to even dispatching No. 9 Pradella 6-3, 6-2. The win was the highest ranked win in Vinsant’s career bettering defeating No. 23 Roberto Quiroz (USC) 6-3, 6-3. The Bears retook the match lead after No 18 Galeano bested No. 25 Efferding 6-4, 6-4 on court 3.
“Shane is playing really well as of late,” Denton said. “He played solid tonight and kept us in the match with an opportunity to get another point and win the match against a very good team.”
All of the tension in the building shifted to court 4 and 5 were the Aggies were facing a deficit required to put the Aggies on top. Following Withrow’s first set win he dropped the second set 4-6 and the third set had grown to 5-5 with a tiebreaker all that stood between a Baylor victory or putting the match point on Ore on court 4. Withrow prevailed in a grueling match breaker 7-4 to defeat Michael Dornbusch.
“Really played of how Jackson played gutting his match out playing really well at the end of that match,” Denton said. “His determination put him over the edge against a really good opponent.”
Ore faced a tie break in set one and had a couple set points opportunities before Zsiga prevailed 9-7 to take set one. Ore dominated set two 6-3 to force a winner takes all set three. Ore was unable to get started in the third set and fell 6-0, giving Baylor to clinching fourth point.
“We fought one of the better teams in the country even the whole night,” Denton said. “Now we just have to get a little bit better on the big points and the key sets on the big matches. I think will solve our problem seeing as how we are right there with the best teams.”
The Aggies will be back in action against No 14 Tennessee Saturday night at 6 pm at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club. A complete draw, live scoring of matches and complete results can be found at itatennis.com. Stay tuned to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter for coverage of Texas A&M at the ITA Championship.