Thursday March 8, 2012No. 9 Men's Tennis Hits the Road for Key SEC Matchups
The Florida men’s tennis team continues Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a road trip to Vanderbilt, Friday at 3:30 p.m., and Kentucky, Sunday at 1 p.m. Vanderbilt (5-7, 0-2 SEC) is ranked 49th in the latest poll, while Kentucky (13-3, 2-0) ranks seventh in the country. Florida (8-4, 1-1) moved up one spot in this week’s rankings to No. 9.
Last week, the Gators returned to action after more than a week off with three matches. After shutting out USF on Tuesday, 7-0, Florida opened SEC play with home matches against Tennessee and Georgia. On Friday, UF took the crucial doubles point against the Vols, and used wins from Tripper Carleton, Spencer Newman and Michael Alford to start conference play 1-0 with the 4-3 victory.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs came to town and outplayed the Gators in doubles taking an early 1-0 lead in the match. UGA jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in singles action, but Carleton started a comeback bid with a win at No. 2 singles against No. 11-ranked Sadio Doumbia. Nassim Slilam and Alford won their matches to tie the match at 3-3, but Florida couldn't pull out the deciding match at No. 1 singles, losing 4-3.
Carleton and Newman lead the Gators with eight dual-match wins apiece. The two players also pair up in doubles, posting a 9-2 record in dual matches and earning a No. 18 national ranking. Alford, currently on a 12-match winning streak, is a perfect 7-0 in dual matches. Slilam and Billy Federhofer rank eighth in doubles and have three wins against top-15 opponents during the 2011-12 season.
The Vanderbilt Commodores lost two difficult road matches as conference play opened, with No. 47 Arkansas winning 4-3 and No. 17 LSU beating the Dores 6-1. Gonzales Austin picked up two wins over the weekend, extending his winning streak to seven matches, and earning his ninth of the spring.
Kentucky got back to its winning ways last week, grabbing three wins, including two wins over ranked teams. The Wildcats started the week with a 5-2 win at Louisiana-Lafayette before starting SEC play with a 5-1 win over No. 17 LSU and a 6-1 win over No. 47 Arkansas. The Wildcats won the doubles point in all three matches, including sweeping doubles play against Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas. Kentucky is 9-0 on the season when it wins the doubles point.
UK also played well in singles action, winning 13 of the 17 singles matches that ended in a decision. Tom Jomby led the way with a 3-0 record in singles, while Alejandro Gomez, Alex Musialek, Eric Quigley and Grant Roberts grabbed two singles wins each. UK has defeated nine ranked teams this season, while its win over LSU marked its 23rd over a top-25 team since the start of the 2009 season.
Live scoring will be available online for both matches through the respective school’s websites: