VU hosts UGA, travels to UT
NASHVILLE – Fresh off wins over two top 15 teams last weekend, 13th-ranked Vanderbilt hosts No. 6 Georgia Friday at 2 p.m. at the Currey Tennis Center and then travels to No. 9 Tennessee Sunday at 1 p.m.
Last Time Out
No. 13 Vanderbilt (13-4, 4-1) recorded two wins over top 15 teams on the road over the weekend. On Friday, the Commodores took down No. 13 Mississippi State, 4-3, and then No. 4 Ole Miss, 4-3, on Sunday to cap off a great weekend. At Mississippi State, the Commodores started the match by winning the doubles point to take an early advantage that would eventually turn out to be the difference-maker. Ryan Lipman, Kris Yee and Rhys Johnson each recorded wins in singles. Lipman defeated No. 18 Romain Bogaerts, 6-3, 6-3, while Johnson’s win clinched the victory for Vanderbilt. Against Ole Miss, the Commodores had to regroup after dropping the doubles point. Vanderbilt would do just that, by winning four of the six singles matches and for the second-straight match it was Johnson who clinched the win.
Lipman leads Vanderbilt with 24 wins this season and has won 12 of his last 13 matches in singles play.
Lipman is 3-2 this season versus ranked players and 14-2 in dual play.
Yee ranks second on the team with 21 wins on the season, while also having won his last 15 singles matches.
Yee also leads the team with a 16-1 record in dual play this season.
In doubles, Johnson and Jeff Offerdahl are tied for the team lead with Gonzales Austin and Suresh Eswaran with eight wins.
Lipman and Austin are ranked Nos. 19 and 54 in the ITA Singles Rankings.
Johnson was named SEC Player of the Week (March 20) for his play in helping Vanderbilt defeat Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
About No. 6 Georgia (12-4, 4-1)
Fifth-ranked Georgia posted a sweep of SEC East opponents last weekend, defeating No. 35 Florida, 4-0 on Friday before downing No. 32 South Carolina by a 5-2 score Sunday in Athens. The Bulldogs used the wins to improve to 12-4 (4-1) on the season, now winners of seven of their last eight outings and remaining undefeated at 9-0 at home. Ben Wagland led the way this weekend, going 4-0 in his matches for the second time in three weeks and adding a team-high fifth match clincher of the season vs. USC. Against the Gators, Georgia secured the doubles point and got wins at Nos. 3,4 and 6 singles, while vs. the Gamecocks, UGA again took doubles before getting three wins from three freshmen to clinch it. Georgia has four players ranked in the ITA Singles Rankings, led by KU Singh at No. 7. Nathan Pasha comes in at No. 39, Wagland at No. 71 and Hernus Pieters at No. 101. The Bulldogs also post three ranked doubles teams. Wagland and Pieters rank fifth, followed by Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux at No. 39 and Pasha and Singh at No. 53.
About No. 9 Tennessee (15-6, 2-3)
The Vols (15-6, 2-3 SEC) returned home for the first time in nearly two months over the weekend, beating South Carolina, 4-1 and losing to Florida, 4-3. Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese again provided winning efforts at the top of the lineup, winning all of their matches over the weekend. Libietis has been unbeaten at the top of the lineup since the start of the SEC season with a 3-0 record and is now 28-4 overall. Reese enjoyed a 2-0 weekend at the No. 2 position and improved his season record to 24-6. Together, Libietis and Reese are 4-0 since teaming up again in doubles at the top of the lineup. Libietis leads three Volunteers in the ITA Singles Rankings at No. 6. Reese ranks 29th, while Brandon Fickey comes in at No. 115. Tennessee also ranks as one of the top doubles teams in the country, as five duos are ranked in the ITA Doubles Rankings. Libietis and Reese are at No. 17, followed by Libietis and John Collins at No. 30, Libietis and Jarryd Chaplin at No. 35, Collins and Edward Jones at No. 61 and Reese and Fickey at No. 74.
Fans can follow the action with live scoring available here for the match versus Georgia and the Tennessee match here. Also be sure to follow the Commodores on Twitter at @VandyMensTennis.
The Commodores welcome Auburn next Friday at 2 p.m. and Alabama next Sunday at 12 p.m. to the Currey Tennis Center.