MT opens SEC play this weekend
March 5, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With losses in its last four matches, Vanderbilt's 37th-ranked men's tennis team will look to end its losing skid this weekend when it opens SEC play with matches at No. 31 South Carolina on Friday and No. 9 Florida on Sunday.
Vanderbilt, 4-6, will play South Carolina (10-1) at 1 p.m. CT Friday at the Sam Daniel Tennis Facility. The Commodores will then travel south to face Florida (9-3) at 12 p.m. CT Sunday at the Ring Tennis Complex. The two matches will conclude Vanderbilt's season-long five-match road trip in which the Commodores faced five teams that are all ranked among the top 31 in the country. Overall, Vanderbilt's grueling schedule has included ranked opponents in all but two matches.
The Commodores have won two straight matches over South Carolina. Last year, the team posted a 4-3 win over the Gamecocks in a match in which Vanderbilt trailed 3-1. Senior Nick Cromydas clinched the match by defeating Johannes Pulsfort, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, in the No. 4 position.
South Carolina has two players ranked in singles play and one doubles team ranked. Diego Cubas is ranked 64th, while Ivan Cressoni is ranked 110th. Cubas also teams with Ivan Machado to form the 64th-ranked doubles tandem. The Gamecocks have won seven matches in a row. The only common opponent between the two schools is No. 39 N.C. State, which South Carolina defeated, 5-2, and Vanderbilt lost to, 4-3.
Vanderbilt enters Sunday's match at Florida having lost four in a row overall to Florida and nine straight in Gainesville. The Commodores last defeated Florida in Nashville in 2004, but the previous win in Gainesville was in 1989 when Vanderbilt Head Coach Ian Duvenhage was in his first season at Florida. Vanderbilt lost 6-1 to Florida last year.Florida has three players ranked in singles play. Carlos Cueto is ranked No. 19, Alex Lacroix is ranked No. 34 and Tyler Hochwalt is ranked No. 88. In doubles, the Gators' duo of Antoine Benneteau and Joey Burkhardt are ranked No. 18. Jeff Dadamo and Johnny Hamui are ranked No. 61, Burkhardt and Cueto are ranked No. 70 and Lacroix and Cueto are ranked No. 80.Individually, Vanderbilt has two teams ranked in doubles. Adam Baker and Alex Zotov are ranked No. 30 and Nick Cromydas and Bryant Salcedo are ranked No. 58.
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