March 19, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Following road matches at two top 10 foes last weekend, Vanderbilt's 32nd-ranked men's tennis team will return home for an important conference match at 1 p.m. Sunday when the Commodores face No. 30 Alabama at the Currey Tennis Center.
Vanderbilt is 9-6 overall and 1-3 in the SEC, while Alabama is 7-8 overall and 1-3 in the SEC. The Commodores are 7-1 at home this season, including a 1-1 mark in the SEC.
Sunday's match will be key for both squads who are fighting to get into the top half of their respective divisions. Vanderbilt sits in fifth in the SEC East and is just one match behind Kentucky in the standings. Alabama is one of four teams with 1-3 records in the SEC West.
The Commodores' match against Alabama will mark the first of two straight weeks when Vanderbilt will play just one match. This stretch comes after three straight weeks of two matches.
Alabama's lone SEC victory came last weekend when the Crimson Tide took down South Carolina, 6-1. Vanderbilt's SEC victory came against Mississippi State (5-2).
The Crimson Tide are paced by senior Saketh Myneni, who is ranked 47th in singles.
Vanderbilt will enter Sunday's match having lost two straight. After getting beat 6-1 at No. 2 Tennessee, Vanderbilt came close to defeating Georgia for the first time since 2003, falling, 4-3, in Athens. Vanderbilt lost the doubles point in both matches and is now 0-6 when it does so.
The Commodores have three players who are at least .500 or better in league play. Ranked No. 38 in singles, freshman Ryan Lipman has a 2-2 SEC record in the No. 1 position. Also at 2-2 in the SEC is junior Alex Zotov, who has been playing in the No. 4 slot. Pacing the team has been senior Vijay Paul, who is 3-1 in the SEC in the No. 3 position.
With a 2-2 record in the SEC, Vanderbilt' doubles team of Ryan Lipman and Bryant Salcedo entered the rankings this week, coming in at No. 74.
Admission is free to the match. A complete recap of the match will be available shortly after it concludes.