April 8, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With its home schedule complete, Vanderbilt's 32nd-ranked men's tennis team begins a three-match road trip to close the regular season on Friday when the Commodores travel to No. 59 Arkansas.
Vanderbilt (11-8, 3-5 SEC) is coming off a 6-1 victory over South Carolina on Senior Day, which also happened to mark the 400th career victory for Head Coach Ian Duvenhage. The Commodores will be bidding for their second win in a row when they face the Razorbacks (9-11, 1-7 SEC) at 1:30 p.m. Friday before traveling to No. 51 LSU (5-12, 2-6 SEC) for a match at noon on Sunday. Vanderbilt will conclude its regular season on April 17 at No. 11 Kentucky (11-8, 5-3 SEC).
The Commodores are currently in fifth place in the SEC East and seventh overall in the league because they own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Alabama. A pair of wins this weekend could bump the Commodores up to sixth in the league depending how Ole Miss and Auburn fare. Both are 4-4 in the league, but face each other on Friday.
Vanderbilt is 1-5 on the road this season and has lost five straight. Arkansas enters Friday's match losers of three straight. Arkansas' lone SEC victory came against South Carolina (4-2). Last weekend Arkansas was swept at Auburn (3-4) and at Alabama (0-4). The Razorbacks are led by Chris Nott, who is ranked 60th. Nott and Dmitry Lebedev are ranked No. 68 in doubles. Vanderbilt lost 4-3 to Arkansas last season at home.
LSU will host Kentucky on Friday before facing the Commodores. LSU has lost five straight matches with its two SEC wins coming against Mississippi State (4-3) and South Carolina (5-2). The Tigers are paced by Neal Skupski, who is ranked No. 34. LSU's duo of Skupski and Roger Anderson is ranked No. 67. Vanderbilt lost 4-3 to LSU at home last season.
The Commodores are led in SEC play by a trio of players with 4-4 records. The three players include freshman Ryan Lipman, who is ranked No. 37 and plays in the No. 1 position, senior Vijay Paul, who is ranked 114th and has recently been playing in the No. 2 position and junior Alex Zotov, who has been playing at No. 3.