April 10, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The 27th-ranked Vanderbilt men's tennis will close out its regular season this weekend in Nashville taking on No. 15 Florida on Friday (4 p.m.) and No. 35 South Carolina on Sunday (12 p.m.). The Commodores will honor senior Ryan Lipman at Sunday's match against the Gamecocks. Following the weekend's matches Vanderbilt will host the 2014 Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Tournament Championship beginning on April 16 until the championship match on April 20.
Vanderbilt (13-8, 4-6 SEC) will look forward to being back at the friendly confines of the Currey Tennis Center after going 1-3 on its last road trip. The Dores picked up losses against Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky with their lone win coming in a thrilling 4-3 victory over Auburn. Going into the the weekends matches, the Commodores sit in a five-way tie for sixth-place in the conference.
The Commodores' top doubles team in third-ranked Lipman and Gonzales Austin will be looking to match the school record for doubles wins by a team this weekend. The mark of 26 wins set by Eddie Coates and Bobby Reynolds in 2001. Lipman and Austin come into this weekend with a 24-4 overall record, already surpassing the career wins record with a mark of 30-7.
The doubles point has been critical for the Commodores so far this season. In 21 total matches the Dores have won the doubles point 11 times and dropped the point 10. In those 11 matches they have won the point the Commodores are 10-1, suffering their first loss last time out against Kentucky. In the matches where the Dores fail to secure the doubles point they are 3-7.
Florida (12-7, 7-3) sits alone in fourth-place in the SEC, with Mississippi State one match behind in the loss column. The Gators bring a three-match win streak into Nashville, defeating the likes of LSU, MSU and Ole Miss.
The Gators have the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, Maxx Lipman. UF's Lipman is the younger brother of the Vanderbilt senior. The two will not likely go head-to-head as the younger Lipman has recently played at the No. 3 position, while VU's Lipman has played at No. 2.
Vanderbilt will honor its fifth-year senior on Sunday at noon against South Carolina. The Gamecocks (12-11, 4-6 SEC) are one of the five teams in a tie for the sixth spot in the SEC Tournament. SC had won four of its last five SEC matches prior to dropping a 4-1 contest against Mississippi State last time out.
Admission to both matches is free. Sunday's Senior Day celebration is scheduled to begin roughly 10 minutes prior to the match.