Feb. 27, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The eighth-ranked Vanderbilt women's tennis team will open Southeastern Conference play this weekend at the Currey Tennis Center in Nashville. The Commodores will face No. 33 Arkansas Friday, February 28 at 3:30 p.m., and No. 41 Louisiana State Sunday, March 2 at 1 p.m.
Vanderbilt (7-3) is riding a four-match win streak into conference play and is 2-0 at home this season after a weekend sweep of Memphis and Pepperdine last time out.
Last season the Commodores finished 7-6 in SEC play, earning a three-way for fifth place. The Razorbacks finished 4-9 in conference while LSU finished in last place with a 1-12 record in the SEC.
Through the first 10 matches of the season Vanderbilt's doubles teams have shown they among many of the team's strengths. The Commodores are 7-0 when winning the doubles point this season, with all three loses coming when the `Dores have fallen in doubles. Vandy's No. 2 and No. 3 teams have stood out, as the `Dores are a combined 13-4 at those positions.
Going into SEC play Vanderbilt will feature four ranked doubles teams.
The Commodores success at the bottom of the lineup goes past doubles. Vandy's bottom four singles positions are a combined 26-7 so far this season.
Highlighting the `Dores in singles play is junior Marie Casares, who through the dual season is a perfect 8-0, with wins at four, five and six. Casares' win streak goes past dual play, as the Quito, Ecuador native has now won 12-striaght matches going into conference play.
No. 33 Arkansas (5-4, 0-0 SEC) comes to Nashville on a three-match losing streak. All of the Razorback losses this season have come at the hands of higher ranked teams, with No. 4 Georgia being the highest ranked team they have seen this season.
Arkansas' Yang Pang and Shannon Hudson come in as the projected No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, respectively, and hold a combined record of 9-9 at those positions. Neither player has beaten a ranked opponent this season.
No. 41 Louisiana State (7-2) comes to the Currey Tennis Center on Sunday after a stop at No. 31 Kentucky on Friday. LSU has won its last three matches but is only 1-2 when playing on the road. The Tigers' two road losses this year have come at the hands of Miami and Florida State.
Noel Scott comes in as the lone ranked player on the LSU squad as the No. 23 singles player in the country, however it is freshman Joana Vale Costa who has led the Tigers at the No. 1 position. Vale Costa has posted a 7-1 dual record, while remaining undefeated at the top of the lineup with a 6-0 record.
Vanderbilt will continue conference play next weekend on the road with trips to Missouri and No. 9 Texas A&M.