March 20, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The men's and women's tennis teams at Vanderbilt University return to the court Friday for doubleheader action against in-state rival Tennessee. At 2 p.m., on the Currey Tennis Center courts, the 11th-ranked Vanderbilt women's team will take on the No. 47 Lady Vols, and at 6 p.m. the 33rd-ranked men will take on UT's No. 14 ranked squad.
The Commodore women (12-4, 5-1 SEC) are coming off a four-match road trip in which they finished 3-1, with their lone loss coming to No. 10 Texas A&M.
The Vandy men (11-5, 2-3 SEC) will be looking to snap their three-match losing skid. After starting conference play 2-0, the Commodores have since lost three-straight to No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 54 Ole Miss and No. 21 Mississippi State.
With under a month left in regular season play, each team has had few players stand out.
On the women's side, unranked Marie Casares is in the midst of an 18-match win streak, and has yet to lose in 2014. Casares' win streak is the longest active streak in DI women's tennis, and is just two shy of the nations longest streak of 20-straight. The junior is a perfect 14-0 in dual play and 6-0 in SEC play. She has posted wins at the four, five and six singles positions.
Along with Casares, sophomore Frances Altick has stepped up in a big way this spring, putting up a 12-3 record in dual play. Altick, who has posted wins at two, three and four, is 5-1 in conference play, suffering her first loss last weekend 7-5 in the third-set tiebreak.
For the Commodore men Ryan Lipman and Gonzales Austin have been on a tear in doubles play. The duo has recently be named the top doubles team in college tennis by the ITA. Lipman and Austin have posted an overall record of 21-3, just five wins shy of the Vanderbilt school record. They have posted an 11-1 record in dual play and are 10-3 against ranked opponents.
Both Austin and Lipman have stood out in singles as well. No. 16 Austin is 10-1 in dual play and an unblemished 3-0 in SEC play. Lipman is on an eight-match win streak and has put up a 10-2 record in duals. The Nashville native has also yet to lose in conference play, with a record of 4-0.
The Lady Vols (7-8, 1-4 SEC) are coming off two mid-week shutouts of Murray State and Western Kentucky. Prior to that Tennessee went 1-1 in Knoxville against the third-ranked Florida Gators and No. 54 South Carolina. The Vols lost 7-0 to the Gators before knocking off the Gamecocks 4-2.
Freshman Eve Repic leads UT and is the lone ranked player at No. 102. She's posted an overall record of 16-9 and is 7-6 at the No. 1 position.
The UT men come in to Nashville with a 13-6 overall record, 2-3 in SEC play. The Vols are coming off a split of South Carolina (W, 4-0) and Florida (L, 4-0). The other conference win for the Volunteers came against Mississippi State.
Hunter Reese will play at the No. 1 position for the Vols. The 21st-ranked player in the country is 23-7 on the season, and has posted a 4-0 record at the top position. No. 32 Mikelis Libietis will play at No. 2 for the Vols. The former No. 1 player in the country is 17-10 on the season.
Following Friday's doubleheader action both Commodore tennis teams will take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday, March 23. The women's team will take on the No. 3 Bulldogs in Nashville at 1 p.m., while the men will make the trip to Athens for a noon (CT) match with the 10th-ranked team in the country.