April 22, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The 19th-ranked Vanderbilt women's tennis team opens up the 2009 SEC Tournament Thursday morning with a 10:30 match with No. 49 Mississippi State at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Complex. The winner of Thursday's match will advance to play fourth-seeded Florida at 10:30 a.m. CT on Friday.
VU (10-7, 6-4 SEC) clinched the No. 5 seed after sweeping Kentucky 7-0 in Lexington in the last dual of the regular season. MSU (10-9, 1-9 SEC) enters the tournament as the No. 12 seed after going 1-9 in league play during the regular season. The two teams met once during the regular season, with the Commodores dispatching the Lady Bulldogs 6-1 in Nashville.
Vanderbilt arrives to Fayetteville playing its best tennis of the season as they have won five of its last seven duals, including a two-week stretch where they won four conference matches in a row. Earlier this week VU's Catherine Newman and Jackie Wu were named to the All-SEC second team while senior Courtney Ulery was named to the 2009 Women's Tennis Community Service Team for her efforts off the court.
After going a school-record 10-0 against non-SEC opponents, Mississippi State won one match in SEC play, its lowest total since 2007. MSU's lone conference win came against LSU, when the Lady Bulldogs rallied from behind to defeat the Tigers 4-3. Mississippi State is led in doubles by its senior tandem of Martina Banikova and Elna de Villiers. MSU's pair went 12-6 in doubles during the regular season and are currently ranked No. 55 by the ITA.
Live stats of Thursday's match between the Commodores and Lady Bulldogs will be available by clicking here.