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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC fall tennis wrap-up of all 14 schools

19 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Texas A&M Athletics

Alabama

Juan Martin and Filip Planinsek earned an automatic berth to the ITA National Fall Championships after winning the doubles draw at the ITA Southern Regional. Filip Planinsek, Joao Ferreira and Enzo Aguiard went undefeated at that tournament in singles play, while Patrick Kaukovalta and German Samofalov went undefeated in doubles play. Juan Martin led the Tide at the MSU Bulldog Invitational, recording a pair of singles wins before posting two doubles victories. Ferreira also paced the team at the UCF Invitational, posting two singles win and doubles victory with partner Enzo Aguiard.

Loudmilla Bencheikh and Anne Marie Hiser earned an automatic berth to the ITA Fall National Championships after winning the Southern Regional title in straight sets and advanced to the consolation quarterfinals. Bencheikh and Hiser are the first UA pair to advance to the ITA Fall National Championships since Erin Routliffe and Andie Daniell in 2016. Petra Sedlackova advanced to the semifinals in singles, winning four main draw matches during the tournament.

Arkansas

The Arkansas Razorbacks men's tennis team had a busy fall, hosting two ITF 15K tournaments, one in September and one in November, and competing in four ITA sanctioned events. The Arkansas duo of Alex Reco and Nico Rousset won the doubles main draw in the first ITF tournament in Fayetteville, earning 12 ATP rankings points. Arkansas qualified five players for the ITA Fall National Championships in San Diego after securing an all-Arkansas doubles final at its regional in Lincoln along with Razorback Aleksa Bucan reaching the singles final. Reco competed in two other professional tournaments this fall, including a trip to the singles final in Plaisir, France. Arkansas brings two freshmen, six sophomores, one junior and three seniors into the spring season. Head Coach Andy Jackson will be coaching in his 38th season as a collegiate head coach and his ninth at Arkansas.

The University of Arkansas women's tennis team has had a successful fall season, competing in six competitions. Sophomore Indianna Spink represented the Razorbacks at the ITA All-American Championships, coming in at No. 26 in the ITA pre-season rankings. Graduate student Tatum Rice and sophomore Morgan Cross are 10-3 on the fall season, competing at the ITA Fall National Championships after advancing to the semifinals at the ITA Central Regional Championships.

Auburn

Senior Tad Maclean earned a spot in the singles draw at ITA Fall Nationals, going 1-2 in San Diego; Maclean advanced to nationals as the ITA Southern Regionals singles runner-up, where he went three sets with champion Nikola Slavic of Ole Miss. Jan Galka was a regional singles semifinalist, and Finn Murgett and Raul Dobai advanced to the regional semifinals in doubles. Maclean also advanced from the qualifiers to the main draw at the ITA All-Americans, winning three straight matches, and he and All-America teammate Finn Murgett advanced to the Round of 16 in doubles in Tulsa. Tyler Stice won the singles title at Auburn's fall hidden duals and paired with Galka for the doubles championship, as the Tigers went 28-7 over the weekend against Clemson, Miami and Vanderbilt. Galka and Jackson Ross won their doubles flight at Georgia's Bulldog Invitational.

Auburn women's tennis is well-represented in the 2021-22 preseason national rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association with six student-athletes rated among the nation's best. Three singles players and two doubles teams are nationally ranked for Auburn. Junior Selin Ovunc tops the singles rankings for the Tigers, coming in at a career-best No. 33 nationally. Junior Carolyn Ansari also achieved

a career-high ranking at No. 45. Senior Yu Chen, at No. 116, gives Auburn three singles players ranked in the preseason release. In doubles, the team of graduate student Georgie Axon and sophomore Adeline Flach opens the fall season at No. 19. The duo played together the entirety of the fall and spring last season. Ovunc and sophomore transfer Ariana Arseneault enter the doubles rankings at No. 22. Ovunc went 13-13 in doubles last season, playing with Ansari and Taylor Russo, while Arseneault was an All-American in doubles as part of the nation's No. 4-ranked tandem while a freshman at Georgia.

Florida

Sophomore Ben Shelton won the singles title at the ITA All-American Championships. Shelton defeated six ranked players in a row and held a perfect 12-0 sets record en route to the championship. He ranks second on the team with 11 singles victories this fall, holding an 8-0 record over ranked opponents. Freshman Nate Bonetto has the most singles wins in the fall with 13, including three ranked wins over opponents from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Clemson. The No. 57-ranked doubles pair of Abedallah Shelbayh and Mattias Siimar have the most doubles wins on the team with seven, including two victories over ranked teams from UCF and NC State. Florida totaled 68 singles wins and 23 doubles wins during the fall season. The Gators boasted the most ranked singles players in ITA's preseason rankings as seven of the 10 Gators made the list.

Full of new faces, Florida women's tennis had a strong 2021 fall campaign that included victories over nine ranked-opponents. In perhaps the most impressive feat of the fall, Marlee Zein and Carly Briggs managed to qualify for the ITA Fall National Championships after finishing runners-up in doubles competition at the ITA Southeast Regional. After dropping their first match at the championships, Briggs and Zein rattled-off four straight victories to earn the consolation doubles title in San Diego. A senior this season, Zein also posted an impressive singles campaign that saw her knock-off three ranked opponents in-a-row at the ITA All-American Championships.

Georgia

Several Georgia men's tennis players are featured in the 2021 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Preseason Rankings. Four-time ITA All-American Trent Bryde leads Georgia with a No. 12 singles mark, while Philip Henning comes in at No. 15. Hamish Stewart - a graduate transfer from Tulane - is ranked No. 23 nationally, while senior Blake Croyder comes in at No. 122. In doubles, Bryde and Croyder are ranked No. 23. Stewart and Notre Dame graduate transfer Tristan McCormick come in ranked at No. 25.

The Georgia men's tennis duo of senior Philip Henning and graduate transfer Hamish Stewart posted a win over the No. 1 seeded doubles team, TCU's Juan Carlos Aguilar and Sander Jong, 6-4, 7-5, to open the 2021 Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships.

Georgia boasts six rankings: A trio of individuals, No. 15 Meg Kowalski, No. 19 Lea Ma, and No. 66 Morgan Coppoc; A pair of doubles teams in No. 42 Morgan Coppoc and Mell Reasco and No. 50 Guillermina Grant and Ania Hertel. In the fall, the ITA also ranked the Top-10 Freshman/Newcomer, Reasco came in at No. 4. Guillermina Grant and Mell Reasco have excelled this Fall, both posting 9-2 records in singles play. Reasco, a native of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, won the ITA Southeast Regional, earning a berth in the ITA National Fall Championship. Grant, a native of Montevideo, Uruguay, won the ITA Southeast Regional Consolation draw, defeating fellow freshman and teammate Mai Nirundorn. Prior to their time at Georgia, Grant and Reasco knew each other and played in junior tournaments together. The Bulldogs posted a 27-13 mark in doubles action this fall, including a perfect 12-for-12 in doubles play at the Ole Miss Fall Invite. No. 42 M. Coppoc and M. Reasco went 5-1 (fell in the semifinals of the ITA Southeast Regional), and No. 50 G. Grant and A. Hertel posted a 3-2 mark.

Kentucky

Kentucky entered the fall with five appearances in the ITA Preseason Rankings: No. 1 Liam Draxl, No. 13 Gabriel Diallo, No. 71 Joshua Lapadat, No. 105 Francois Musitelli; No. 37 Diallo/Musitelli. Kentucky swept the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships: Three Wildcats made the semifinals of singles play, with Gabriel Diallo defeating Francois Musitelli in the final. Diallo's singles title was the fourth in program history following the regional realignment of 2009. Joshua Lapadat and JJ Mercer won the first doubles title in program history. Jonathan Sorbo won the singles consolation bracket. Gabriel Diallo won the singles consolation title at the ITA National Fall Championships.

The University of Kentucky women's tennis team began its fall slate at the Vanderbilt Invitational where Fiona Arrese and Lidia Gonzalez earned a pair of doubles victories. The Wildcats had a successful showing at the ITA Regional Championships in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, claiming 13 of their 20 singles matches and 11 of their 13 doubles matches while the duo of Carlota Molina and Lizzy Stevens advanced to the doubles main draw finals. Florencia Urrutia led UK with four wins at the Tennessee Invitational, also picking up three victories at the Miami Invitational to conclude the Wildcats' fall season.

LSU

LSU participated in five Fall tournaments, including three ITA sponsored tournaments. The Tigers went an overall 20-31 in singles play, led by Vlad Lobak and Gabriel Diaz Freire with a team-high five singles wins each. In doubles, the Tigers went 17-10 overall, including a 7-2 record and runner up finish from the Tiger duo of Gabriel Diaz Freire and Vlad Lobak. The duo were the runner-ups in the ITA Southern Regionals, automatically qualifying for the ITA National Fall Championships where they made the consolation semifinals.

LSU Women's Tennis graduate students Ena Babic and Taylor Bridges were crowned champions of the 2021 ITA All-American consolation doubles bracket. Bridges ranks the highest of the pack in the singles ranking by opening the season at No. 43. Junior Safiya Carrington joins Bridges in the singles rankings, checking in at No. 96. In doubles, Bridges and newcomer Ena Babic are ranked at No. 51. Bridges' doubles campaign last season saw her finish with a stellar 20-6 record playing with three different partners. Babic posted a team-high 12-4 doubles record in her final season at Purdue, with all twelve wins coming in dual play action at the No. 1 doubles spot for the Boilermakers. Freshman Jenna DeFalco is the final Tiger represented in the preseason rankings, listed at No. 6 in the Top 10 Newcomers list.

Ole Miss

Ole Miss men's tennis participated in the ITA All-American Championships, Bulldog Invitational (Georgia), ITA Southern Championships, ITA National Fall Championships and GT Invite this fall. The Rebels earned a combined 46-28 record in singles (8-7 versus ranked opponents) and 15-7 record in doubles (1-3 versus ranked opponents). The fall was highlighted by Nikola Slavic claiming the ITA Southern Championships singles title. Slavic and Finn Reynolds both earned qualification into Fall Nationals, and Reynolds reached the round of 16. Reynolds also reached the round of 16 in singles at the ITA All-American Championships and in doubles alongside John Hallquist Lithén. Additionally, Reynolds competed for his home nation of New Zealand in a Davis Cup Qualifying tie versus South Korea, facing world No. 83 Soonwoo Kwon on Sept. 17.

Ole Miss women's tennis players competed in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic, Ole Miss Fall Invite, ITA All-American Championships, ITA Southern Championships, Roberta Alison Classic (Alabama), ITA National Fall Championships and at the John Cade Invitational (Mississippi State) this fall. Tiphanie Fiquet competed on the ITF Pro Circuit as well in the W25 Fort Worth, W25 Redding, W15 Lubbock and W25

Austin events. In ITA events the Rebels compiled an overall record of 44-34 in singles (9-8 versus ranked opponents) and 27-21 in doubles (1-6 versus ranked opponents). Fiquet stood out for the Rebels this fall, claiming the ITA Southern Region singles title and winning the doubles title at ITF Lubbock. Rebels Ludmila Kareisová and Kelsey Mize placed runners-up in doubles in the ITA Southern Region and competed at the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego along with Fiquet.

Mississippi State

All seven players on the Bulldogs' roster this fall are returnees from last year's 15th-ranked squad. Hosted the MSU Bulldog Invitational against players from Alabama, Michigan, Tulane and Wichita State at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre and Rula Tennis Pavilion. Bulldogs posted an 19-8 overall record at the event (13-5 singles, 6-3 doubles). The Bulldogs currently have four singles and one doubles team represented in the International Tennis Association (ITA) Division I Preseason Rankings. Florian Broska (27), Nemanja Malesevic (36), Davide Tortora (54) and Alberto Colas (92) are all ranked on the singles side while Broska and Gregor Ramskogler are sitting sixth nationally in doubles. It is a career-best ranking for Broska, Malesevic and Colas in singles as well as Broska and Ramskogler in doubles. State signed Bautista Vilicich of Argentina in September and will be joining eighth-year head coach Matt Roberts' roster in January. Broska picked up three wins at the ITF Fayetteville 15K in September, including a main draw victory over two-time All-American Tyler Zink of Oklahoma State. Broska won the Georgia Tech Invite going a perfect 3-0 from Nov. 5-7 to close out the fall schedule.

MSU currently has one singles player and two doubles teams represented in the International Tennis Association (ITA) Division I Preseason Rankings. Emmanouela Antonaki (22) is the ranked single. The pairings of Emmanouela Antonaki & Tamara Racine (41) as well as Magda Adaloglou & Chloé Cirotte (43) round out the ranked bulldogs. The duo of Magda Adaloglou and Chloé Cirotte defeated No. 8 Brooke Killingsworth and Anna Brylin of Wake Forest, 6-3 on the first day of the Debbie Southern Fall Classic (Sept. 17). It was only the second time they have competed in a match together. Signed Alessia Tagliente of Italy in September. The early enrollee will arrive in January and compete with the Bulldogs in spring. Emmanouela Antonaki made the semifinals of the ITA Southern Regional at Auburn in early October as both a singles and doubles competitor. Antonaki advanced to the semifinals along with doubles partner Tamara Racine. Magda Adaloglou posted back-to-back ranked wins over No. 100 Ahmeir Kyle of Xavier and No. 27 Sabina Machalova of Ole Miss to win her draw at the John Cade Invitational. Chloé Cirotte also won her draw as the Bulldogs went 22-4 at the event which featured Denver, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Memphis, Ole Miss and Xavier. Magda Adaloglou ranks fifth all-time with 132 total victories at MSU while Emmanouela Antonaki ranks eighth with 119 wins.

Missouri

Mizzou Tennis began its fall season with a 2-0 sweep in a dual match at UT Martin. In singles, Marta Oliveira won out in the back draw of the Milwaukee Classic. Ellie Wright went the furthest in the tournament, reaching the main draw Round of 16. The Tigers accumulated 10 singles wins across four Tigers (Emelie Schwarte, Gabriela Martinez, Elys Ventura, Valentina Vazquez) at the ITA Central Regionals. In doubles play, Bronte Murgett and Marta Oliveira reaches the semi-finals at the Milwaukee Classic and the back draw semi-finals at the ITA All-Americans tournament.

South Carolina

South Carolina men's tennis participated in five tournaments throughout the fall season, two of which were ITA events. The Gamecocks went 48-36 in singles and 16-12 in doubles. Sophomore Toby Samuel went 5-2 in doubles and led the team with an 11-4 singles record, including ranked wins over the No. 19 and 113 players. Samuel defeated three opponents to advance from the qualifying round to the main

draw of the ITA All-American Championships and was a perfect 6-0 in the Gamecock Scramble. Sophomore Connor Thomson went 10-4 in singles, including wins over the No. 91 and 97 players. Thomson paired with Jake Beasley to take down the national No. 3 doubles tandem during the Gator Fall Invite.

Members of the South Carolina women's tennis team had a busy fall schedule and collectively competed in eight tournaments, three of which were ITA events. In the Gamecock Shootout, South Carolina went 11-1 in doubles play. Throughout the fall, the Gamecocks went 81-62 in singles and 31-24 in doubles. In singles, South Carolina was also 24-13 against nationally ranked opponents, with half of those wins coming from freshman Sarah Hamner alone. Hamner won the ITA All-American National Championships in October and she is set to compete in the ITA Fall National Championships this upcoming weekend.

Tennessee

Freshman Shunsuke Mitsui-ranked as the nation's No. 9 newcomer in the ITA Preseason Rankings-claimed five singles wins at the ITA Ohio Valley Regional in September, advancing to the main draw semifinal round. Mitsui holds records of 10-4 (singles) and 16-2 (doubles) this fall. Mitsui and senior Emile Hudd have paired up as a dominant doubles tandem this fall, logging an impressive 11-1 record together on the doubles courts, including a run to the doubles semifinals at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa. In the quarterfinals, the duo claimed a dramatic, 5-7, 7-6(5), 11-9 victory, trailing 2-8 in the third-set super tiebreaker before fighting off five match point situations and claim the tiebreak, 11-9. At the Fighting Illini Invitational, graduate student Adam Walton earned his 100th career singles victory-becoming the 11th Vol in program history to achieve this feat.

The team picked up 10 ranked wins between singles and doubles, highlighted by Tenika McGiffin's victory over No. 5 Georgia Drummy of Duke. Had two individuals win fall tournaments in singles, including freshman Elza Tomase being crowned champion at the ITA Ohio Valley Regional. McGiffin grabbed the second at the College Ranked Spotlight +1 in Cary, N.C. Tomase faced Rebeka Mertena in the finals, and both qualified for the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego. Tomase finished off the fall with 17 wins, including a stretch of 11 wins consecutively from Sept. 26 to Oct. 31. Mertena also capped the fall with a double digit win total, earning 13. She faced six ranked opponents throughout the season, winning three matches.

Texas A&M

Texas A&M men's tennis garnered a trio of singles rankings and one doubles ranking in the first edition of the ITA Division I Men's Tennis Rankings, announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Senior Noah Schachter headlines the Aggies in the singles rankings at No. 62, followed by transfer Matthis Ross at No. 79 and rounded out by junior Pierce Rollins at No. 91. Rollins and Schachter earned the No. 60 spot in the doubles rankings.

Texas A&M women's tennis received five overall selections in the 2021-22 ITA Division I Women's Preseason Rankings, including one doubles team, one singles player and a newcomer each ranked in the top-10 nationally. A&M made history in the fall doubles poll, landing the All-American tandem of graduate Tatiana Makarova and senior Jayci Goldsmith at the No. 3 position in the preseason top-60. Makarova and Goldsmith's recognition as a top-three team nationally places them as the highest-rated doubles team in the history of the Texas A&M program which dates back to 1979. The Maroon & White stood out in the first singles rankings of the 2021-22 season, landing a trio of student-athletes in the preseason top-125. ITA Singles All-American Makarova opens the season as the No. 10 overall

performer. A&M also landed a pair of seniors in Goldsmith and Katya Townsend on the list, ranking No. 103 and No. 108 spots, respectively.

In the newcomer rankings, Aggie freshman Mary Stoiana made her debut appearance in the preseason top-10, landing at the No. 10 spot nationally.

Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt competed in four Fall invitationals and finished 46-35 in singles play and 20-12 in doubles play overall. In their final Fall weekend, the Commodores Over won 21 matches, including 14 singles and seven doubles matches as hosts of the Commodore Invitational. Joubert Klopper, who reached the quarterfinals at the ITA Regionals, led the Commodores with a 12-3 record in singles play, while fifth-year senior George Harwell was 8-2. The doubles team of Klopper and Marcus Ferreira were 4-0 together, while Klopper and Connor Robb-Wilcox were 4-1.

Vanderbilt competed in four Fall events and combined to finish 52-38 in singles play and 31-13 in doubles action. As hosts to their annual June Stewart Invitational, the Commodores won a total of 23 matches in the three-day tournament. Dasha Kourkina, who reached the quarterfinals at the ITA Regionals, led the Commodores with nine singles wins the Fall, while Marcella Cruz and Holly Staff each went 8-5. Meanwhile, Staff and Cruz went 3-1 in doubles, while Staff and Anessa Lee finished with a team-best 5-1 doubles record.