Men's Tennis to Complete Homestand Against 'Bama
BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s tennis team looks to ends its four-match home stand on a high note when the 34th-ranked Tigers welcome No. 43 Alabama for an SEC West matchup on Sunday at 1 p.m. CDT at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Stadium.
The Tigers (8-10, 3-4 SEC) are fresh off a 5-2 upset of No. 18 Auburn on Friday, while the Crimson Tide (9-7, 2-5 SEC) earned a come-from-behind victory at Arkansas for their first SEC road win of the season.
“Alabama is coming off a good road victory at Arkansas, and they’re a very good team,” LSU head coach Jeff Brown said. “In the SEC a lot of teams are beating up each other. We’re ready for another tough match against another good SEC team.”
LSU is tied for third in the SEC Western Division with Auburn, but are only two matches back of division leader Mississippi State (10-6, 5-2 SEC) with four matches left. The Bulldogs, who defeated the Tigers 5-2 earlier in the year, took down No. 4 and SEC East-leading Tennessee 6-1 on Friday in Starkville. Alabama is currently fourth in the West, just one match behind LSU.
Six of LSU’s 10 losses have come at the hands of current Top 15 teams, including four current Top 5 teams in Virginia (1), Ohio State (3), Tennessee (4) and Texas A&M (5).
Besides their win over the Razorbacks, the Crimson Tide’s other SEC victory came against South Carolina, while Alabama has dropped SEC matches to Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Kentucky.
Alabama is led by its 76th-ranked doubles pair of Jarryd Botha and Rickey Doverspike, who are 3-3 this season on the top doubles court and have two ranked victories under their belt. Doverspike competes at the top spot in singles for the Crimson Tide and holds a 6-7 mark. Botha competes on Court 2, and has a team-leading seven dual victories.
The Tigers are led by the 10th-ranked doubles pair of senior Sebastian Carlsson and junior Neal Skupski, who have anchored the top court with a 13-4 mark. The Tiger tandem are 7-3 in their last 10 ten matches and have notched victories over six ranked opponents this season.
In singles, Carlsson enters the match ranked 124th in the nation, and the Uppsala, Sweden, native is riding a four-match winning streak. Skupski is the other ranked Tiger, and checks in at No. 81.
Alabama edged the Tigers 4-3 last season in a regular season match in Tuscaloosa, but the Tigers responded with a 4-2 win at the SEC Tournament in Lexington at the end of the year. LSU holds a 39-24-1 all-time advantage over the Crimson Tide.
Admission to all home matches is free. Fans unable to make it out to the “Dub” can view the live stats at www.LSUSports.net/livestats.
For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access to the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men’s team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.