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LSU Women’s Tennis Faces No. 22 Tennessee, No. 10 Georgia in Road Weekend

LSU Women’s Tennis Faces No. 22 Tennessee, No. 10 Georgia in Road Weekend

Knoxville, Tenn.  – The LSU women’s tennis team (10-4, 2-2 SEC) will face back-to-back Top 25 foes on the road this weekend. The Tigers will face No. 22 Tennessee (10-4, 2-2 SEC) at 3 p.m. CT on Friday at Barksdale Stadium before ending the weekend in Athens, Georgia to take on No. 10 Georgia (9-3, 4-0 SEC) at noon CT on Sunday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

No. 22 Tennessee (Mar. 15)
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No. 10 Georgia (Mar. 17)
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Notes on Tennessee
In the series history between the Tigers and Lady Vols, Tennessee holds a 32-19 lead. When the teams met last season at the LSU Tennis Complex, Tennessee narrowly grabbed a 4-3 win at the LSU Tennis Complex.

The Lady Vols enter Friday’s match with an identical record to the Tigers: 10-4 on the season, 2-2 in SEC play. The team is looking to bounce back after dropping two matches on the road last weekend. Tennessee narrowly fell at No. 22 South Carolina by a score of 4-3 on Friday night and was then defeated by No. 18 Florida, 5-2, on Sunday.

Senior Sofia Cabezas leads from the front for the Lady Vols, posting an 8-3 record at the No. 1 singles court and boasting a ranking of No. 27 in the ITA singles rankings. Cabezas has a 4-3 record against ranked foes, including a perfect 2-0 record against foes individually ranked in the top 10; a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 win against No. 3 Amelia Rajecki of NC State in February and a 6-2, 6-4 win versus No. 8 Ayana Akli of South Carolina last week.

In doubles, Tennessee has won the doubles point 12 out of their 14 matches. Esther Adeshina and Alana Wolfsburg have earned an 8-2 record together primarily at the No. 2 spot while Lauren Anzalotta and Catherine Aulia share the same 8-2 mark at the No. 3 spot.

LSU graduate assistant coach Rebeka Mertena returns to Knoxville for the first time after she finished her collegiate playing career last May. Mertena was a five-year standout for the Lady Vols from 2019-2023, earning honors such as All-SEC four times and NCAA Singles Championship qualifications twice.

Notes on Georgia
Sunday will mark the 49th time that Georgia and LSU will meet in dual play, with the Bulldogs claiming all but one match in the series history. The teams met twice last season; the Bulldogs won 5-2 in Athens in the regular season and then claimed a 4-0 win in the quarterfinal of the SEC Tournament just a month later.

The 2023 SEC Champion Georgia Bulldogs have started the season with a 9-3 record, 4-0 in SEC matches. The Bulldogs are 4-3 in Top 25 matches and are fresh off two ranked wins on the road last week. The Bulldogs took down No. 18 Florida by a score of 4-3 on Friday night and then took down No. 22 South Carolina by a score of 4-2 two days later.

The Bulldogs feature five players ranked by the ITA in singles. No. 25 Alexandra Vecic leads the way and is followed by No. 29 Dasha Vidmanova, No. 68 Mell Reasco, No. 78 Mai Nirundorn and No. 98 Anastasiia Lopata round it out. Lopata has led the team this spring with a 9-2 record in dual matches playing primarily at the No. 4 spot.

In doubles, Aysegul Mert and Vidmanova boast a 7-4 record playing primarily at the No. 1 doubles spot and are ranked No. 8 in the latest ITA doubles ranking. The Bulldogs also boast another duo ranked by the ITA: Grant and Nirundorn at No. 34 with a team-high 8-2 record in dual matches playing at the No. 2 court.

Last Time Out
LSU split the previous weekend with a 1-1 record on the road, dropping Friday’s match at Ole Miss by a score of 4-2. The Rebels took the doubles points and LSU’s points on the night came from Maya Tahan and Anita Sahdiieva, who grinded out a three set win on their courts.

The Tigers responded with a 4-0 win at Mississippi State on Sunday. LSU took the doubles point and was powered on to a sweep with straight set singles wins from Aran Teixidó Garcia, Maya Tahan and Gaby Rivera.

Tiger Tidbits
LSU has won the doubles point 10 out of 14 matches this season, with the Tigers winning the team match in every contest they’ve secured the doubles point in. The team has posted a 24-12 record across the three doubles courts this season, with the pairing of Florentine Dekkers and Aran Teixidó Garcia leading the way with a 10-4 record at the No. 2 court.

Anita Sahdiieva enters the weekend with a perfect 9-0 singles record in dual matches playing at the No. 3 and 4 courts. The Ukranian has been a strong player in singles and boasts a 7-5 doubles record playing at the No. 1 doubles spot with two different partners in Kinaa Graham and Kenna Erickson.

Teixidó Garcia’s success in doubles alongside Dekkers has transitioned into singles play for the graduate student, who has a 9-1 record playing primarily at the No. 2 singles spot this season. Her nine wins ties her with Sahdiieva for the most on the team this spring and her 14-3 overall singles record dating back to the fall is a team high.

Graduate student Maya Tahan picked up two singles wins last week and improved her record to 8-2 at the No. 5 court this spring. Tahan’s singles presence has been strong this season for the Tigers and her doubles record of 7-3 at the No. 3 spot with three different partners this season has been crucial in helping the Tigers secure the doubles point 10 times so far.

In the latest ITA team rankings, LSU checked in at No. 41.

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