April 18, 2009
- In its final dual match of the regular season, the No. 18 Auburn men's tennis team (12-9, 5-6 SEC) was unable to defeat in-state rival No. 15 Alabama (19-6, 7-4 SEC) as they took a 4-2 loss at home.
With the final home match of the regular season serving as Senior Day, a special ceremony honoring this year's senior class took place between singles and doubles play with seniors being presented with plaques and addressing the fans. The five seniors are Milan Krnjetin, Lukas Marsoun, Hunter Mills, Alex Petropoulos and Alexey Tsyrenov.
"It was a great match, just like the past couple of years," head coach Eric Shore mentioned. "I didn't think we played well in doubles. I don't know if we wanted it too bad, but we looked like we were pressing too much. I think we competed well in singles, though."
In action, the team was unable to take any doubles matches and could not top the Tide in singles action to finish the match.
To start the evening match, the Tigers were unable to take the early lead with the doubles point. First to finish was Alabama's No. 83 pair of Billy Mertz and Saketh Myneni as they topped Auburn's Lukas Marsoun and Alex Stamchev, 8-5.
Clinching the early point was Ricky Doverspike and Michael Thompson with their 8-5 win over Milan Krnjetin and Michel Monteiro. The final match went to the Tide as No. 33 Dan Buikema and Mathieu Thibaudeau defeated the No. 10 duo of Alexey Tsyrenov and Tim Puetz, 8-6.
After the senior ceremonies, Alabama helped their lead as Mertz defeated Alex Petropoulos on court five, 6-3, 6-4.
Making the Tigers' first appearance on the board was Puetz, with his 6-4, 6-2 win over Thibaudeau. However, Alabama took another point as No. 24 Myneni topped No. 35 Tsyrenov, 7-5, 6-4 on the front court, putting the Tide within one point of the win.
Auburn's freshman Stamchev kept the Tigers in the match as he took a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win on court four against Thompson.
The clinching point went to the Alabama as Michael Jung topped Auburn's Krnjetin, 7-6 (), 7-5.
The final match-up between Marsoun and Buikema went unfinished as Alabama had already clinched the match victory. Marsoun was leading in the third set, 6-3, 4-6, 4-3, however, when the match was called.
The loss gives the Tigers a regular season final record of 12-9 and 5-6 in SEC play, while the Tide improves to 19-6 and 7-4 in conference action. The loss also solidifies Auburn's third-place finish in the SEC West, while Alabama takes second in the division.
"I don't see this as our seniors' last match," Shore said. "We're ranked No. 18 in the country and we have the SEC tournament coming up, followed by NCAAs. I think that we are on the right path and we have plenty more good tennis to be played. We are continuing to improve and get better. This is not the end for us."
With the regular season at a close, the Tigers will see their next competition in the SEC Tournament. The four-day tournament will be held in Auburn at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. For more information, fans may visit AuburnTigers.com further in the week.
Tennis Match Results
Alabama vs Auburn
April 18, 2009 at Auburn, Ala.
(Yarbrough Tennis Center)
#15 Alabama 4, #18 Auburn 2
1. #24 Saketh Myneni (UA) def. #35 Alexey Tsyrenov (AU) 7-5, 6-4
2. #118 Tim Puetz (AU) def. #75 Mathieu Thibaudeau (UA) 6-4, 6-2
3. Lukas Marsoun (AU) vs. Dan Buikema (UA) 6-3, 4-6, 4-3, unfinished
4. Alex Stamchev (AU) def. Michael Thompson (UA) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
5. Billy Mertz (UA) def. Alex Petropoulos (AU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Michael Jung (UA) def. Milan Krnjetin (AU) 7-6, 7-5 (7-3)
1. #33 Dan Buikema/Mathieu Thibaudeau (UA) def. #10 Alexey Tsyrenov/Tim Puetz (AU) 8-6
2. #83 Billy Mertz/Saketh Myneni (UA) def. Lukas Marsoun/Alex Stamchev (AU) 8-5
3. Ricky Doverspike/Michael Thompson (UA) def. Milan Krnjetin/Michel Monteiro (AU) 8-5
Alabama 19-6, 7-4 SEC; National ranking #15
Auburn 12-9, 5-6 SEC; National ranking #18
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,2,1,4, 6)
Match played outdoors
Official: Bob Offer T-4:10 A-762