Tigers Ready Host Mississippi State and Ole Miss
March 12, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 20 Auburn men's tennis team (7-2, 2-0 SEC) will take to the home courts this weekend with a Friday match against No. 75 Mississippi State and a Sunday meeting with No. 3 Ole Miss.
In the most recent ITA rankings, the Tigers jumped six spots to the No. 20 position, their highest ranking of the season so far. After a perfect SEC-opening weekend on the road, the Tigers return to the plains where they hold a 3-1 record. This weekend will be the first SEC competition at home for Auburn.
The Tigers will try to keep the heat alive in doubles action. Two Auburn pairs have yet to surrender a match-up. The No. 11 duo of Alexey Tsyrenov and Tim Puetz are 8-0 on the season and 2-0 in SEC play. Behind the top team are Lukas Marsoun and Alex Stamchev, who hold to a 7-0 (2-0 SEC) mark.
Auburn has seen success in singles also, as Puetz has created an 8-1 (2-0 SEC) record on court two and freshman Stamchev (6-2, 2-0 SEC) has given the Tigers a lift on court five.
Starting the two-match trek, the men will face No. 75 Mississippi State (4-4, 0-2 SEC). This season, the Bulldogs are led by senior Ryan Farlow on court one singles. Farlow ranks as the No. 118 singles player and holds to a 2-5 (0-2 SEC) record this season.
In doubles, Chris Doerr and Tanner Stump lead the charge as the top team and have compiled a 3-4 (0-2 SEC) record. Behind MSU's leading doubles, Antonio Lastre and Daniel Sanchez have teamed to form a solid two-seed, with a 6-1 (1-1 SEC) mark.
In last year's meeting between the two Western Division schools, the then-No. 49 Bulldogs upset the then-No. 23 Tigers, 4-3. It was the first time in the season that the Tigers had been swept in doubles and only third time that Auburn had dropped the doubles point. In singles, Auburn was unable to recover, but did salvage three wins, two of which came at the hands of Tsyrenov and Marsoun.
Going into Sunday's match-up, Auburn faces-off against the nation's No. 3 team, Ole Miss. This year, the Rebels have established a 10-2 overall record, while going 2-0 in SEC play.
Leading the Rebels has been senior No. 35 Jonas Berg (7-2, 1-1 SEC), who has rotated among the top-two courts for the team. Behind Berg is freshman No. 32 Devin Britton, holding a 6-5 (1-1 SEC) record while seeing action on each of the front three courts.
The Rebels boast the No. 5 doubles duo in the ITA rankings as Berg teams with fellow-senior Bram ten Berge to bring a 7-5 (1-1 SEC) record into the weekend meeting.
In the previous meeting between the Tigers and Rebels, Auburn was handed its first SEC loss of the season, dropping a 4-1 match against the home team. After losing the doubles point, the Tigers found their only win of the day in singles with Tsyrenov defeating then-No. 8 Matthias Wellermann in two sets.
The Friday slant against the Bulldogs is set to begin at 2 p.m., while Sunday's showdown is scheduled for 1 p.m. Both matches will be played at the City of Auburn/Auburn University Yarbrough Tennis Center.
Admission is free to all home matches. Fans that cannot make it to the match in person can follow along with live stats at AuburnTigers.com
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