March 20, 2014
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn men’s tennis team returns to the road this weekend for SEC play with a pair of key league matches at Florida on Friday at 4 p.m. CT and at South Carolina at 11 a.m. CT Sunday.
“We have a big challenge, we haven’t had a whole lot of success at Florida. We’ve played well against them in Auburn, but not there. We’re really going to have to put in a good effort Friday night,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “We have to keep moving forward, understanding it’s a long weekend and you have to physically, mentally be ready.”
“South Carolina is also a tough match for us, they’ve been a nemesis for us in the past. They beat us at our place last year and I expect it to be a tight match again on Sunday,” Shore said.
No. 30 Auburn (14-5, 4-1 SEC) rallied to knock off Alabama for the third straight time on the road, defeating the Crimson Tide, 4-2, in Tuscaloosa last Friday. The Tigers fell behind early by losing the doubles point, but Auburn won four singles matches to take the road win to move to 4-1 in SEC action.
In dual match play, the Tigers have been led by senior Dan Cochrane who holds a 13-1 record and is 5-0 in SEC matches. The senior has won seven straight and eight out of his last nine contests.
Sophomore Joseph Van Dooren was the first Tiger to pick up a singles win at Alabama and has been solid in the bottom half of the lineup with a 9-4 record in dual matches. Freshman Dante Saleh has won back-to-back matches in league play and is 10-3 during the dual season.
In doubles, Dennis Lengsfeld and Lukas Ollert have continued their strong play for Auburn; the pair boasts a 3-1 mark in league action along with an 11-2 record in dual matches.
No. 16 Florida is 7-6 overall, 2-2 in conference play. Auburn knocked off the Gators, 4-0, last season at the Yarbrough Tennis Center, but Florida leads the all-time series 35-16. Freshman Elliot Orkin leads the way for Florida in singles, ranked No. 82 in the country by the ITA.
No. 48 South Carolina is 7-9, 0-4 versus the SEC this year heading into the weekend. Auburn fell to the Gamecocks, 5-2, at home last season. The Tigers lead the all-time series, 21-10.
For complete coverage on the Auburn men's tennis team, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow @MensTennisAU on Twitter and `like' the Auburn Men's Tennis page on Facebook.