April 20, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn men's tennis team recorded its third SEC weekly honor this season as sophomore Alex Stamchev was named SEC Player of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday.
"Alex has been a steady performer for us all year," head coach Eric Shore said. "He has raised his level and has had a great sophomore season."
The Pleven, Bulgaria product played a key role in Auburn's 4-3 win over No. 29 Alabama in Tuscaloosa Saturday evening. He and doubles partner Tim Puetz, the 17th-ranked pair in the country, took on Alabama's No. 86 Michael Davis and Saketh Myneni to start the evening. With the doubles point on the line, the Auburn duo recorded an 8-4 victory to give the Tigers the 1-0 advantage going into singles competition.
The two rival teams battled throughout singles and, with the match tied at three apiece, it all came down to the outcome of No. 2 singles with Stamchev taking on Ricky Doverspike.
Stamchev took the first set in a battle, defeating Doverspike, 7-6 (5). The second set went to Doverspike (6-2), but Stamchev wasn't fazed as he pulled away with a 6-1 victory in the third set to give Auburn the win.
"Alex was the leader for us against Alabama," Shore said. "He stepped it up in the third set. There are only a few players that are step up late and he is one that is able to do that when he needs to the most."
Stamchev closed out the regular season with an 11-5 overall record and finished 8-2 in conference play. He and Puetz were 10-6 in doubles competition and 5-5 in the SEC.
Auburn travels to Lexington, Ky., for the 2010 SEC Tournament being held on the campus of the University of Kentucky, April 22-25. The sixth-seeded Tigers face the 11th-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks in an 8 a.m. match on opening day. The winner will face third-seeded Georgia the following morning at 8 a.m.