March 4, 2012
AUBURN - No. 67 Auburn picked up its first SEC victory of the season on Sunday with a 4-3 win over Mississippi State at the Yarbrough Tennis Complex.
"It was a messy day of tennis with the wind, but I think we handled ourselves well," Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. "I thought we came out a little flat in the doubles, but once we got ourselves together, we were able to put together some big points at the right time to get the doubles point.
Auburn started strong picking up the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3. At the top line, Emily Flickinger and Jackie Kasler defeated Mississippi State's top tandem of Naomi Tran and Oesya Tsigvintseva, 8-5. The Tigers finished off the point with an 8-5 win by Plamena Kurteva and Taylor Schreimann over MSU pair Roseline Dion and Ekaterina Iakovleva.
"We sat out Paulina Schippers to tend to a minor injury, and I am so proud of how Taylor (Schreimann) stepped up," Longbotham Meisner said. "She was one of the key leaders in us taking the momentum and in getting the doubles point. It's tough coming off the bench, but she has been training hard and she showed today that she is ready for the challenge."
The nation's No. 157 player Olivia Bennett made quick work of her opponent and pushed Auburn to a 2-0 lead. The sophomore from Trinidad and Tobago dropped Petra Ferancova in two sets, 6-1, 6-1. Jen Pfeifler pushed the lead to 3-0 with her decisive singles win over Ekaterina Iakovleva at the number two spot, 6-3, 6-3.
Auburn wrapped up the victory at No. 4 with Jackie Kasler's 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Naomi Tran.
"I thought we had mixed results in singles," Longbotham Meisner said. "The three wins all came with us putting our foot on the pedal and never letting up both with our energy and with our focus. I am glad we finished off the weekend on a high note. We are going to look at both matches, make the necessary adjustments and get ready for our road trip next weekend."
The Tigers are in action next on Friday when they visit Arkansas at 12 p.m. CT. For more information on Auburn women's tennis follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter.