March 26, 2009
AUBURN - The No. 31 Auburn women's tennis team (9-5, 2-1 SEC) will return to Southeastern Conference action this weekend by playing host to No. 26 Vanderbilt at 4 p.m. on Friday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The Tigers will then face No. 19 Kentucky in Lexington at the J. Boone Tennis Center at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
"This is another tough SEC weekend," head women's tennis coach Tim Gray said. "Both Vanderbilt and Kentucky are having great seasons, so we will have to give our absolute best effort this weekend. We need everyone on the squad to step it up for both matches, not just one or the other."
Vanderbilt (5-5, 1-2 SEC) will arrive on the Plains after suffering a close 4-3 loss to No. 6 Georgia Tech on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. The Commodores have a trio of nationally ranked singles players in No. 61 Catherine Newman, No. 64 Jackie Wu and No. 112 Keilly Ulery.
The Tigers will then hit the road to take on the 19th-ranked Wildcats (10-4, 1-3 SEC). Prior to Sunday's match, Kentucky will travel to Tuscaloosa on Friday to take on No. 17 Alabama. Megan Broderick is ranked 117th in singles play, while the doubles team of Caroline Lilley and Carolina Escamilla is listed 29th.
Auburn is returning home after winning a pair of matches in Huntington, W.Va., last weekend. The Tigers topped No. 46 William & Mary, 5-2, and then blanked No. 62 Marshall, 7-0.
Gray's squad jumped 14 spots in this week's Campbell's ITA national team rankings from 45th to 31st. Junior All-American Fani Chifchieva is ranked eighth nationally in singles action and senior Alex Haney is 32nd. Haney and doubles partner Whitney Chappell are listed 44th.