April 8, 2010
AUBURN - The No. 57 Auburn women's tennis team (8-8, 2-6) will play host to the No. 18 Ole Miss Rebels on Friday, followed by another home match Sunday against No. 66 Mississippi State this weekend at the City of Auburn/Yarbrough Tennis Center.
Auburn is coming off a pair of defeats last week, the first coming on Friday against No. 22 Arkansas, 6-1, and the latter coming on Sunday against LSU in a 5-2 loss. In singles action, Auburn is 44-46 as a team, and is 13-35 in doubles play. Three-time All-American Fani Chifchieva, ranked 54th in the latest ITA singles poll, is 10-5 on the year and 8-5 in No. 1 singles, while fellow senior Jil Hastenrath is the other Tiger with a winning singles mark at 7-5.
In doubles action, Auburn is 27-21 as a team and is 10-14 in SEC play. Two pairings, freshmen Plamena Kurteva and Paulina Schippers are 10-3 on the season at No. 3 doubles, while Chifchieva and Hastenrath are 9-5 after playing at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles.
Two new doubles pairings were unveiled against Arkansas and LSU, as Myrthe Molenveld paired with Paulina Schippers for the first time this season, and went 1-1 on the weekend at No. 2 doubles, defeating Hannah Robinson and Kaitlin Burns of LSU, 8-2. Also playing together for the first time was freshman Caroline Thornton and Plamena Kurteva who paired together at No. 3, splitting a pair of matches with a 1-1 record. The victory came against Nicole Kantor and Kylie Adamek of LSU by an 8-6 count.
The Rebels sit atop the SEC Western division, with an overall mark of 11-4 and are 5-3 in SEC play, and are coming off a fantastic weekend, where the squad defeated a pair of top-15 teams, in No. 14 Tennessee on Friday and No. 13 Georgia on Sunday by identical 5-2 scores. The defeat was Georgia's first SEC loss of the season and was Ole Miss' first win over UGA since 1999. Junior Connor Vogel, ranked 101st in the ITA singles rankings, holds a 12-2 dual match record, and leads the Rebels with a 7-1 SEC singles record. Sophomore Kristi Boxx is ranked 57th in singles, and teams with junior Karen Njissen to form the nations No. 13 doubles tandem.
Ole Miss holds a 23-12 all-time advantage over the Tigers, but were defeated by Auburn 4-3 on March 15 of last season.
Sunday's opponent, Mississippi State, is tied for last in the SEC West with a 9-9 overall record and is 1-7 in conference play, one game behind Auburn. The Bulldogs are riding a four-match overall losing streak, and a seven-match SEC losing streak. Prior to traveling to The Plains, the Bulldogs will take on Alabama Friday in Tuscaloosa.
The Bulldogs are coming off a pair of losses against No. 13 Georgia (4-3) and No. 14 Tennessee (7-0). On Friday against Georgia, Mississippi State put themselves in position for one of the biggest wins in program history. Georgia took an early 3-0 lead, before the Bulldogs fought back to tie the contest at 3-3. However, senior Valeriya Makarycheva lost a tight battle to Naoko Ueshima in a hard fought 7-6(7), 7-5 decision to decide the match.
Live Stats will be available via AuburnTigers.com for each match. Admission is free for all Auburn women's tennis matches.