AUBURN, Ala. – No. 25 Auburn women’s tennis opens the 2014 SEC Women’s Tennis Championship hosted by Missouri on Thursday as the seventh seed and will take on No. 10 seed Kentucky at 8 a.m. CT at the Missouri Tennis Complex.
“We’re excited to play Kentucky again because it’s a team that we feel like we didn’t play our best tennis against the first time we faced them,” Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “They played a really good match at their home courts indoors, but we feel like we can play better.”
Auburn (16-9, 6-7 SEC) is looking to avenge an earlier loss to Kentucky, as the Tigers fell to the Wildcats, 4-0, on March 28 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky (15-10, 5-8 SEC) is coming off a 4-1 loss at Florida on April 13. Auburn is 0-1 all-time against Kentucky at the SEC Tournament, dropping its lone meeting back in 2000.
Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger entered the postseason ranked No. 13 by the ITA in doubles. The pair leads the team with a 15-2 record in dual matches and finished SEC play with a 7-2 mark. Both players have won 23 doubles matches this season, which is tied for 11th-most in single season history.
The Gulf Breeze, Fla., duo of Jackie Kasler and Jen Pfeifler have moved up to the No. 2 spot in the doubles lineup for the Tigers over the past few weeks. The tandem is 11-6 in dual matches this year and hold a 4-3 record against SEC foes. Kasler’s 162 combined wins rank as the fourth-most in Auburn history, just one win away from tying Fani Chifchieva’s career win total of 163.
In singles, Burgmans is Auburn’s top-ranked player heading into the SEC Tournament at No. 42 in the nation by the ITA, while Flickinger and Kasler lead the team with 12 dual matches wins this season. Flickinger enters the tournament ranked at No. 102, while Kasler has won six out of her last seven matches playing at the No. 5 line.
Last season, Auburn won its first match at the SEC Women’s Championships since 2008, downing Arkansas, 4-3. Michala Kucharova secured the match for Auburn in dramatic fashion, taking a straight-set win 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).
If the Tigers defeat Kentucky, Auburn would move on to face No. 3 seed Georgia on Friday, April 18 at 8 a.m. CT. Live stats for each match can be found at SECSports.com.
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