March 20, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The Crimson Tide men's tennis team (9-9, 2-3 SEC) will hit the road this weekend to take on a pair of Southeastern Conference Eastern Division opponents in South Carolina (7-9, 0-4 SEC) and No. 16 Florida (7-6, 2-2 SEC). Friday's match against the Gamecocks is slated for 4 p.m. CT, while Sunday's match in Gainesville versus the Gators will begin at Noon CT.
Alabama went 0-2 last week, falling 4-2 to Auburn and 5-0 to No. 4 Southern California. In the loss to the Tigers, the Crimson Tide won the doubles point and got one of the singles points, but Auburn would win four of the remaining five singles matches, three of which came in three sets. Alabama also had a chance at the doubles point against the Trojans, but it slipped through the cracks as USC won on courts one and three. The Trojans then won four singles matches to take the team victory.
Becker O'Shaughnessey, ranked 83rd nationally in singles, continues to lead the Tide with seven wins in dual-match play, while Andrew Goodwin, Stuart Kenyon and No. 21 Daniil Proskura have each added six singles victories for Alabama. In doubles, O'Shaughnessey and Proskura, ranked 62nd, lead the Tide at the top with three wins at No. 1, and Goodwin and Kenyon stand strong with six wins in dual-match action.
South Carolina enters Friday having lost its last five matches, most recently a 4-0 decision to No. 14 Tennessee, however the Gamecocks are 6-2 at home. In doubles, Andrew Adams and Kyle Koch, playing at the No. 2 spot, boast a 4-0 record, while Chip Cox has led South Carolina in singles, winning six of his last eight matches at No. 4. The Gamecocks have two men ranked in singles including No. 80 Tsvetan Mihov and No. 125 Andrew Schafer.
Florida dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 16 Georgia on Sunday and will play Auburn before facing the Tide. All six of the Gators' losses have come to teams ranked in the top 16. Maxx Lipman and Gordon Watson lead Florida with five singles wins in dual-match play each. The Gators have three players ranked in singles including No. 82 Elliott Orkin, No. 85 Spencer Newman and No. 106 Watson, while the doubles team of Orkin and Watson are 11th nationally.
The Tide boasts a 20-15 all-time record against South Carolina with the team's last win coming in 2011. Florida leads the series with Alabama, 33-17.
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