BATON ROUGE -- Coming off an impressive win over the then-12th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, the No. 17 LSU men's tennis team is set to open its difficult Southeastern Conference schedule when it hosts two top-50 ranked SEC opponents starting Friday at the W.T. 'Dub' Robinson Stadium.
The Tigers (6-2) will start the weekend with the ninth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats on Friday at 3 p.m. CT before playing the No. 48 Vanderbilt Commodores on Sunday at 1 p.m CT.
"We are starting the SEC season off with a great weekend, hosting two highly-ranked teams in Kentucky and Vanderbilt," head coach Jeff Brown said. "Kentucky is off to a good start and is very talented. We are coming off our best match of the year, so I guess we will just have to see where we are at the end of the weekend."
The SEC is one of the toughest conferences in the nation with all 12 teams ranked in the top 50 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association team rankings. The SEC has three teams ranked in the top 10 in No. 6 Georgia, No. 9 Kentucky and No. 10 Florida, while five other teams are in the top 25. Auburn is ranked 12th, followed by No. 14 Mississippi State, No. 17 LSU, No. 19 Tennessee and No. 22 South Carolina. Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Vanderbilt are all ranked in the top 50.
LSU, currently ranked 17th in the nation, will look to No. 66 junior Olivier Borsos to perform at his best all weekend in order for the Tigers to have a chance to pull the upset on Friday against the Wildcats.
Borsos will also play a key role in doubles with partner Chris Simpson who are currently ranked 38th. Senior Neal Skupski and sophomore James Turbervill, ranked No. 39 in the nation, hope to stay hot and add another win to their undefeated season.
The Wildcats (11-3) are coming off a 5-2 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. They currently have a total of seven wins over ranked opponents this season, including a victory over the Aggies. Senior Eric Quigley leads Kentucky at the No. 6 position. He is currently 10-0 in dual match play. Anthony Rossi (No. 14), Alex Musialek (No. 16), Tom Jomby (No. 98) and Alejandro Gomez (No. 107) are also ranked for the Wildcats.
The Commodores (5-5) are led by Charlie Jones and Jeff Offerdahl who are both 8-2 in singles on the season. Vanderbilt looks to bounce back after a tough loss against the 28th-ranked Michigan Wolverines.
LSU leads both the all-time series with Kentucky 27-19 and Vanderbilt 44-16.
Live stats for both matches will be available at lsusports.net. Be sure to follow @lsutennis on Twitter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis for updates on the Tigers and match play.