Top Seeds Advance at SEC Men's Tennis

LSU's Danny Bryan clinched the match for the Tigers
LSU's Danny Bryan clinched the match for the Tigers (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- The top four-seeds of the Southeastern Conference Men’s Tennis Tournament lived up to their rankings as they all advanced to the semifinals on Friday at the W.T. Dub Robinson Tennis Stadium. No. 2 seed Ole Miss will face No. 3 seed Florida at 11 a.m. Host LSU, the No. 4 seed, will take on top-seed Georgia at 2 p.m.

Below is a recap of each of the quarterfinal matches:


BATON ROUGE -- Senior Danny Bryan of the No. 12-ranked LSU men’s tennis team sent the Tigers into semifinals the Southeastern Conference Tournament Friday night when he clinched the Tigers’ win against the No. 25-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, 4-2, at the W.T. “Dub Robinson Tennis Stadium.

The Tigers (16-5, 7-4 SEC) will now face the No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday at 2 p.m. The match marks the fourth time this season the Tigers have faced a team ranked in the top 10. The Tigers hold a 3-5 record against the Bulldogs in the SEC Tournament. The Last time LSU defeated Georgia in the tournament was in the 1999 finals by a 4-3 score.

“It was another epic match with Tennessee, since it pretty much came down to the last singles match,” LSU head coach Jeff Brown said.  “It is a win the team is really proud of because Tennessee competes as well as anyone. It was a total team effort today.”

With LSU up 3-2, Bryan ended any chance of a Tennessee comeback when he knocked off Davey Sandgren, 7-5, 6-4. The win is the New Orleans native’s sixth victory against a ranked opponent this season.

“I dug real deep. We got the crowd into it. They helped pull me through. I served really well today. I only lost serve once, and that really helped,” Bryan said. “My goal at the beginning of the match was just to make the guy play every point, and that is what I did and I ended up winning. It turned out great.”

The Tigers captured the doubles point for the 17th time out of their 21 matches. Bryan and Colt Gaston got on the scoreboard first when they knocked off Tennessee’s top duo of Bobby Cameron and Kaden Hensel, 8-5. The win improves the Tiger tandem’s record to 21-2 on the season. Bryan and Gaston have now 32 of their last 34 matches.

On court three, LSU sealed the doubles point when Kevin Dessauer and Jan Zelezny handily defeated Bo Hardegree and Sandgren, 8-3. 

In singles, Tennessee tied the score when Rogers defeated Cluskey, 6-3, 6-2.

Tennessee extended its lead on court one where No. 21-ranked Hensel outlasted No. 25-ranked Skupski, 6-1, 6-2.

Gaston responded for the Tigers by picking up his biggest win of the season against the No. 40-ranked Cameron, 7-5, 6-3.

Zelezny continues to be dominating at home this season as he defeated Chris Racz in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, to set Bryan up for the clinch. The Czech Republic native has compiled a 12-1 record at Robinson Stadium this season.

Georgia won its 24th SEC regular-season championship this season with an unblemished 23-0 record. The Bulldogs have won 54 of their 55 matches over the past two seasons. The Bulldogs’ top six singles players are all ranked and have two doubles teams in the top 20.

#4 LSU 4, #5 Tennessee 2
SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament
April 20, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La.
Singles competition:
1. #21 Kaden Hensel (TENN) def.  def. #25 Ken Skupski (LSU), 6-1, 6-2
2. #49 Danny Bryan (LSU) def. #117 Davey Sandgren (TENN), 7-5, 6-4
3. Colt Gaston (LSU) def. #40 Bobby Cameron (TENN), 7-5, 6-3
4. Kiril Tcherveniachki (TENN) led #91 Kevin Dessauer (LSU), 3-6, 2-4 (unfinished)
5. Ben Rogers (TENN) def. James Cluskey, 6-3, 6-2
6. Jan Zelezny (LSU) def. Chris Racz (TENN), 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition:
1. #5 Danny Bryan/Colt Gaston (LSU) def. #21 Bobby Cameron/Kaden Hensel (TENN), 8-5
2. #13 James Cluskey/ Ken Skupski (LSU) tied #31 Ben Rogers/Adam Hubble (TENN), 6-6 (unfinished)
3. Kevin Dessauer/Jan Zelezny (LSU) def. Bo Hardegree/Davey Sandgren (TENN), 8-3

Match notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 3); Singles (5, 1, 3, 6, 2)


Thursday, April 19 (Day 1 Recap)
Match 1: #6 Alabama def. #11 South Carolina, 4-1
Match 2: #7 Auburn def. #10 Kentucky, 4-0
Match 3: #9 Mississippi State def. #8 Vanderbilt, 4-0
Match 4: #5 Tennessee def. #12 Arkansas, 4-1

Friday, April 20
Match 5: #3 Florida def. #6 Alabama, 4-3
Match 6: #2 Ole Miss def. #7 Auburn, 4-0
Match 7: #1 Georgia def. #9 Mississippi St., 4-0
Match 8: #4 LSU def. #5 Tennessee, 4-2

Saturday, April 21
Match 9: #3 Florida vs. #2 Ole Miss, 11 a.m.
Match 10: #4 LSU vs. #1 Georgia, 2 p.m.

Sunday, April 22
Championship: Match 9 winner vs. Match 10 winner, noon

All times Central and subject to change.


BATON ROUGE The No. 3 seed Florida Gators fought off a strong effort from the No. 6 seed Alabama Crimson Tide Friday morning to advance to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament at the W.T. Dub Robinson Tennis Stadium.

Gators (13-6, 7-4 SEC) will face the winner of the Ole Miss vs. Auburn match on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the semifinals. The loss drops Alabama’s record to 20-7.

Florida won the doubles point for the 11th time this season by capturing wins on courts one and three.

The Crimson Tide captured the momentum when Mathieu Thibeaudu and Saketh Myneni won convincingly on court four and six, respectively.

The Gators tied it at 2-all when the SEC Freshman of the Year Jesse Levine knocked off Billy Mertz, 6-4, 6-3.

The two teams split the next two matches to tie it at 3-all. The match would come down to the match on court three with Florida’s Nestor Briceno and Alabama’s Sammy Struyf.

Briceno fought off Struyf in the second set, 7-5, to clinch the match for the Gators.

#3 Florida 4, #6 Alabama, 3
SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament
April 20, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La.

Singles competition:
1. #3 Jesse Levine (UF) def. #76 Billy Mertz (UA), 6-4, 6-3
2. #18 Greg Ouellette (UF) vs. #92 Joseph Jung (UA), 6-3, 6-4
3. Nestor Briceno (UF) vs. Sammy Struyf (UA), 6-3, 7-5
4. Mathieu Thibeaudu (UA) def. Billy Mulligan (UF), 6-1, 6-1
5. Javier Bes (UA) def. Jordan Dolberg (UF), 6-4, 6-3
6. Saketh Myneni (UA) def. Geoffrey Barton (UF), 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition:
1. #6 Jesse Levine/Greg Ouellette (UF) vs. #26 Dan Buikema/Mathieu Thibaudeau (UA) 8-2
2. Joseph Jung/Saketh Myneni (UA) led Jordan Dolberg/Billy Mulligan (UF), 7-4
3. Geoffrey Barton/Nestor Briceno (UF) def. Javier Bes/Billy Mertz (UA), 8-6
# national ranking

Match notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 3); Singles (4, 6, 1, 2, 3, 6)

Quotes from Florida head coach Andy Jackson
“We feel like our magic number to be able to host the NCAA first and second rounds now is one. We were able to upset a top-15 ranked team and obviously tomorrow will be a little more difficult since we lost to Ole Miss (5-2) and Auburn (4-3) in the regular season. We always feel like all of our matches are close and we knew today would be. We weren’t surprised by that and we played well.”

Quote from Alabama head coach Billy Pate:
“We knew going into the match, the doubles point would be critical. We just didn’t get it done there and that was the difference.  It was disappointing because we’ve been good in doubles all year.

“We played exceptionally well in singles and mounted a good charge to put us in position. Florida is so good in the top three and we had to take on of those.  Unfortunately, we were just short. We are going to work hard the next three weeks in preparation for the NCAA’s.”


BATON ROUGE The No. 2 seed Ole Miss Rebels swept the No. 7 seed Auburn Tigers Friday afternoon at the SEC Conference Men’s Tennis Tournament at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Tennis Stadium.

The Rebels (21-3, 9-2 SEC) will now have to go through the No. 3-seed Florida Gators on Saturday at 11 a.m. to reach the finals for the second straight-year.

In doubles, the Rebels faced little opposition as they captured the doubles point with wins on court one and three.

In singles, Mississippi State’s Alex Schweizer was forced to retire in the second set of his match with Erling Tveit of Ole Miss, giving Tviet the victory and Ole Miss a 2-0 lead. Jonas Berg defeated Auburn’s Pawel Dilaj, 6-1, 5-0, to put Ole Miss one match away from victory. Kalle Norberg came through for the Rebels as clinched the match for the Rebels on court four with a 6-4, 6-1 victory against Alexey Tsyrenov.
#2 Ole Miss, # 7 Auburn
SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament
April 20, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La.

Singles competition:
1. #13 Erling Tveit (UM) def. #57 Alex Schweizer (AU), 6-2, 4-3 (retired)
2. #59 Eric Claesson (UM) vs. #38 Robbert Lathouwers (AU), 6-3, 3-6, 1-1 (unfinished)
3. #98 Robbye Poole (UM) vs. Lukas Marsoun (AU) 6-2, 0-6, (unfinished)
4. Kalle Norberg (UM) def. Alexey Tsyrenov (AU), 6-4, 6-1
5. Jonas Berg (UM) def. Pawel Dilaj (AU), 6-0, 6-3
6. Jakob Klaeson (UM) def. Milan Krnjetin (AU), 6-1, 5-0 (finished)

Doubles competition:
1. #27 Eric Claesson/Erling Tveit (UM) def. #44 Robbert Lathouwers/Alex Schweizer (AU), 8-1
2. Jonas Berg/Matthias Wellermann (UM) led Pawel Dilaj/Terence Nugent (AU), 6-3
3. Jakob Klaeson/Robbye Poole (UM) def. Lukas Marsoun/Alexey Tsyrenov (AU), 8-4

Match notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 3); Singles (1, 5, 4)


BATON ROUGE -- The No. 1-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team (24-0) took down Mississippi State by a 4-0 score in Baton Rouge Friday to advance to the semifinals. The match was clinched by 101st-ranked freshman Jamie Hunt (San Antonio, Texas) at the first position as he defeated Chris Doerr, 6-3, 6-3, at the fifth singles position.

“This was a solid win by our squad today,” said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. “We played great at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Flores and Omerzel did really well to win quickly and set up Hunt for the clinch. Travis was playing very well also and could have gotten the clinch if not for Bjelica’s injury timeout. Hopefully we can use this win and build on it as we head into tomorrow’s match against either LSU or Tennessee.”

Georgia eased through the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead for the 23rd time in 24 matches. First off the court was the 19th-ranked team of senior Matic Omerzel (Kranj, Slovenia) and senior Travis Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan.) as they defeated Artem Kuznetsov and Pjotrs Necajevs at the second spot, 8-0. Shortly thereafter, the doubles point was clinched by the freshman tandem Hunt and Nate Schnugg (Medford, Ore.) when they topped Chris Doerr and Ryan Farlow, 8-0, at the third position. The match between the No. 1-ranked team of senior John Isner (Greensboro, N.C.) and junior Luis Flores (Xalapa, Mexico) and 36th-ranked Ivan Bjelica and Phillippe Frayssinoux, was halted as soon as the point was clinched. UGA was winning that match, 5-4.

In singles action, Georgia took a 2-0 lead as 12th-ranked Flores cruised past Frayssinoux at the second spot, 6-2, 6-2, winning the last 22 consecutive points of the match. The match took just 55 minutes to complete. Next to finish was Omerzel as he gave Georgia the 3-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Kuznetsov at the third position, setting up Hunt for the match-clinching win.

Once the match was clinched in Georgia’s favor, the remaining matches were halted. At that time, 11th-ranked Helgeson was leading 39th-ranked Bjelica, 6-2, 5-1, 89th-ranked Schnugg was leading 7-5, 2-4 at the fourth position, and freshman

Christian Vitulli was leading the second set 5-4 after falling in the first, 6-3.

Isner, also ranked No. 1 in singles, did not play against MSU as the coaching staff decided to rest him for the first time all season.

“It was good for us to be able to rest John today,” said Diaz. “He is fine, this was just precautionary because of his recent ankle trouble. He really wanted to play but we felt it was better to rest him today so that he is ready to go tomorrow.”

#1 Georgia 4, #9 Mississippi State 0
SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament
April 20, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La
W.T. “Dub” Robinson Tennis Stadium

Singles competition:
1. #11 Travis Helgeson (UGA) vs. #39 Ivan Bjelica (MSU) 6-2, 5-1, unfinished
2. #12 Luis Flores (UGA) def. #55 Philippe Frayssinoux (MSU) 6-2, 6-2
3. #41 Matic Omerzel (UGA) def. Artem Kuznetsov (MSU) 6-1, 6-2
4. #89 Nate Schnugg (UGA) vs. Ryan Farlow (MSU) 7-5, 4-3, unfinished
5. #101 Jamie Hunt (UGA) def. Christopher Doerr (MSU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Christian Vitulli (UGA) vs. Pjotrs Necajevs (MSU) 3-6, 5-4, unfinished

Doubles competition:              
1. #1 Luis Flores/John Isner (UGA) vs. Ivan Bjelica/Philippe Frayssinoux (MSU) 5-4, unfinished
2. #19 Travis Helgeson/Matic Omerzel (UGA) def. Artem Kuznetsov/Pjotrs Necajevs (MSU) 8-0
3. Jamie Hunt/Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. Christopher Doerr/Ryan Farlow (MSU) 8-0

Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3); Singles (2, 3, 5)

Quote from Mississippi State head coach Sylvain Guichard:
"We actually played pretty well today.  They tried to help us by taking out their #1 (John Isner) but they were still too tough for us at the top."




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