Auburn begins SEC play against Georgia and Tennessee

AUBURN – After competing in the Blue Gray National Classic, the Auburn women's tennis team will return home to start Southeastern Conference play. The Tigers will take on No. 13 Georgia at 2:30 p.m., Friday in the first match of the weekend. On Sunday, Auburn will close the weekend out against No. 18 Tennessee at 1 p.m. This will mark the second week in a row for the Tigers to face only ranked opponents after taking on three last weekend.

"Two great opportunities are ahead of us this weekend," said head coach Tim Gray. "Georgia and Tennessee are both very good teams, so we must make sure we control and focus on the process of improving. The ladies are very excited to compete."

Previewing the Bulldogs

Georgia is ranked 13th nationally, adding to the list of ranked teams Auburn has faced this season. The Bulldogs are 4-1 on the season, with their only loss coming in a close match against No. 6 North Carolina (4-3) in Chapel Hill. Georgia will field four nationally-ranked players in No. 48 Chelsey Gullickson, No. 59 Nadja Gilchrist, No. 78 Maho Kowase and No. 90 Cameron Ellis. The Bulldogs will also be fielding two ranked doubles teams in No. 25 Gullickson/Kate Fuller and No. 37 Gilchrist/Lilly Kimbell.

Previewing the Volunteers

The Volunteers are currently ranked No. 18 in the country, holding a record of 6-3. They were 6-0, before dropping three straight to No. 6 Duke, No. 3 Baylor and No. 9 Miami. Tennessee currently has three players that are nationally-ranked in No. 31 Brynn Boren, No. 53 Natalie Pluskota and No. 103 Rosalia Alda. Tennessee also has four doubles teams ranked in No. 15 Alda/Millie Nichols, No. 24 Boren/Maria Sorbello, No.  43 Boren/Pluskota and No. 64 Nichols/Pluskota.   

Last time out

Last weekend, the Auburn women's tennis team participated in the Blue Gray National Classic in Montgomery, Ala. This was the first year women's teams were invited to participate in the tournament. On Friday, Auburn fell to No. 43 Ohio St., 4-0. On Saturday, the Tigers played a tough match against No. 48 DePaul, eventually losing, 4-3. To close the weekend out, Auburn took on No. 51, dropping the match, 4-1. Freshman Olivia Bennett and Jacquline Kasler played well teamed up in doubles to defeat the No. 55 ranked team from DePaul of Katarina Milinkovic and Gia McKNight, 9-8. The duo also came up with victories against DePaul in singles play. Against Utah, Bennent defeated Sara Pham, 6-2, 6-1 and Kasler was up 1-0 in the third set before play was suspended.