No. 18 Auburn men's tennis prepares for two SEC West matches

AUBURN, AL.—The No. 18 Auburn men's tennis team will travel to Baton Rouge, La., on Friday for a matchup against No. 34 LSU, before facing No. 69 Arkansas on Sunday in Fayetteville, Ark.

"It is going to be a tough weekend going to LSU and Arkansas," head coach Eric Shore said. "LSU has good team. We were lucky to beat them at a neutral site earlier this year, so we have to play our best tennis."

"On Sunday, it is Arkansas' senior day for them. They have a couple seniors who will be fired up. We have to be ready to play two matches."

Friday's matchup will be the 39th in history with LSU holding a 24-14 advantage. On Sunday, the Tigers and Razorbacks will face off in for the 32nd time, with Auburn owning an 18-13 advantage.

Last weekend Auburn (11-6, 3-3 SEC) upset No. 14 Kentucky, 4-1. Auburn took the doubles point after No. 63 Alex Stamchev and Andreas Mies defeated No. 41 Alberto Gonzalez and Tom Jomby, 8-3. Auburn clinched the doubles point by earning an upset victory from Tim Puetz and Daniel Cochrane. The No. 1 duo toppled No. 48 Eric Quigley and Brad Cox, 9-8 (6). Stamchev gave Auburn a 2-0 lead by beating Cox, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Kentucky gained a point in the No. 2 position as No. 48 Alex Musialek topped Tim Hewitt, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Rafael Rondino earned a win on court six defeating Jomby, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. No. 31 Puetz clinched the win for the Tigers by upsetting No. 4 Quigley in three sets, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-1.

LSU (7-10, 2-4 SEC) split a pair of home matches last week against 41st-ranked Nebraska and No. 2 Tennessee at W.T "Dub" Robinson Stadium. First, the Tigers notched a 4-3 victory over the Cornhuskers on Thursday afternoon with junior Mark Bowtell earning the deciding victory on Court 5. On Saturday LSU faced the SEC East-leading Volunteers, and after Tennessee picked up the doubles point they posted victories on the top three singles courts to earn a 4-3 victory.

Arkansas (6-11, 0-6 SEC) is coming off a successful week where they went 2-1. On Wednesday, the Razorbacks hosted a doubleheader where they defeated Oral Roberts and St. Louis, 7-0. On Sunday, Arkansas faced Georgia, but fell 7-0.

Auburn received some recognition in the polls and from the Southeastern Conference this week as the team jumped eight spots in the new ITA rankings. Also, senior Tim Puetz was named the SEC's men's tennis Athlete of the Week for his performance against Kentucky.

The Tigers will return home on April 8th with a matchup against Mississippi at the Yarbrough Tennis Center, and admission is free.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn University Athletics