TUSCALOOSA, AL. – The 43rd-ranked Alabama men's tennis team (8-7, 1-5 SEC) will travel for a pair of Southeastern Conference Western Division matchups this weekend when it takes on No. 69 Arkansas (6-11, 0-6 SEC) and No. 34 LSU (7-10, 2-4 SEC). The Crimson Tide and Razorbacks are slated to meet on Friday, April 1, at 1 p.m. CT, while the Tide and Tigers will face off on Sunday, April 3, at 1 p.m. CT.
"This is a crucial road trip for us this weekend," Alabama Head Coach Billy Pate said. "Our guys feel like they missed a good opportunity on Sunday against Vanderbilt, and they're anxious to get back on the court. Both Arkansas and LSU can be difficult places to play, so we'll need to be strong mentally and ready for the challenge."
In its last performance, Alabama was edged out by 28th-ranked Vanderbilt, 4-3 at home. The Tide was able to get the early advantage after winning the doubles point, but the Commodores would go on to take four of the six singles matches for the team victory. Alabama swept through all three doubles matches, highlighted by a win on court one as junior Ricky Doverspike and sophomore Jarryd Botha knocked off 49th-ranked Adam Baker and Ryan Lipman. In singles, it would be junior Vikram Reddy and sophomore Ian Chadwell with wins for Alabama. In this week's Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, Doverspike and Botha entered the doubles chart at No. 76.
Arkansas went 2-1 last week with wins against Oral Roberts and Saint Louis and a loss to Georgia. The Razorbacks posted a pair of sweeps in its non-conference wins before being swept by the Bulldogs. Prior to its victories against Oral Roberts and Saint Louis, Arkansas had won one of its last 10 matches. The Razorbacks are currently 6-6 at home this season and do not have any nationally-ranked singles or doubles teams.
LSU split a pair of home matches last week as the Tigers collected a 4-3 win over No. 41 Nebraska before falling to No. 2 Tennessee, 4-3. LSU has played a packed schedule this month adding three non-conference opponents in addition to its usual SEC slate. The Tigers are 6-4 at home this season. In the latest ITA rankings, LSU junior Neal Skupski comes in at No. 82 in singles, while senior Sebastian Carlsson stands at No. 124. Together, Skupski and Carlsson make up the nation's 10th-ranked doubles team.
Following the road trip, the Tide will return home for its final three home matches of the season, beginning with Mississippi on Friday, April 8, at 3 p.m. CT.