Women’s Tennis Set to Entertain No. 24 South Carolina and No. 1 Florida

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With hope still alive to win a Southeastern Conference regular-season title, the tenth-ranked Vanderbilt women’s tennis team (11-3, 2-2 SEC) will need to be on top of its game this weekend for two huge confrontations. The Commodores are set to host No. 24-ranked South Carolina and No. 1-ranked Florida at the Brownlee O. Currey Tennis Center. They will host the Gamecocks at 2:30 p.m. Friday and the Gators at 12 p.m. Sunday. Admission for both matches is free.

Both South Carolina and Florida come to Nashville with undefeated conference records. The Gamecocks are currently 8-2 overall and 4-0 in the SEC, while the Gators boast a 13-1 overall mark and also a 4-0 SEC record. The Gamecocks only losses this season came to No. 19-ranked Clemson and No. 28-ranked Georgia Tech, while the Gators only blemish came to then fourth-ranked Duke, 4-3, in the finals of the National Team Indoor Championship back on February 9.

The Commodores enter this weekend looking to keep one win streak in tact, while they are looking to start one against the other. Vanderbilt will take a four-match winning streak against South Carolina into Friday’s match. On the other hand, Vanderbilt is looking for its first ever victory against Florida. The Commodores almost broke through last season, as they lost twice to the Gators by scores of 4-3.

After starting the 2003 SEC season with losses to No. 5 Georgia and No. 11 Tennessee, Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald’s squad rebounded with convincing 7-0 wins over Mississippi State and No. 37 Mississippi.

Senior Sarah Riske got back on track, following losses to now No. 1-ranked Agata Cioroch of Georgia and No. 3-ranked Vilmarie Castellvi of Tennessee, with wins over Mississippi State’s Magdolna Rekasi and No. 23-ranked Mira Radu of Mississippi. She is 11-3 in dual matches this year. The fourth-ranked doubles tandem of Riske and junior Aleke Tsoubanos also picked up their 20th and 21st doubles wins of the season last weekend, while also ending a two match losing streak.

Junior Kelly Schmandt has been Vanderbilt’s strongest singles player this season, as she carries a 12-1 dual-match record into this weekend. Schmandt, who has been hampered with a reoccurring injury, will be available for South Carolina and Florida. Freshman Ashley Schellhas and sophomore Annie Menees will both take 4-0 SEC records into this weekend, as neither of them has dropped a set at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions, respectively.

Scouting the Gamecocks

Led by head coach Arlo Elkins, the Gamecocks will head to Nashville this Friday as one of three teams currently undefeated in the conference. South Carolina’s four conference wins have been against Mississippi State, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana State. Elkins’ squad, however, is coming off a difficult non-conference loss to Georgia Tech, 7-0. Vanderbilt defeated Georgia Tech back on February 15, 6-1, in Nashville.

The Gamecocks have received consistent play throughout their lineup. Elkins has used the same six players in the singles lineup all season long. Seniors Kathy Boyanovich and Jodi Kenoyer, who are both 3-1 in SEC action, have played at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively, all season long. Freshman Danielle Wiggins and sophomore Magda Wojdylo both head into Friday’s match with 4-0 SEC records at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively. All six players in the Gamecocks’ lineup have records of .500 or above in dual matches.

Boyanovich and Wojdylo enter with an ITA doubles ranking of No. 30, which should present a challenge for Vanderbilt fourth-ranked duo of Riske and Tsoubanos. South Carolina’s top doubles currently has a 7-3 dual-match record, but are coming off a loss to No. 54-ranked Kelly Anderson and Jamie Wong of Georgia Tech, 8-3.

Scouting the Gators

When you talk about the greatest teams in women’s college tennis history, Florida immediately comes to mind. The Gators have won three NCAA national championships and an unprecedented 18-SEC championships since 1980. Georgia is the only other SEC school to win a conference title since then. Another amazing statistics about Florida’s women’s tennis program is its all-time record against SEC opponents. The Gators post an all-time mark of 272-13 against conference opponents, and they have never lost a match to eight of their 11 opponents.

Led by second-year head coach Roland Thornqvist, the Gators seemed poised to make a run at their 19th SEC title. Florida’s lineup is stacked with players ranked nationally in both singles and doubles. Sophomore Alexis Gordon is the highest ranked player at No. 12, and she is followed by No. 15 Lindsay Dawaf, No. 22 Julie Rotondi, No. 29 Zerene Reyes, No. 37 Julie Scaringe and No. 55 Jennifer Magley. The Gators have posted an incredible 63-5 record between the positions of No. 2 and No. 6.

In doubles, Gordon and Scaringe currently stand at No. 8 nationally, while Dawaf and Rotondi come in at No. 14. Gordon and Scaringe are 9-4 overall this, but have divided their time at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Dawak and Rotondi have been solid for Thornqvist’s squad, especially at the No. 2 spot, as they are 9-2 this season. At No. 3, Magley and Reyes have pretty much been unbeatable, as they carry a 10-1 mark into this weekend.




Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
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