All-division preview: No. 10 Vanderbilt starts SEC play with pair of matches
Vanderbilt will open Southeastern Conference play this weekend at the Currey Tennis Center in Nashville. The Commodores will face No. 33 Arkansas on Friday and No. 41 LSU on Sunday.
Vanderbilt (7-3) is riding a four-match win streak into conference play and is 2-0 at home this season after a weekend sweep of Memphis and Pepperdine last time out.
Last season, the Commodores finished 7-6 in SEC play, earning a three-way for fifth place. The Razorbacks finished 4-9 in conference while LSU finished in last place with a 1-12 record in the SEC.
Through the first 10 matches of the season, Vanderbilt's doubles teams have are a strength of this team. The Commodores are 7-0 when winning the doubles point this season, with all three loses coming when the `Dores have fallen in doubles. Vandy's No. 2 and No. 3 teams have stood out, as the `Dores are a combined 13-4 at those positions.
Going into SEC play Vanderbilt will feature four ranked doubles teams.
The Commodores success at the bottom of the lineup goes past doubles. Vandy's bottom four singles positions are a combined 26-7 so far this season.
Highlighting the `Dores in singles play is junior Marie Casares, a Quito, Ecuador native, who through the dual season is 8-0, with wins at four, five and six. Casares' win streak goes past dual play, as she has now won 12 consecutive matches going into conference play.
The start to the SEC season features a top-10 match as Florida takes on Texas A&M. Both teams will have another match that weekend with Texas A&M playing South Carolina and Florida taking on Missouri, Alabama, which moved into the top 10 this week, plays Mississippi State and Mississippi. ... ACC play goes on again and pits Duke against North Carolina on Sunday. ... After starting Big Ten play last weekend, Northwestern gets Purdue on Saturday. ... Stanford plays a Pac-12 match on Saturday when it faces California, though fellow conference mates UCLA and Southern California have out-of-conference opponents.
Armstrong Atlantic plays three teams in two days, with two of those squads (Clayton State and Young Harris) ranked in Division II. ... Saturday features three more matchings pitting ranked teams against each other. BYU Hawaii plays Fresno Pacific, West Florida takes on Florida Tech and Columbus State plays Valdosta State. ... On Sunday, Rollins plays the first of three consecutive matches in California when it takes on UC San Diego.
It's a big weekend for Division III as the ITA National Team Indoor Championships takes place. It features four teams in the top 10 -- Johns Hopkins, Chicago, Carnegie Mellon and Pomona-Pitzer.