All-division preview: No. 10 Texas A&M looks to stay on top of SEC standings
Last weekend, No. 10 Texas A&M moved into a tie for first place (with Georgia) in the SEC standings with a 4-1 win against Georgia. Now, with two weeks left in the season, the Aggies have their work cut out for them to stay there.
Texas A&M then beat 20th-ranked Tennessee for its seventh SEC victory of the year on Sunday. The Aggies have been dominant in doubles in SEC matches, combining for a 13-2 overall record across the three courts. At the top, Texas A&M is led by Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow, ranked second nationally, with an 8-1 record in dual-match play. In singles, the Aggies are 22-7 versus league opponents. Five different Aggies have winning streaks of three matches or more with Shane Vinsant coming in sporting a team-best seven consecutive victories.
The Aggies finish their home slate on back-to-back days, starting with No. 29 Alabama on Friday. Texas A&M has never lost to Alabama in eight all-time meetings, including a 4-1 victory in the SEC tournament quarterfinals last season.
Alabama went 2-0 last weekend with wins against No. 26 Vanderbilt and No. 13 Kentucky by scores of 4-1 and 4-2, respectively. The Tide won the doubles point in both matches and got singles wins from Daniil Proskura, Becker O'Shaughnessey and Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week Nikko Madregallejo against the Commodores, and Andrew Goodwin, Stuart Kenyon and Madregallejo versus the Wildcats. Proskura, O'Shaughnessey and Kenyon's wins each came against higher-ranked opponents. Madregallejo leads Alabama with a 5-2 record against league opponents in singles, while O'Shaughnessey and Proskura also have a team-best five wins in doubles versus SEC foes.
The match against Auburn was moved up a day to Saturday due to inclement weather in Sunday's forecast. The Tigers head to College Station on a four-match losing streak, not having won since beating Alabama 4-2 on March 14. They nearly knocked off No. 26 Vanderbilt last weekend, but fell 4-3 when Ryan Lipman won 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) at No. 2 singles to break a 3-all tie. The Tigers did pick up a 4-3 victory against Texas A&M last season.
Around DI: Georgia closes its home slate, and looks to avoid losing any ground to the Aggies, as it faces Arkansas and LSU. ... Virginia looks to stay unbeaten in ACC play when it travels to No. 17 Clemson on Friday. ... No. 18 California plays two of the nation's top three teams in third-ranked Southern California (Friday) and No. 2 UCLA (Saturday). ... No. 12 Notre Dame looks to snap a two-match skid when it plays No. 21 Wake Forest on Friday.
Around DII: The Sunshine State Conference regular-season title will be decided on Sunday when No. 2 Barry faces eighth-ranked Lynn. Both the Buccaneers and the Fighting Knights are undefeated in conference play. ... Fifth-ranked Armstrong Atlantic can go up two games against No. 14 Columbus State in the Peach Belt Conference standings when the two squads meet on Saturday. The Pirates are undefeated in the PBC while Columbus State has one loss. ... Sixth-ranked Concordia (N.Y.) faces No. 13 Valdosta State on Saturday. ... No. 9 Fresno Pacific faces No. 11 UC San Diego on Saturday in its final regular-season match.
Around DIII: The winner of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title could be decided on Saturday top-ranked Claremont-M-S faces No. 13 Pomona-Pitzer. ... Johns Hopkins, ranked fifth in the nation, faces seventh-ranked Emory in one of its three matches on Saturday. ... No. 8 Case Western tangles with No. 11 Carnegie Mellon on Saturday.