Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide drops tough one against LSU, preps for NCAA’s


The 31st-ranked Alabama men’s tennis team lost in the first round of the SEC Championships Thursday in Lexington, Ky., to the 48th-ranked LSU Tigers. The Crimson Tide (13-13) lost 4-2 to the Tigers (8-14). With the loss, Alabama is now on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament.

In the doubles matches, the Tide got on the board first when sophomore Ricky Doverspike and freshman Ian Chadwell earned an 8-6 victory in doubles matchup No. 3. The Tigers, however, evened things up as they won 8-5 in the matchup on court two.

The matchup on court one decided who took the early lead. Seniors Saketh Myneni and Houssam Yassine went down to the wire with the fifth-ranked duo of Neal Skupsi and Sebastian Carlsson, but eventually lost a heartbreaker, 9-8.

In the singles matches, Trey Walston dominated the No. 6 matchup 6-0, 6-3 to even things up for the Tide. However, LSU pulled away again with a win at court five. The Tide pulled even again as Yassine won the No. 4 match, winning in two sets.

Again, however, the Tigers came back, this time on court two. The Tigers had the opportunity to clinch victory with a win on courts one or three.

Carlsson of LSU, ranked 121st in the nation, clinched victory for the Tigers in matchup No. 3. Myneni was earning his match point when his match was called.

Tide head coach Billy Pate talked about how his team performed against LSU.

“We performed ok,” Pate said. “We really battled like we have all year. We just came up a little short.”

Myneni said much of the same.

“We had a couple of guys injured,” Myneni said. “But we still fought really hard. We showed something, a lot of improvement. We have to take the positives out of the match and evaluate our strengths and weaknesses.”

Although the Tide has done well this season, Pate said consistency has been an issue for the team.

“We’re a little bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team,” Pate said. “We know we have the talent to beat any team in the nation. We know that. We’ve kind of been there. At the same time, we’ve laid a couple of eggs.”

Despite the loss, Pate is confident in his players and their performances.

“We feel like we’re in,” he said. “We’ve got enough quality wins. We’ve had Jarryd Botha jump into the mix as a freshman. He’s obviously been one that’s helped us. Ricky Doverspike has been really good. Houssam Yassine has also been a rock for us at the number five position.”

Getting in, however, isn’t the problem for Coach Pate. Maintaining his team’s focus on the looming NCAA tournament is his main concern.

“I think the only thing is, the season’s really long,” Pate said. “The biggest challenge is [the NCAA tournament] always follows the heels of exams. I don’t think motivation is a problem. We’re full steam ahead at this point.”

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