FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 47 University of Arkansas men’s tennis team opens Southeastern Conference play this weekend at No. 6 Kentucky on Friday and No. 25 Vanderbilt on Sunday. The Razorbacks, with a pre-conference record of 11-3, will take on a Kentucky team with a record of 12-2 and Vanderbilt that has a record of 9-3.
The Razorbacks are coming into this weekend moving up five spots in the ITA rankings after a solid 4-3 victory at Purdue last weekend. Senior Gregoire Lehmann has also jumped onto the ITA singles rankings this week at No. 125.
"Now the real play begins," head coach Robert Cox said. "Every weekend from here on out playing an SEC team we have to bring it all. The competition in our conference is unbelievable, but I feel that my guys are ready for the challenge."
The SEC again boasts one of the most impressive resumes in the nation, as the conference has seven teams that are ranked in the top 25 of the nation. Kentucky currently is the top-ranked team in the conference followed by No. 8 Tennessee, No. 9 Georgia, No. 10 Mississippi State, No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 13 Ole Miss and No. 25 Vanderbilt.
Kentucky has posted strong victories over three top-10 schools including Georgia, Oklahoma and Mississippi State.
Vanderbilt claims strong wins over Minnesota, Indiana and Memphis thus far in the 2013 season.
Last season, Arkansas dropped its match to Kentucky 6-1, but defeated Vanderbilt 4-3 at the Dills Indoor Tennis Facility.
"We are going to have to come out and play our best this weekend," Coach Cox said. "Both teams are in the top-25 and it is going to be a great challenge for us. Vanderbilt is going to want revenge after we stole a victory from them last season, so we need to come out strong."
The Razorbacks will play Kentucky at noon Friday and Vanderbilt on Sunday at noon. There will be a full recap and stats on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. For more information on Arkansas men’s tennis follow @RazorbackMTN on Twitter.