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Around the SEC in Tennis

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Last, Ole Miss suffered its first SEC loss in Men's Tennis is almost two years, falling to Kentucky in Lexington.  However the Ole Miss women are out of the gate with a 2-0 conference record.  The Cup takes a look around the SEC to see how the Rebels' conference rivals fared during the first weekend of SEC play and looks forward to this weekend's matches.

The SEC is running neck-and-neck with the PAC-10 for the title of "strongest conference in the nation" in Men's Tennis.  Out West there are five teams in the ITA Top 25 - including defending national champion USC at #5.  The SEC also has five in the Top 25 with Tennessee leading the way at #2.  The Rebels' top rivals for the SEC Championship - Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky - all finished the weekend with 2-0 conference records and East teams beat West teams in all but three matches (Arkansas and LSU got wins over South Carolina, Ole Miss beat Vanderbilt).  Despite the loss, the Rebels actually moved up in the ITA rankings to #13.  Kentucky jumped two spots to #6.

In the West, every team lost at least once last weekend.  Alabama, State, and Auburn lost twice, while LSU, Arkansas and Ole Miss sit at 1-1.  That won't last long as the Hogs and Tigers visit the Chad Pad this weekend.  Wins this weekend should put the Rebels in the driver's seat for a ninth straight SEC Western Division Championship.

The SEC will know exactly how good Kentucky is after this weekend.  The Wildcats go on the road to face Georgia and Tennessee.  Florida, meanwhile, should coast to 4-0, hosting Auburn and Alabama.

The women, meanwhile, have a tall order on Friday against the ranked Arkansas women's team in Fayetteville.  On Sunday, they will be in Baton Rouge.  If the women are going to compete for an SEC title, they will be staring down Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, and Vanderbilt.  With a win over the Lady Commodores behind them, the Lady Rebels can take a big step forward if they notch a victory against Arkansas.