LSU Defeats Vanderbilt 6-1

The LSU men’s tennis team got back on the winning track Sunday afternoon, defeating Vanderbilt 6-1. The Tigers clinched the victory with Stefan Szacinski’s straight set win over Anton Kovrigin. Szacinski said it was the first time he had ever clinched a match. “It was a great feeling,” Szacinski said. “The guy I played, played really well, but I just managed to scrape that one out.”

Coach Jeff Brown finds it hard to believe that that was Szacinski’s first clinch, but said he did play well in the victory. “He needed that, and he just kind of hung around,” Brown said. “In the first set he did a good job of breaking back when he needed to, and same thing in the second.”

The victory gave LSU a 4-1 record during their five match home stand. LSU now heads on the road to face Alabama on Friday; and Auburn Sunday.

“Any SEC win is a good win,” Brown said. “The confidence from that coupled with several of the other wins I think that are becoming more distant memories… I think that’s something we can build on.”

“It’s always tough playing away,” Szacinski said. “We’ll definitely use this as a stepping stone for those matches.”


LSU Men’s Tennis Team’s International Flavor

There are 14 members of the LSU Men’s Tennis team, seven of whom are from outside the United States.

While Les Miles and Trent Johnson travel the country to scout recruits, head coach Jeff Brown has to rely on tournaments and information from his players to find players overseas.

“Someone that knows the most about somebody is somebody you can talk to that’s currently on your team,” Brown said.

Knowing people is how Brown got English born senior Neal Skupski to Baton Rouge.  His brother Ken played for Brown from 2003 until 2007.  When Neal realized he wasn’t ready to go pro, Ken convinced him to come to LSU to develop for four years.

“He told me about the facilities here those are very good,” Neal said.  “The coaches here, Jeff and Danny, they would work with me for four years and improve my game.”

For some members, the ability to prepare for a life after tennis attracts them to the purple and gold.

“After you finish high school pretty much it’s either you go professional or you just study for university,” Australian born junior Stefan Szacinski said. “(LSU) gives you the option of playing competitive tennis at a high level, whilst also pursuing your degree which is a great option for me.”

For more on Neal Skupski’s decision to come to LSU, check out this extended interview clip.

Check this map out for a visual representation of the seven players’ hometowns and just how far away they are from LSU

LSU defeats UNO, 6-1

The temperature at Dub Robinson Stadium may have been cold Sunday night, but the LSU men’s tennis team’s rackets remained red hot.

LSU defeated UNO 6-1, to cap off a 3-0 weekend, including an upset of twelfth ranked Texas A&M earlier Sunday afternoon.

“We really took care of business against a team… that’s not quite our level,” head coach Jeff Brown said.

Against UNO, the Tigers rested some of their players, but kept senior Neal Skupski in after he won both his doubles and singles matches against Texas A&M. Skupski did the same against UNO.

“We need somebody to hold down the top spot against a pretty good player,” Brown said. Skupski answered the call, winning his singles match in straight sets.

“Nearly everyone got to play today, it was just a great, great team effort, all around,” Skupski said.

The Tigers open up SEC play Friday against Kentucky at 3:00.