After a rough few days in Austin there was reason to smile on Thursday night after the fourth-ranked Longhorns avenged their only loss of the year by knocking off top-ranked Ohio State 4-1. Coming into the match the Buckeyes were a perfect 17-0 in doubles but for the second match in a row they'd be without the service of their top player JJ Wolf who was in Canada playing an ATP Challenger event. A large crowd in the stands and a national television audience on the Longhorn Network saw the Longhorns take the early lead after winning the doubles point with a 6-3 win at No. 3 and a 7-6(4) win by Leo Telles and Colin Markes at No. 2.
Each team would take three opening sets in singles with Texas winning both of the sets that went to a tiebreak. Yuya Ito put the Horns up 2-0 with a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 2 but James Trotter, who was playing in just his fourth dual-match of the season, put the Buckeyes on the board with a 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 5 which snapped Colin Markes's 14-match winning streak.
Rodrigo Banzer made it 3-1 after a 7-6, 6-2 win at No. 6. Banzer came back from a 3-0 deficit in the opening set and after taking the tiebreak he sprinted out to a 4-1 lead.
The clinching point would come about 30 minutes later with Leo Telles coming back from a set down to defeat Martin Joyce 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3.
The other matches were abandoned with Texas up a break on 1 and up a set on 4. Texas had a really good recap of the match so make sure you give it a read.
There was tennis played again in Seattle after snow wiped out Saturday's schedule at the Women's National Team Indoors and while most of the favorites won there was one mild upset. In an all-SEC dual, it was the No. 5 seed Georgia coming back from 3-1 down to defeat No. 4 Vanderbilt 4-3. The Commodores took the early lead with a 7-5 win at No. 1 doubles and a 6-4 win at No. 2 and then the teams split opening sets in singles. Georgia's Katarina Jokic put the Bulldogs on the board with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 1 but Vandy answered seconds later with a 6-2, 7-6 win from Christina Rosca at No. 2. Vandy's Amanda Meyer extended the lead to 3-1 with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 4 and it looked like the match was all but over with Emily Smith leading 5-0 in the third at No. 5. However, Georgia junior Elena Christofi would win the next seven games to close it out 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. The Christofi comeback changed the momentum on the rest of the courts as well and both Meg Kowalski and Lourdes Carle would pull away in their third sets to complete the 4-3 Georgia win.
"We won a lot of third set matches today, and it was super exciting out there," said Georgia coach Jeff Wallace. "This was our biggest test so far, and we knew anybody you play out here is going to be really good, and it's going to be a battle. It takes a lot of maturity and discipline to hang in there like Elena did after getting down 5-0 and fighting back. Katarina (Jokic) got us on the board at No. 1 with a big win in a matchup of two of the best players in the country and then two freshmen came through in Meg (Kowalski) and Lourdes.
Top seed Vanderbilt knocked off top ranked Florida 4-3 to win the SEC Championship in match that was played indoors at Vanderbilt. Florida played without Josie Kuhlman (#2 singles/#3 doubles) who was sick with a stomach illness but the Gators still rolled through the doubles point to take the early lead. Vandy's Astra Sharma tied the match with a win at No. 1 but Florida's Kourtney Keegan made it 2-1 with a win at No. 5. Vandy's Sydney Campbell pulled out a three set win at No. 2 to even the match at 2-2 but Florida's Anna Danilina put the Gators back in front with a three set win at No. 4. Vandy's Christina Rosca tied the match at 3-3 with a three set win at No. 3 so the final match to go on court in the five-court facility would decide the championship.
Vanderbilt sophomore Fernanda Contreras won the first nine games of the match to go in front of Florida senior Spencer Liang 6-0, 3-0 but Liang came back to take the next five to go up 5-3. Contreras broke Liang from 15/40 with a lob winner to make it 5-4 and then she hit a service winner on the no-ad point to hold for 5-5. Contreras would go on to win the next eight points to close it out 6-0, 7-5 to give Vanderbilt its second SEC Tournament Championship in school history.
A year ago Texas Tech won 28 matches and hosted a NCAA Regional but going into tonight's match against No. 4 Baylor the Red Raiders were winless in the Big 12 while having an overall record of just 10-14. Baylor was down a man with Jimmy Bendeck (#4 singles/#2 doubles) a late scratch so BU had to make adjustments to both its doubles and singles lineup. Texas Tech took advantage of the shift and picked up wins at No. 2 and No. 3 to take the early 1-0 lead. In singles play, Texas Tech would add five first sets and both Jolan Cailleau and Jackson Cobb would win in straight sets to make it 3-0. Baylor fought back to get splits at No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 while Texas Tech got a split at No. 2.
Baylor's Johannes Schretter, Max Tchoutakian, and Will Little would each pull through to tie the match at 3-3. Texas Tech senior Carlos DiLaura led Baylor freshman Constantin Frantzen 4-1 in the third at No. 5 but Frantzen took the next two to pull within 4-3. DiLaura broke back for 5-3 but Frantzen broke and held for 5-5 and two games later it went to a tiebreak. DiLaura went up 4-0 in the tiebreak but Frantzen rallied to tie it at 6-6. Frantzen had match points at 7-6 and 8-7 but DiLaura pulled it out 10-8.
The Saturday schedule didn't exactly have a ton of sizzle but there were still some good matches and a few surprises as well. The only men's matchup between top 25 teams took place in Berkeley as No. 11 Cal hosted No. 25 Illinois. Cal picked up a quick 6-2 win at No. 1 doubles and then Andre Goransson and Billy Griffith clinched the point after coming back from a break down to win 6-4. Each team took three first sets in singles and four of the them would finish in straight sets. Cal junior JT Nishimura was dominant in his 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 6 while Illinois picked up a 6-4, 6-4 win from junior Aleks Vukic at No. 1 and a 7-6, 6-1 win from freshman Zeke Clark at No. 5. Cal junior Billy Griffith put the Bears ahead 3-2 by coming back from a set down to defeat Illinois freshman Aleks Kovacevic 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3. It looked like Illinois was going to get a split at No. 4 when senior Julian Childers led 5-3 in the second set but Cal senior Filip Bergevi fought off six set points and came back to clinch the match with a 7-5, 7-6 win.
This past weekend was the first chance for several teams to knock the dust off their racquets and it was also our first chance to see some of the freshmen and January roster additions in action. I'll go back through the weekend that was and give my thoughts on several teams and where I see them headed this season plus I'll highlight those with stellar KOW performances. I'll also take a look at the freshmen and January roster additions that could be difference makers for their respective teams.
So who impressed me the most - I'll start with Oklahoma, led by first-year head coach Nick Crowell, played some dominating doubles against No. 19 Michigan and No. 17 Illinois. The Sooners won all four completed matches and led 5-3 in the two that went unfinished. As good as the the John Roddick coached OU teams were the one thing they weren't very consistent at was winning the doubles point (.52%). In singles play we knew that Andrew Harris would perform well but only dropping four games against a quality player like Aleks Vukic was more just good - it was great! Crowell only had four players on the roster during the fall so he had to restock the bottom of the lineup and his four newcomers led by Jochen Bertsch and Adrian Oetzbach have definitely held their own. Bertsch clinched the 4-0 win over Illinois with a 1 & 1 win at No. 6 plus he had a break lead deep in the third against Michigan. OU didn't drop a set at all against Illinois and even though it was pushed pretty hard by Michigan all but one of the guys was in winning position. OU's strength is going to be its experienced top four but if it can keep winning the doubles point at a 70-80% clip and at least get a split at 5 and 6 they are going to be a tough out for most teams.
Dominik Mueller made his head coaching debut on Friday afternoon in Raleigh and it was a successful one as Old Dominion defeated NC State 6-1. The Monarchs won the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 then they won a slew of three-set singles matches with all but one going the distance. The dual was played indoors at NC State's 4-court facility with matches at 1, 2, 3, and 4 singles going on first. ODU's Jacob Nicolussi won the only straight set match at No. 3 to make it 2-0 and then Adam Moundir rallied from a set down at No. 1 to win in three to make it 3-0. NC State picked up its lone point when Igor Saveljic came back from a set down to win at No. 4 but Michael Weindl clinched the ODU win with a come from behind win at No. 2. They played the final two matches out with ODU's Maestre and Herrera each dropping the first set then coming back to win in three sets. ODU is back at it on Sunday as they host Richmond and Howard while NC State will play a doubleheader against The Citadel on Monday.
Friday was a busy day for the coaching carousel with Cal Irvine, Old Dominion, and Iowa each announcing head coaching hires.
UC Irvine announced that Mike Saunders, who served as the interim men's head coach last season, has been named as the permanent men's head coach. Saunders, who is a 1990 UC Irvine graduate, took over as the interim coach last October after Trevor Kronemann, 117-126 (.481), stepped down to become the Director of Junior Tennis at the Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA). Saunders led the Anteaters to a 17-9 record last season before they bowed out to UCSB in the Big West semifinals.
Note: Georgia's indoor facility only has 4-courts so #5 and #6 singles don't go on until a court becomes available.
#5 North Carolina Regional: Carter shines
1. No. 4 Danielle Collins (UVA, 12.07 UTR) def. Mayci Jones (BYU, 9.43 UTR), 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: 2,1*
1. Kanika Vaidya (COL, 10.49 UTR) def. Natalyia Bredikhina (MD, 9.79 UTR) 6-0, 6-2
1. #18 Catherine Harrison (UCLA, 11.52 UTR) vs. Sarah Gong (UCI, 9.54 UTR) 6-2, 5-2, unf
Order of finish: 3,1*
Order of finish: 3,1,2*
2. #29 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DUKE, 11.55 UTR) def. Maja Mladenovic (POR, 9.92 UTR) 6-3, 6-1
3. #70 Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE, 11.25 UTR) vs. Radina Dimitrova (POR, 9.17 UTR) 2-6, 6-3, 1-0, uf
4. #79 Chalena Scholl (DUKE, 10.63) def. Tatiana Grigoryan (POR, 7.96 UTR) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
5. Jessica Ho (DUKE, 10.26 UTR) def. Jelena Lazarevic (POR, 8.90 UTR) 6-3, 7-5
6. Christina Makarova (DUKE, 9.27 UTR) vs. Saroop Dhatt (POR, 8.61 UTR) 6-3, 2-1, uf
Order of finish: 2,5,4*
1. #26 Capra/Hamlin (DUKE) vs. Butkovska/Lazarevic (POR) 4-4, unfinished
2. Samantha Harris/McCarthy (DUKE) def. Dimitrova/Grigoryan (POR) 6-3
3. Alyssa Smith/Scholl (DUKE) def. Tori Troesch/Mladenovic (POR) 6-4
1. #13 Jasmine Lee (MSU, 11.81 UTR) def. Daneika Borthwick (FSU, 10.80 UTR) 7-5, 6-1
2. Madison Harrison (MSU, 10.63 UTR) vs. Gabriella Castaneda (FSU, 10.58 UTR) 6-3, 3-6, 3-3 susp.
3. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU, 10.51 UTR) def. Julia Mikulski (FSU, 10.51 UTR) 6-3, 6-4
4. Yukako Noi (FSU, 11.00) vs. #36 Anastasia Rentouli (MSU, 10.82 UTR) 7-5, 5-2 susp.
5. Kristina Vozniak (MSU, 9.50 UTR) def. Ariana Rahmanparast (FSU, 9.52 UTR) 6-4, 6-2
6. Lana Rush (FSU, 9.02 UTR) vs. Jennifer Brown (MSU, 10.06 UTR) 6-3, 2-6, 2-0 susp.
2. Jasmine Lee/Anastasia Rentouli (MSU) def. Julia Mikulski/Lana Rush (FSU) 6-0
3. #53 Jennifer Brown/Kristina Vozniak (MSU) def. Ariana Rahmanparast/Gabriella Castaneda 6-1
#22 TCU Regional: Ohio State Outlasts Pepperdine
1. #34 Despoina Vogasari (UH, 10.85 UTR) def. Olaya Garrido-Rivas (TCU, 10.07 UTR) 4-6, 6-2, 6-0
2. Marie Norris (TCU, 10.86 UTR) def. Tina Rupert (UH, 9.52 UTR) 6-4, 6-3
3. Aleksandra Zenovka (TCU, 10.32 UTR) vs. Mina Markovic (UH, 9.66 UTR) 7-5, 4-4, unf
4. Caroline Wegner (TCU, 10.16 UTR) def. Rocio Martin (UH, N/A UTR) 6-1, 6-1
5. Seda Arantekin (TCU, 9.74 UTR) def. Maria Cardenas (UH, 9.34 UTR) 6-4, 6-3
6. Mia King (TCU, 9.42 UTR) vs. Marnie Stokes (UH, 8.14 UTR) 6-0, 3-0, unf
3. Marie Norris/Alexis Pereira (TCU) def. Rocio Martin/Marnie Stokes (UH) 6-1
Order of finish: 3,2*
It was sunny and 65 degrees outside at match time but the 25-30 mile per hour wind gusts kept play indoors. I knew the crowd wouldn't be as big as Saturday night but I was impressed with the Sunday afternoon turnout of just over 400.
Illinois got off to a quick start at #1 and #2 doubles while TCU jumped out to the early lead at #3. Illinois's #1 team of Jared Hiltzik and Alex Jesse broke the Cameron Norrie serve to go up 1-0 and then Hiltzik held for 2-0. Hiltzik and Jesse would break the Trevor Johnson serve on the deciding point to go up 3-0 and then a hold from Jesse made it 4-0. Norrie would double fault on the deciding point to make it 5-0 (left clip) then Hiltzik held from 40-15 (right clip) to give the Illini the 6-0 win in just 18 minutes.
TCU's #3 team of Alex Rybakov and Guillermo Nunez broke Julian Childers to take the early 1-0 lead then Nunez held at love for 2-0. Rybakov and Nunez would make it 3-0 when they broke the Brian Page serve from 30-40 and then Rybakov held to make it 4-0. Childers held for 1-4 and then Nunez quickly held for 5-1. Page held for 2-5 and then Rybakov served it out from 40-30 to give TCU the 6-2 win in 22 minutes.
Illinois's #2 team of Aron Hiltzik and Aleks Vukic broke Hudson Blake on the deciding point to go up 1-0 and Hiltzik held for 2-0. TCU's Reese Stalder held for 1-2 and then he and Blake broke the Vukic serve on the deciding point to make it 2-2. Blake held from 40-15 to make it 3-2 but Vukic held from 40-30 to even it at 3-3. Stalder would hit a service winner on the deciding point to make it 4-3 and then they'd break the Hiltzik serve from 30-40 to make it 5-3 - clip on the left shows both points. Blake served it out from 40-30 (right clip) by coming forward and hitting three volleys with the last being a winner. TCU's 6-3 win, in 28 minutes, sealed the doubles point and put the Horned Frogs up 1-0.
TCU jumped out an early break lead at #3 and #5 while Illinois grabbed an early break lead at #1, #2, and #4 with #6 staying on serve for a little while.
TCU's Jerry Lopez didn't waste any time at #5 after breaking Pablo Landa's opening service game from 15-40 to go up 1-0. Lopez quickly held for 2-0 and then broke on the deciding point to make it 3-0. Clip on the left is the first break and then on the right is the second break.
Landa took one of the breaks back but Lopez broke again from 30-40 to make it 4-1. Lopez held for 5-1 and then Landa held on the deciding point to make it 2-5. Lopez served out the opening set to take it 6-2. After each held serve to start the second set Lopez would break from 30-40 to go up 2-1. Lopez cruised through the next four games and served it out at love to take it it 6-2, 6-1 in just 52 minutes.
For the second day in a row Jared Hiltzik would give Illinois its first point after he defeated Alex Rybakov 6-4, 7-6(1) at #1. Hiltzik broke Rybakov at love to take an early 2-1 lead (left) and then after a Hiltzik hold Rybakov would hold for 2-3 (right).
Hiltzik came back from 30-40 down to hold for 4-2 and then four games later he'd hold again to take the opening set 6-4. Hiltzik would go up an early break in the second set and was plowing through each of his service games. The clip below shows Hiltzik holding for 5-3 and then Rybakov holds for 4-5.
Hiltzik would finally have a poor service game and Rybakov would break him from 15-40 to even it at 5-5 (left). Rybakov held for 6-5 and then Hiltzik held to send it to a tiebreak (right).
The tiebreak was all Hiltzik as he led 5-1 at the changeover and closed it out two points later to win the match in 1 hour and 17 minutes. The clips shows a few points of the tiebreak including match point at the end.
Cameron Norrie would extend TCU's lead to 3-1 after he defeated Aleks Vukic 6-4, 7-5 at #2. Vukic broke Norrie to go up 2-1 in the first and then held for 3-1. Norrie would hold and then break Vukic on the deciding point to make it 3-3. The break actually came on an overrule on the far side and Vukic argued with the chair for a good minute but to no avail. After three straight holds Norrie broke Vukic to take the set 6-4. Vukic broke Norrie on the deciding point to go up 1-0 in the second but Norrie broke back on the deciding point to make it 1-1. A few games later Norrie would come back from 30-40 down to hold for 3-2 and then Vukic did the same thing to hold for 3-3. It would stay on serve until Norrie broke Vukic from 15-40 to close it out in 1 hour and 27 minutes. Guillermo Nunez was serving for the match at the same time so that's why I wasn't able to get a better shot of this match point.
Less than two minutes later Guillermo Nunez would clinch the win for TCU with a 7-6(6), 6-3 win over Aron Hiltzik at #3. Nunez went up 2-1 in the first after breaking Hiltzik on the deciding point but Hiltzik would break back on the deciding point to even it at 2-2 (left clip). A few games later Nunez would break back on the deciding point to go up 4-3 (right).
Nunez was serving up 5-4, 40-15 but Hiltzik came back to break and even it at 5-5 (left). Hiltzik held for 6-5 and then Nunez held to send it to a tiebreak (right).
Nunez went up 4-0 in the tiebreak but Hiltzik fought back to even it at 6-6. Hiltzik would double fault to put Nunez up 7-6 and then Nunez closed out the tiebreak on the next point. Below are clips from multiple points throughout the tiebreak - as you can hear the people beside me weren't pleased with the call on the double fault.
Nunez drew first blood in the second set when he broke Hiltzik from 30-40 on a big forehand to go up 3-1.
Nunez then held from 40-15 to go up 4-1 before Hiltzik held for 2-4 and then Nunez held at love for 5-2 (both holds on clip on left). Hiltzik then held and went up 0-40 on the Nunez serve but the TCU sophomore would take the next four to close it out and clinch the Horned Frogs win. The clip on the right picks it up with Nunez serving at 15-40.
They played the remaining matches out with Illinois freshman Asher Hirsch picking up a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Trevor Johnson at #6 (left) while TCU freshman Eduardo Nava defeated Julian Childers 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 at #4 (right). Note: Nava trailed 2-5 in the first set and won five straight to take the set 7-5.
TCU is back on the road next weekend for matches at South Florida and Central Florida while Illinois is off for two weeks before playing at Northwestern.
Another win for @RoditiTCUTennis & #TCUTennis with a special appearance by @College10s2day in today's video #GoFrogshttps://t.co/MbEn3Zhp9xTCU Men's Tennis (@TCUMensTennis) February 28, 2016
In the big stunner of the day #51 Arkansas went into Norman and upset #10 Oklahoma 5-2. Arkansas took the doubles point with wins at #1 and #3 and then they added four first sets at #1, #2, #4 and #5.
Arkansas redshirt freshman Adam Sanjurjo made it 2-0 with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Maxime Mora at #5 but OU would tie it up at 2-2 with straight sets wins from Alex Ghilea and Andre Biro at #3 and #6.
|Giammarco Micolani (pic via Arkasas)|
I'd say you have to go back a good decade to find a win as big as this one for the Hogs. Arkansas last made the NCAA tournament in 2006 and these are its conference wins totals over the last 8 years - 3, 0, 1, 0, 1, 2, 3, and 0. This program has come a long, long way since Andy Jackson took over the helm on June 11, 2013.
Arkansas has another big match coming up on Friday when it opens SEC play in Lexington against #18 Kentucky. OU returns to the court today when it hosts #17 Memphis at 2pm central.
Wake Forest was coming off a stunning 4-3 loss to #25 Texas but they turned it around on Sunday in a bit way. The Demon Deacons took the doubles point with 6-4 wins at #1 and #2 then they jumped on #6 Texas Tech in singles by taking five of six opening sets. Skander Mansouri, Petros Chrysochos, and Dennis Uspensky each rolled in straight sets at #1, #2, and #5 to give Wake the 4-0 shutout win just a hair over two hours.
As you can see from Brett Masi's comments below, he wasn't impressed with the energy and level of play especially after a good performance on Friday against NC State.
Texas Tech is off for the next two weeks before hosting Indiana on March 14th while Wake opens ACC play on Friday with a visit from Georgia Tech followed by Sunday matches against NC State and Tennessee Tech.
#5 Wake Forest 4, #6 Texas Tech 0
Northwestern picked up a nice ranked road win on Sunday when it blanked #32 Harvard in Cambridge. Northwestern took the doubles point with wins at #2 and #3 then won all six singles matches by winning 12 of 14 sets. NU's 12-1 start equals the previous mark that was set all the way back in the 1988-89 season.
Northwestern will be off for the next two weeks before hosting Illinois and Detroit on March 12th while Harvard is off for almost three weeks before heading to San Diego for the Mission Valley Spring Classic with other participants including San Diego, San Diego State, Denver, Memphis, Princeton, Texas Tech, and Tulane.
#15 Northwestern 7, #32 Harvard 0
Ohio State and Notre Dame usually play competitive matches every season and Sunday's match in South Bend was no different. Ohio State dropped the doubles point for the third time this the year when Notre Dame's Grayson Broadus and Quentin Monaghan won 6-2 win at #2 and Josh Hagar and Eric Schnurrenberger won 6-3 win at #3.
|Martin Joyce (Pic via tennisworldusa.org)|
Notre Dame's Alex Lawson tied the match at 2-2 after coming back from a first set bagel to defeat Chris Diaz 0-6, 6-2, 6-2 at #3.
Ohio State redshirt freshman Hugo Di Feo made it 3-2 with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Eddy Covalschi at #2. The win by Di Feo snapped a two-match losing streak after he won his first six.
Ohio State freshman Martin Joyce ran his dual-match record to a perfect 8-0 by clinching the team win with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 win over Grayson Broadus at #6. Ohio State's Ralf Steinbach won the final match 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 over Eric Schnurrenberger.
The Buckeyes will return to the court next Sunday for a nationally televised match at Oklahoma while Notre Dame opens up conference play on Thursday at Boston College.
Tulsa took the doubles point by winning both #1 and #3 in tiebreaks but Michigan turned up the heat in singles and took four opening sets. Alex Knight, Runhao Hua, and Kevin Wong would each finish in straight sets at #2, #5, and #6 while Carter Lin clinched the match at #3 with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 win over Juan Matias Gonzalez.
Michigan joins the other snowbirds and heads to Florida this week with a Thursday match at Miami before playing at South Florida on Sunday. Tulsa plays at SMU next Sunday before welcoming in Virginia and USC the following week.
A rough week for #25 NC State got worse on Sunday as the Wolfpack dropped its third match in a row with a 4-1 loss to #55 Old Dominion. ODU hadn't beat NC State since 2007 though with this win the Monarchs have won five of the last nine in the series.
|Zvonimir Podvinski (@ ODU Sports)|
The Monarchs took four opening sets in singles with Javier Jover Maestre, Zvonimir Podvinski, and Jacob Nicolussi each winning in straight sets at #4, #5, and #6 with Podvinski providing the clincher.
Note: I believe Podvinski's brother is Tomislav (Tommy) who plays at Baylor - both are from Zagreb, Croatia though maybe Podvinski is like Smith over there.
Old Dominion went 8-0 during the month of February while NC State went 7-5. ODU plays at Elon and Charlotte next weekend while NC State goes to Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Columbia finished its Tennessee road trip undefeated after it held on to beat #45 Vanderbilt 4-3. The match was played indoors at Vandy's five-court facility so the deciding match at #6 singles didn't go on court until the first singles match finished up.
Columbia took the doubles point with wins at #1 and #3 but Vanderbilt would take first sets on four of the five courts. Mike Vermeer earned the one first set for Columbia at #3 and then he finished off Rhys Johnson 6-1, 6-3 to make it 2-0.
Vanderbilt racked up straight set wins from Daniel Valent, Cameron Klinger, and Baker Newman at #1, #2, and #4 to put the Commodores up 3-2.
Columbia junior Richard Pham jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set by winning all five games on deciding points but Kris Yee came back to win seven straight games, five on the deciding point, to take the opening set 7-5. Pham would take the second set 6-4 then pull away in the third to close out a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 win to even the overall match at 3-3.
|Timothy Wang (@ Ethan Wu/Columbia Spectator)|
Columbia next plays in two weeks when it goes to Ann Arbor to face Michigan while Vanderbilt plays at #1 North Carolina on Friday
#23 Columbia 4, #45 Vanderbilt 3
Feb 28, 2016 at Nashville, TN (Currey Tennis Center)