COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Vanderbilt women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals with a 4-2 win over No. 10 Ohio State Saturday. After clinching the doubles point early with wins on Court 1 and 3, the team went on to soar in singles as Holly Staff, Marcella Cruz and Amy Stevens all added to the Commodores’ tally.
With the win, the Commodores advance to their second NCAA Super Regional in the last three years.
- Vanderbilt clinched the opening point on the road to take a 1-0 lead on Ohio State through the doubles competition.
- The match started out with Dasha Kourkina and MaryAnn Rompf taking a quick 6-2 win over their Buckeye opponents to give the Commodores the advantage as the two remaining courts played on.
- After going down 3-0 early, Anna Ross and Holly Staff fought back on Court 1 to score three unanswered and knot things up against their OSU foes. The two sides traded a pair of points before the Buckeyes went up 5-4. A deuce for a potential match point went in favor of the Commodores as the 37th-ranked pair tied their set back up at 5-5. Ross and Staff grabbed the next two games to secure a 7-5 win and clinch the doubles point for Vanderbilt.
- Anessa Lee and Marcella Cruz were in a heated match on Court 2 as the two sides went back and forth with points. At the time their match was called, the Commodore pair trailed 5-4.
Strength at Singles
- The Buckeyes struck first at singles with a win on Court 1. Against 13th-ranked Irina Cantos Siemers, Ross dropped a pair of sets as OSU tied the match up, 1-1.
- Cruz gave Vanderbilt the lead back with a pair of 6-4 set wins at No. 4 singles. After dropping the first three games in the opening set, the junior bounced back to knot things up 3-3 and swing momentum in her favor. The remainder of the match was all Cruz as she stormed her way to the victory in straight sets.
- Moments later Staff made it 3-1 with a win on Court 2 in straight sets. The sophomore found herself down 4-1 early in the opening set before coming back to tie it at 4-4. From there she and No. 41 Isabelle Boulais traded games to send the first set to a tiebreak where Staff came out on top, 7-6(4). Carrying that momentum from set one, Staff clinched the Commodores’ third point of the day with a 6-1 win in her second set.
- The Buckeyes pulled within one with a win on Court 3 as Lee fell to No. 67 Sydni Ratliff in two sets. Lee kept things close in her first set as she looked to knot it up 5-5 but was unable to register the break and dropped set one, 6-4, before losing set two, 6-2 to conclude her time in Ohio.
- With the score 3-2, both No. 5 and No. 6 singles were sent to decisive third sets where Amy Stevens reigned victorious for the Commodores, grabbing the elusive match point and a spot in the NCAA Super Regionals. After taking set one, 6-4, the rookie dropped her second set, 6-1, and was faced with a challenging third set ahead. After trading a handful of games, Stevens eventually pulled ahead of her competition to register a 6-3 final set score and finish the match.
- On Court 5, Kourkina, who had won 22 of her last 23 sets played, traded a pair of sets with Ohio State’s Lucia Marzal to head into a decisive third set. The junior took set one, 6-2, before dropping her second set 6-4. In her third set, Kourkina was up 4-0 when her match was called.
The Commodores will travel to College Station, Texas, to face SEC rival Texas A&M in the NCAA Super Regionals May 14.
In two previous meetings this season, the Aggies defeated the Dores, 6-1 and 4-2. In their most recent meeting at the SEC tournament both Stevens and Kourkina registered wins at singles.