Battle Tested

Vanderbilt passes Auburn’s test in battle of ranked SEC foes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Taking on its second consecutive ranked SEC foe, No. 10 Vanderbilt passed its test Friday evening against No. 21 Auburn by holding off the Tigers 4-3 at Currey Tennis Center.

After Vanderbilt (9-1, 1-1 SEC) secured the doubles point with a pair of victories on Nos. 2 and 3, the two teams fought tooth and nail in singles action from start to finish with multiple courts going three sets. Anna Ross was the first domino to fall with a come-from-behind 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 3 to make it 2-0 Commodores, but Auburn (7-2, 2-1 SEC) battled back from there to even the match at two apiece.

First, it was No. 62 Selin Ovunc persevering through a 6-3, 7-6 (3) win at No. 1 before No. 99 Taylor Russo came back from a first-set deficit to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 5.

Answering the Auburn streak, No. 20 Christina Rosca fought through a strong challenge from Yu Chen at No. 2 but ultimately came away with a 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-4 win to stay perfect during the spring season in singles play. The lead was short-lived, though, with Georgie Axon securing a second-set tiebreaker on the way to a 5-7, 7-6 (1), 6-0 win at No. 4 over Anessa Lee.

With the match coming down to Marcella Cruz at No. 6, the sophomore cruised through the first set 6-2 before blanking Adeline Flach 6-0 in the second to clinch the victory.

Doubles action saw Kurtz and Cruz blank their opponent at No. 2 6-0 and while Auburn’s 11th-ranked duo of Russo and Ovunc earned a win at No. 1, Rosca and Lee earned a 6-4 win at No. 3 to put Vandy ahead 1-0 early in the match.

Vanderbilt will go back to work on Sunday afternoon when it faces Alabama. First serve at the Currey Tennis Center is set for 1 p.m.

1. #62 Selin Ovunc (AU) def. Emma Kurtz (VANDY) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
2. #20 Christina Rosca (VANDY) def. Yu Chen (AU) 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4
3. Anna Ross (VANDY) def. Carolyn Ansari (AU) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
4. Georgie Axon (AU) def. Anessa Lee (VANDY) 5-7, 7-6 (7-1), 6-0
5. #99 Taylor Russo (AU) def. Holly Staff (VANDY) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
6. Marcella Cruz (VANDY) def. Adeline Flach (AU) 6-2, 6-0

1. #11 Taylor Russo/Selin Ovunc (AU) def. Anna Ross/Holly Staff (VANDY) 6-4
2. Emma Kurtz/Marcella Cruz (VANDY) def. Adeline Flach/Georgie Axon (AU) 6-0
3. Anessa Lee/Christina Rosca (VANDY) def. Carolyn Ansari/Madeline Meredith (AU) 6-4

Match Notes:
Auburn 7-2, 2-1 SEC; National ranking #21
Vanderbilt 9-1, 2-1 SEC; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (3,1,5,2,4,6) Match played indoors