COLUMBUS, Ohio – Vanderbilt men’s tennis earned redemption over No. 26 Notre Dame with a 4-3 victory to secure its spot in the second round of the NCAA Regionals.
“It was a great win against a Notre Dame team that beat us convincingly in January. We are playing our best tennis right now and we’re looking forward to playing the No. 1 seed in the tournament tomorrow,” said head coach Ian Duvenhage.
Kicking off the first round of NCAAs, the Commodores dominated in doubles with seventh-ranked pair Billy Rowe and Cameron Klinger collecting the first doubles victory.
The duo took down Notre Dame’s Axel Nefve and Richard Ciamarra, 6-4, earning their third consecutive match win.
Clinching the doubles point for the Commodores, George Harwell and Max Freeman defeated Irish duo Guillermo Cabrera and William Howells, 7-5, to put the Dores in the lead entering into singles play.
Notre Dame came back in singles to tie the match, 1-1, with Notre Dame’s Matt Gamble earning the win over Freeman, 6-2, 6-3, followed by another Notre Dame victory on Court 2 to put the Irish in the lead.
Bouncing back to retie the match, freshman Macsen Sisam outmatched Notre Dame’s Cabrera, 7-5, 6-4, earning his 14th singles win.
Junior Panu Virtanen fell short on Court 6 to Notre Dame’s William Howells, 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, to put the Fighting Irish back in the lead, 3-2.
Commanding a victory on Court 3, Rowe stepped up for the Dores to earn the upset over No. 92 Ciamarra, 6-4, 7-6 (7).
With the match on the line, lone Commodore senior Klinger entered a third set on court 1.
After falling short in the first set, 7-5, Klinger bounced back to hold Notre Dame’s Alex Lebedev to only four games in the second set to force the match into a third set.
Klinger dominated in the third set, 6-2, clinching the match for the Commodores, 4-3, to advance Vanderbilt into the second round of NCAA Regionals.
Vanderbilt will face top-seeded and Big Ten Tournament champion Ohio State on Saturday at noon.
Entering the NCAA Championships as thee No. 1 seed, the Buckeyes boast a 30-2 overall record fresh off a sweep over Cleveland State, 4-0, in the first round of NCAA Regionals.
Stay updated with the Commodores as they look to continue their NCAA run by following @VandyMTennis on Twitter and Instagram.