Dores Advance In Straight Sets

Anna Ross and Holly Staff will play in Sweet 16 Wednesday

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Vanderbilt women’s tennis duo Anna Ross and Holly Staff made their NCAA Doubles Championship debut with a strong showing against the 15th-ranked pair out of Notre Dame.

After trailing early in Set 1 to Maria Olivia Castedo and Page Freeman, the Commodore pair went on to take a 6-3 victory. The second set saw Ross and Staff jump out to a 3-0 lead before getting tested by the Irish, ultimately having their lead cut to one. The junior and sophomore pairing held their own though late as they recorded their second 6-3 set win to advance to Wednesday’s Round of 16.

The last time a Commodores duo appeared in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Doubles Championships was in 2018 with Fernanda Contreras and Astra Sharma.

Back-and-Forth First Set

  • The Commodores got underway Tuesday trading the first four points with their Irish opponents as the first set was knotted at 2-2.
  • Ross and Staff picked up the first breakpoint of the match to go up 3-2, their first lead of the day.
  • Ross helped extend the team’s lead on serve as her and Staff went up 40-0 before a service ace secured the game for a 4-2 score.
  • The Irish got one back before Ross and Staff won the final two points to take the first set, 6-3.

Convincing Second Set

  • The Vandy duo came out strong in the second set, grabbing the first three points before the Irish got on the board.
  • Back on serve, the Commodores dropped the deuce point after a long rally as Notre Dame cut the lead to one.
  • Staff secured the breakpoint for the Dores with an overhead shot to make it 4-2 before Ross finished the next point off with a strong return from the net.
  • With match point on the line, the Irish duo got the deuce to extend the match after an improbable save from Ross on the opening return kept the game alive.
  • Back on serve, the Commodores finished the job when a long rally ended in the net opposite Ross and Staff for the 6-3 final.

Up Next
With the win, the Vandy pair, ranked No. 37 nationally, improve to 11-4 on the season and 9-2 in the spring. They will face the winner of Tatsiana Sasnouskaya/Yuliia Starodubtseva (Old Dominion) and Ana Paula Melilo/Kit Giluhur (North Florida) in the Round of 16 on Wednesday.