CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Vanderbilt fifth-year senior George Harwell saw an incredible Commodore career come to an end after the first round of the NCAA Singles Championship Monday evening at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign, Illinois.
No. 30 Chris Rodesch of Virginia, who helped the Cavaliers win their fifth NCAA Championship on Sunday, topped Harwell, who’s ranked 31st-nationally, in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Rodesch came out quick in the first set, 6-3, but Harwell fought back, having a 3-0 lead at one point in the second set. The Atlantic Coastal Conference’s (ACC’s) automatic qualifier came back in the second set to win 6-4.
“I’m very sad that George’s Vanderbilt career has come to an end,” said head coach Ian Duvenhage. “I am very proud of him and I will miss him very much. I’m excited to see what he does in the next chapter of his life.”
Harwell concludes an impressive career with 100 singles wins, including 20 singles wins during his fifth-year season, which included five ranked wins all on the top court. The Nashville native also had a historic regular season home finale on April 10 against in-state rival and No. 6 Tennessee, reaching the century mark after defeating then-14th ranked Adam Walton, who is the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship.
The All-SEC first team honoree made his first appearance in the NCAA Singles Championship, becoming the first Dore to compete in the singles championship since Cameron Klinger and Daniel Valent in 2018. In a list that includes associate head coach Ryan Lipman, Harwell is the 15th individual to represent the Black and Gold in the NCAA Singles Championship.
A mainstay at No. 1 singles, Harwell clinched three matches on the season and achieved a career-best singles ranking of 26th on Feb. 9.