Match Goes to Gamecocks

Dores fought but came up short against No. 17 on Sunday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt women’s tennis lost a tight 4-3 match on Sunday to No. 17 South Carolina at the Ensworth Tennis Facility.

The Commodores (11-7, 6-5 SEC) picked up a win on Court 2 in doubles when Holly Staff and Valeria Ray defeated Shahar Biran and Elise Mills 6-4, but they were bested by the Gamecocks on Courts 1 and 3, dropping the doubles point before going into singles.

Vanderbilt went point-for-point with South Carolina in singles. Amy Stevens grabbed a win on Court 5, defeating Misa Malkin 6-4, 6-3 to put the Dores back in the game and even the score at 1 all. South Carolina took Court 6, and Olympe Lancelot picked up a point when she defeated Sonya Macavei 6-4, 6-3. Staff claimed a 6-4, 7-5 straight-set win over Mills, and Ray was defeated by Sarah Hamner in the third set on Court 2. Celia-Belle Mohr evened the score once again when she defeated the Gamecocks’ Ayana Akli, ranked 6th nationally, in three sets, and the decision was left to Court 3. Anessa Lee forced a third set, competing against Biran and falling in a third-set tiebreak.

“Overall an incredible college tennis match,” said Vanderbilt head coach Aleke Tsoubanos. “I’m incredibly proud of our seniors and the way the team left it all out on the court today. We’ve got to improve our play in doubles, which has hurt us in these close matches, but our fight and attitudes were awesome. This team is knocking on the door, and if we can continue to compete this way I think we can turn these kinds of matches around.”

1. #17 Mohr (Vanderbilt) def. #6 Akli 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
2. #12 Hamner (South Carolina) def. Ray 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
3. Biran (South Carolina) def. Lee 2-6, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (0)
4. Staff (Vanderbilt) def. Mills 6-4, 7-5
5. Stevens (Vanderbilt) def. Misa Malkin 6-2, 6-3
6. Lancelot (South Carolina) def. Macavei 6-4, 6-3

1. #23 Akli/Hamner (South Carolina) def. #25 Mohr/Lee 6-2
2. #69 Ray/Staff (Vanderbilt) def. Biran/Mills 6-4
3. Lancelot/Malkin (South Carolina) def. Macavei/Stevens 6-4

Up Next: The Commodores travel to compete against No. 7 Georgia next weekend on Friday and No. 18 Tennessee on Sunday. The following weekend they head to the SEC tournament.