MT: Commodores tame Wildcats, 6-1

EVANSTON, Ill. – Just a few hours after moving up in the polls to a season-best ranking of 22nd, Vanderbilt’s men’s tennis team lived up to its new ranking with a decisive 6-1 victory over No. 71 Northwestern at the Combe Tennis Center.

Playing its final non-conference match of the season, Vanderbilt (9-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) earned its second win in three days after defeating No. 68 South Carolina, 4-3, on Sunday. Northwestern (6-8, 0-2 Big Ten) has now lost four straight matches, while Vanderbilt moved its record to 3-1 against the Big Ten this season.

After winning the doubles point, Vanderbilt was able to take a 2-0 lead in the match as Northbrook, Ill., native Ryan Preston returned to the college just a few miles from his hometown to defeat Northwestern’s Marc Dwyer in the No. 1 position. Preston won the match, 6-4, 6-1, giving him his sixth straight victory.

Playing in the singles lineup for just the second time this spring, Adam Baker improved to 2-0 in dual play and gave Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead in the match with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Northwestern’s Juan Gomez in the No. 6 position.

Clinching the match for the Commodores was Alex Zotov, who halted a three-match skid with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Andrew McCarthy in the No. 5 position. The match was Zotov’s first of his career in the No. 5 position.

Giving Vanderbilt a 5-0 advantage in the match was Bryant Salcedo, who defeated Alexander Thams, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0. The win was Salcedo’s first in the No. 3 position and he is now 1-3 in the position.

Following Salcedo’s win, Northwestern earned its lone point, as No. 82 Vijay Paul was dealt a 7-6(4), 1-6, 1-0(10-4) loss to Northwestern’s Alex Sanborn. The final set was played to a 10-point tiebreaker because Vanderbilt had already clinched the match.

Vanderbilt’s final point came from Evan Dufaux, who battled back from a one-set deficit for the second straight match. After losing the first set Dufaux rallied to defeat Peter Rispoli, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, in the No. 4 position. The match was Dufaux’s first of the spring in the No. 4 position.

For the second match in a row, Vanderbilt won the doubles point. The Commodores took all three of the doubles matches.

Vanderbilt’s first win came in the No. 2 position, as Nick Cromydas and Bryant Salcedo moved to 5-0 this spring with an 8-2 win over Northwestern’s duo of Peter Rispoli and Andrew McCarthy.

Clinching the doubles point was the Commodores’ No. 1 doubles team of Ryan Preston and Evan Dufaux. The tandem snapped a two-match losing skid with an 8-4 win over Alex Sanborn and Marc Dwyer.

In the No. 3 position, Vijay Paul and Adam Baker won their second straight match with an 8-6 victory over Alexander Thams and David Seyferth.

Vanderbilt will now face its first road SEC test of the season on Friday when the Commodores travel to No. 69 Arkansas for a 1 p.m. match.

No. 22 Vanderbilt (9-2, 1-1 SEC) def No. 71 Northwestern (6-8, 0-2 Big Ten), 6-1
Evanston, Ill.
Combe Tennis Center

1. Ryan Preston/Evan Dufaux (VU) def. Alex Sanborn/Marc Dwyer (NU), 8-4
2. Nick Cromydas/Bryant Salcedo (VU) def. Peter Rispoli/Andrew McCarthy (NU), 8-2
3. Vijay Paul/Adam Baker (VU) def. Alexander Thams/David Seyferth (NU), 8-6

Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3

1. No. 65 Ryan Preston (VU) def. Marc Dwyer (NU), 6-4, 6-1
2. Alex Sanborn (NU) def. No. 82 Vijay Paul (VU), 7-6(4), 1-6, 1-0(10-4)
3. Bryant Salcedo (VU) def. Alexander Thams (NU), 6-4, 3-6, 6-0
4. Evan Dufaux (VU) def. Peter Rispoli (NU), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
5. Alex Zotov (VU) def. Andrew McCarthy (NU), 7-5, 6-4
6. Adam Baker (VU) def. Juan Gomez (NU), 6-2, 6-4

Order of Finish: 1, 6, 5, 3, 2, 4