MT: `Dores Rally To Down Spartans, 4-3

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Trailing Michigan State 3-2, the No. 33 Vanderbilt men’s tennis team won the final two singles matches to claim a 4-3 victory in a marathon of a match that spanned four hours and 40 minutes.

“Obviously, we’ve got some new guys, but these guys are not going to roll over,” Vanderbilt head coach Ian Duvenhage said. “We are actually at our best when it gets down to the nitty-gritty. They did a great job of hanging in there because at some point it did look sort of bleak.”

Played at the Currey Tennis Center on Vanderbilt’s campus, the match was the Commodores’ first of the season as they moved their record to 1-0. The loss was the first of the season for the Spartans, who moved to 5-1.

The Commodores opened play by winning two of the three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.

Vanderbilt won its Nos. 1 and 3 doubles matches. In the No. 1 position, Evan Dufaux and Nick Cromydas defeated MSU’s duo of Nick Rinks and John Allare, 9-8 (7-5). In the No. 3 position, VU’s tandem of Vijay Paul and Adam Baker handled Michigan State’s Tyler Sauerbrey and John Stratton, 8-2. Michigan State’s duo of Adam Monich and Alex Forger won the No. 2 match, 8-6, over Vanderbilt’s Ryan Preston and Bryant Salcedo.

Holding a 1-0 advantage entering singles play the Commodores dropped the first two singles matches to fall behind 2-1.

The Spartans were able to take the lead by winning the Nos. 4 and 1 matches. Nick Rinks downed Ryan Preston, 6-4, 7-5, in the No. 1 match, while Adam Monich topped Nick Cromydas, 7-6 (3), 6-1, in the No. 4 match.

The tiebreaker in Cromydas’ match was just a sign of things to come, as five of the six singles matches went to a tiebreaker in the first set.

Trailing 2-1, Vijay Paul knotted the score back up at two with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 win over MSU’s Alex Forger in the No. 2 position.

After Paul’s win, Michigan State was able to move back in front, 3-2, as the Spartans’ John Allare topped VU’s Bryant Salcedo, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1, in the No. 3 match.

In the final two matches of the afternoon, Evan Dufaux and Alex Zotov were able to secure the Commodores’ victory by winning the Nos. 5 and 6 matches, respectively.

After dropping the first set, 6-7 (7-5), to Michigan State’s Scott Rasmussen, Dufaux rallied to win the final two sets, 7-6 (4), 6-2, to take the match. After Dufaux’s win, Zotov defeated the Spartans’ Tyler Sauerbrey, 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 to secure Vanderbilt’s victory.

Vanderbilt will return to the court next Saturday to host Samford at 1 p.m.

Sunday’s Results:

No. 33 Vanderbilt (1-0) 4, Michigan State (5-1) 3
Currey Tennis Center – Nashville, Tenn.

Doubles Play:
1. Dufaux/Cromydas (VU) def. Rinks/Allare (MSU), 9-8 (7-5)
2. Monich/Forger (MSU) def. Preston/Salcedo (VU), 8-6
3. Paul/Baker (VU) def. Sauerbrey/Stratton (VU), 8-2

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2

Singles Play:
1. Nick Rinks (MSU) def. Ryan Preston (VU), 6-4, 7-5
2. No. 79 Vijay Paul (VU) def. Alex Forger (MSU), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
3. John Allare (MSU) def. Bryant Salcedo (VU), 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1
4. Adam Monich (MSU) def. Nick Cromydas (VU), 7-6 (3), 6-1
5. Evan Dufaux (VU) def. Scott Rasmussen (MSU), 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (4), 6-2
6. Alex Zotov (VU) def. Tyler Sauerbrey (MSU), 7-6 (8-6), 7-5

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