MT falls at No. 8 Tennessee, 6-1

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Playing its first match of a three-match road trip to close the regular season, No. 30 Vanderbilt fell 6-1 at No. 8 Tennessee on Friday.

Due to rainy conditions, the match was forced to be played indoors at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center. Since the facility only has four courts, only four of the six singles matches were able to be played at once.

The loss dropped Vanderbilt to 11-7 overall and 3-6 in the Southeastern Conference, while Tennessee improved to 18-2 overall and 7-2 in the SEC. Prior to the loss, Vanderbilt had won three of the last five meetings with Tennessee.

With hopes for its first SEC road win of the season, Vanderbilt did not put itself in a very favorable position from the start of the match. The Commodores dropped the doubles point and the first two singles matches to fall behind in the match 3-0.

Tennessee was able take a 2-0 lead in the match after Davey Sandgren handed Vanderbilt’s Evan Dufaux a 6-2, 6-3 loss.

The Volunteers built their advantage to 3-0 when No. 25 J.P. Smith defeated Vanderilt’s Nick Cromydas, 6-3, 6-2. The loss was just Cromydas’ second defeat in his last six matches.

Trailing 3-0, Vanderbilt was able to earn its first point of the match when No. 55 Ryan Preston defeated No. 96 Kaden Hensel, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, in the No. 1 position. With the win, Preston improved to 5-4 in the SEC and he has now won three of his last four matches.

Unfortunately, Vanderbilt was not able to build any momentum from that point forward. In the next completed match, Tennessee’s Jeremy Tweedt clinched the overall match with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Vanderbilt’s Alex Zotov in the No. 6 position.

Tennessee was then able to win the remaining two matches to win the overall match, 6-1. In the No 3 position, No. 106 Vijay Paul took Tennessee’s Boris Conkic (No.72) three sets before falling, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.

In the final completed singles match, Tennessee’s Matteo Fago defeated Vanderbilt’s Bryant Salcedo, 6-3, 6-3.

In doubles play, Tennessee was able to gain the point by sweeping all three matches. The loss in doubles was Vanderbilt’s sixth in a row.

Tennessee’s first win came in the No. 3 position where Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago defeated Vanderbilt’s duo of Adam Baker and Evan Dufaux, 8-2.

The Vols clinched the doubles point in the No. 1 position, as Tennessee’s 17th-ranked duo of Kaden Hensel and J.P. Smith defeated Vijay Paul and Ryan Preston, 8-3.

Lastly, Vanderbilt’s tandem of Nick Cromydas and Bryant Salcedo lost a hard-fought match to Tennessee’s Davey Sandgren and Jeremy Tweedt, 8-7.

Vanderbilt will continue its road trip on Sunday at No. 3 Georgia. The Commodores and Bulldogs will face each other at 12 p.m. (CT).

Friday’s Results:
No. 8 Tennessee (18-2, 7-2 SEC) def. No. 30 Vanderbilt (11-7, 3-6 SEC), 6-1

1. No. 17 Kaden Hensel/J.P. Smith (UT) def. Ryan Preston/Vijay Paul (VU), 8-3
2. Davey Sandgren/Jeremy Tweedt (UT) def. Nick Cromydas/Bryant Salcedo (VU) 8-7
3. Boris Conkic/Matteo Fago (UT) def. Evan Dufaux/Adam Baker (VU), 8-2

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2

1. No. 55 Ryan Preston (VU) def. No. 96 Kaden Hensel (UT), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
2. No. 25 J.P. Smith (UT) def. Nick Cromydas (VU), 6-3, 6-2
3. No. 72 Boris Conkic (UT) def. No. 106 Vijay Paul (VU), 6-2, 6-7, 6-3
4. Davey Sandgren (UT) def. Evan Dufaux (VU), 6-2, 6-3
5. Matteo Fago (UT) def. Bryant Salcedo (VU), 6-3, 6-3
6. Jeremy Tweedt (UT) def. Alex Zotov (VU), 6-3, 6-3

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