MT Stays Perfect, Downs Lobos 5-2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt’s 35th-ranked men’s tennis team stayed perfect on the season with a 5-2 win over No. 55 New Mexico on Thursday at the Currey Tennis Center.

Vanderbilt (4-0) won the doubles point and then took four of the six singles matches against the Lobos (1-3). However, the win did not come easy with four of the singles matches going three sets, which Vanderbilt won three of.

“(New Mexico) is a good tennis team and this was a good match,” Vanderbilt head coach Ian Duvenhage said. “We found a way to win and we could have easily lost it. It was a huge positive.”

New Mexico had momentum in the match throughout most of doubles play before the Commodores came storming back to win two of the three doubles matches after trailing midway through each of them. Vanderbilt ended up winning the matches in the Nos. 3 and 1 positions.

The Commodores lost the first doubles match, as Evan Dufaux and Nick Cromydas were downed 8-5 in the No. 1 position by New Mexico’s No. 48-ranked duo of Max Jones and Kamil Pajkowski. The loss was the first of the season by Dufaux and Cromdas.

However, Vanderbilt rallied to win the next match, as Adam Baker and Vijay Paul moved to 4-0 in the No. 3 position with an 8-5 victory over New Mexico’s team of Graeme Kassautzki and Joe Wood. Baker and Paul trailed 5-4 in the match before rallying to win the final four games.

Ryan Preston and Bryant Salcedo clinched the doubles point for Vanderbilt with a 9-7 win over the Lobos’ duo of Chris and Johnny Parkes in the No. 2 position. In the final game, Preston and Salcedo trailed 15-40 before rallying for the win.

After Vanderbilt won the doubles point, New Mexico was able to knot the score up at one, as VU’s Nick Cromydas was downed by New Mexico’s Graeme Kassautzki, 6-3, 2-6, in the No. 3 position.

The Commodores extended their lead to 2-1 with a victory by Evan Dufaux in the No. 5 position before New Mexico was able to tie the match at two when the No. 35 Max Jones of the Lobos was able to defeat Ryan Preston, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 1 position.

VU was able to move back into the lead courtesy of Vijay Paul, who moved to 4-0 this spring with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Johnny Parkes in the No. 2 position.

Holding a 3-2 advantage, Vanderbilt’s Alex Zotov clinched the match for the Commodores with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over New Mexico’s Joe Wood. The win moved Zotov to 3-0 this spring and gave him his second match-clinching victory this season. He also clinched Vanderbilt’s 4-3 win over Michigan State.

In the No. 4 position, Bryant Salcedo battled New Mexico’s Chris Parkes three sets before Salcedo won the match, 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-5. Salcedo’s win pushed the final score of the match to 5-2.

Up next, the Commodores will head to Ann Arbor, Mich., for matches against No. 26 N.C. State (Saturday) and No. 18 Michigan (Sunday).

Thursday’s Results:
No. 35 Vanderilt 5 (4-0) No. 55 New Mexico 2 (1-3)
Nashville, Tenn.
Currey Tennis Center

1. No. 48 Jones/Pajkowski (NM) def. Nick Cromydas/Evan Dufaux (VU), 8-5
2. Ryan Preston/Bryant Salcedo (VU) def. C. Parkes/J. Parkes (NM), 9-7
3. Vijay Paul/Adam Baker (VU) def. Kassautzki/Wood (NM), 8-5

Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2

1. No. 35 Max Jones (NM) def. Ryan Preston (VU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
2. No. 79 Vijay Paul (VU) def. Johnny Parkes (NM), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
3. Graeme Kassautzki (NM) def. Nick Cromydas (VU), 6-3, 6-2
4. Bryant Salcedo (VU) def. Chris Parkes (NM), 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-5
5. Evan Dufaux (VU) def. Kamil Pajkowski (NM), 6-4, 6-3
6. Alex Zotov (VU) def. Joe Wood (NM), 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

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