Near Flawless Final Day

Commodores win nine of 10 matches to cap June Stewart Invitational

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It was a near-flawless afternoon for the Vanderbilt women’s tennis team on the final day of the June Stewart Invitational. The Commodores swept all six of their singles matches and won 9 of 10 overall at the Currey Tennis Center on Sunday.

“That was a really strong day for us,” head coach Aleke Tsoubanos said. “We are getting better by the match and our competitive spirit was the best I’ve seen this fall. Kentucky is a gritty team—they get a lot balls back, have a ton of energy and we have a lot of respect for them. We played smart and committed tennis and the results followed.”

Vanderbilt won all six singles matches in straight sets.

Yufei Long lost just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 victory while Anna Ross did the same in a 6-0, 6-2 win. Marcella Cruz cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win and Dasha Kourkina pulled out a 6-4 win in her first set and then won decisively 6-1 to clinch the match in the second set.

Amy Stevens and Holly Staff each battled through two competitive sets. Stevens won her first set, 6-3, and then pulled out a 7-5 win in the second set. Staff won with a pair of 6-4 victories.

“Anna was fantastic all weekend and is playing really good tennis right now,” Tsoubanos added. “Holly came through in two competitive sets and found a way to pull it out. Marcella had a great straight set win and Amy was impressive today, too, against feisty competition.

“Yufei played a better match and she and Anessa (Lee) were impressive at the end of their doubles. Dasha did really well in doubles, and really buckled down in singles to close out her match.”

In doubles play, Kourkina and Stevens defeated their Illinois counterparts 6-4 while Long andLee outlasted a Miami duo 7-5. In addition, the nation’s ninth-ranked duo of Ross and Staff won again 6-2.

“I’m really, really happy with how we played all weekend and excited to see what we can do coming up at regionals,” Tsoubanos said.

Vanderbilt returns to action at the ITA Regional Championships in Murfressboro on Oct. 21-25 followed by the Tennessee Fall Invitational in Knoxville on Oct. 28-31 and the ITA Fall Championships in San Diego, California on Nov. 4-7.

Fans can follow Vanderbilt women’s tennis on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @VandyWTennis.

Vanderbilt Results
Long (Vandy) def. Popova (Lipscomb), 6-2, 6-0
Ross (Vandy) def. Girbau (Kentucky), 6-0, 6-2
Cruz (Vandy) def. Arrese (Kentucky), 6-2, 6-1
Kourkina (Vandy) def. Morante (Kentucky), 6-4, 6-1
Stevens (Vandy) Urrutia (Kentucky), 6-3, 7-5
Staff (Vandy) def. Molina (Kentucky), 6-4, 6-4

Kourkina/Stevens (Vandy) def. Casati/Ingle (Illinois), 6-4
Long/Lee (Vandy) def. Pfennig/Boch-Collins (Miami), 7-5
#9 Ross/Staff (Vandy) def. Richardson/Achong (Miami), 6-2
Tahan/Khodan (Miami) def. Cruz/Rompf (Vandy), 6-4