Shining Through the Storm

Commodores win big against Ole Miss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Forced to move indoors due to Hurricane Delta making its way into the region, Vanderbilt picked up four singles victories Saturday afternoon against Ole Miss on Day 2 of the Music City Scramble at Currey Tennis Center.

“A fantastic second day of the tournament for us,” said head coach Aleke Tsoubanos. “We were tough competitors on every single court and that is exactly what we want. Anessa Lee picked up her first collegiate victory in a straight set win, Emma Kurtz played more great tennis and Marcella Cruz and Amanda Meyer both found themselves in holes, problem solved and made adjustments to work their way back into their matches to pull out straight-set victories. Ole Miss came at us and it was very, very competitive tennis. I’m looking forward to see our team bring that enthusiasm and be great competitors on the final day Sunday.”

Lee and Meyer both picked up their first fall victories on the day. Lee’s 6-2, 6-4 victory over Ole Miss’s Reka Zadori marked her first at the collegiate level and Meyer battled through a lengthy 7-5, 7-6 (1) match to defeat Kelsey Mize. Earning their second wins of the weekend, both Cruz and Kurtz took down Rebels with Cruz beating Lillian Gabrielsen 7-6, 6-3 and Kurtz topping Alexa Bortles 7-6, 5-0.

Even with four Dores winning Saturday, Vanderbilt almost made it a perfect day. Holly Staff battled all afternoon against Tiphanie Fiquet and split the first two sets before falling in a third-set tiebreaker 4-6, 6-4, 11-9.

Vanderbilt will finish up the Music City Scramble on Sunday with doubles action against Auburn before closing the tournament with singles play against Tennessee later in the afternoon.

Tiphanie Fiquet (UM) def. Holly Staff (Vandy) 4-6, 6-4, 11-9
Emma Kurtz (Vandy) def. Alexa Bortles (UM) 7-6 (5), 5-0, ret.
Marcella Cruz (Vandy) def. Lillian Gabrielsen (UM) 7-6 (3), 6-3
Amanda Meyer (Vandy) def. Kelsey Mize (UM) 7-5, 7-6 (1)
Anessa Lee (Vandy) def. Reka Zadori (UM) 6-2, 6-4

Off and Running
Vanderbilt opens fall slate with Music City Scramble

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Led by a first collegiate victory from Holly Staff, Vanderbilt opened its 2020 fall slate Friday with a round of singles and two rounds of doubles in the Music City Scramble.

“Overall I was really pleased with the way our team competed in both singles and doubles,” said head coach Aleke Tsoubanos. “We have a ways to go but this being our first competition in several months, I’m optimistic about the growth of this team.

“In singles I thought Marcella Cruz played a really clean, disciplined match with Auburn this morning. Holly Staff had a very competitive match with a veteran in Auburn’s Taylor Russo, found herself down 5-2 in the third set and was able to fight back and pull out five straight games for a very impressive win. Emma Kurtz bounced back after a three-set loss and really played some of the best tennis I’ve seen her play. We lost a few doubles tiebreakers and had some great opportunities and we will build on that when we play more doubles Sunday. We are just happy to be competing and we know how fortunate we are to be able to do that against some great SEC competition this weekend.”

Staff, a freshman from Manchester, England, battled through her West End debut to come away with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Auburn’s Taylor Russo. Elsewhere, Marcella Cruz earned Vanderbilt’s first win of the season by cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Auburn’s Shir Azran. Rounding out singles action as morning turned to afternoon, Emma Kurtz earned a quick 6-2, 6-1 victory over Tennessee’s Tenika McGiffin.

In doubles action later Friday, Cruz and Staff continued their winning ways with a 6-1 victory over the Volunteers’ McGiffin and Esther Adeshina. The duo also took on Tiphanie Fiquet and Kelsey Mize of Ole Miss, but dropped the match in a tiebreaker 7-6 (3).

The Dores will continue the Music City Scramble throughout the weekend with action at Currey Tennis Center set to start Saturday at 8 a.m. Saturday’s play will feature three rounds of singles with Vanderbilt taking on Ole Miss at noon. Live stats to follow the match can be found by clicking here.

Carolyn Ansari (Aub) def. Anna Ross (Vandy) 6-4, 4-5, ret.
Marcella Cruz (Vandy) def. Shir Azran (Aub) 6-3, 6-2
Holly Staff (Vandy) def. Taylor Russo (Aub) 7-5, 4-6, 7-5
Georgie Axon (Aub) def. Amanda Meyer (Vandy) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Yu Chen (Aub) def. Anessa Lee (Vandy) 6-3, 6-3
Selin Ovunc (Aub) def. Emma Kurtz (Vandy) 0-6, 7-6, 6-2
Emma Kurtz (Vandy) def. Tenika McGiffin (UT) 6-2, 6-1

Carly Briggs/Daria Kuczer (UT) def. Amanda Meyer/Anessa Lee (Vandy) 6-4
Holly Staff/Marcella Cruz (Vandy) def. Esther Adeshina/Tenika McGiffin (UT) 6-1
Sabina Machalova/Alexa Bortles (UM) def. Emma Kurtz/Anessa Lee (Vandy) 7-6 (3)
Tiphanie Fiquet/Kelsey Mize (UM) def. Holly Staff/Marcella Cruz (Vandy) 7-6 (3)