OXFORD, Miss. – Following its dramatic 4-3 victory over No. 38 Indiana in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 29th-ranked Vanderbilt saw its postseason run come to an end on Sunday when No. 4 Ole Miss downed the Commodores 4-1 at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
Despite having just 17 hours to recover from its five-hour match against Indiana, Vanderbilt (14-10) showed little fatigue to open the match against the Rebels (23-4). Instead of looking sluggish, the Commodores put together one of their best performances of the season in doubles play.
After losing the doubles point in its last 11 matches, Vanderbilt ended its skid in doubles by winning two of three matches to take a 1-0 lead in the match. For Vanderbilt, it was the first time it had won the doubles point since March 7 at Arkansas.
At first it looked like, it would be 12 in a row for Vanderbilt after Ole Miss’ duo of Tucker Vorster and Jakob Klaeson downed Vanderbilt’s duo of Vijay Paul and Adam Baker, 8-4, in the No. 3 position.
However, the Commodores did the unthinkable and won the next two matches over the Nos. 5- and 21-ranked duos from Ole Miss.
Unfortunately, Vanderbilt’s point in doubles play was its only point of the match, as Ole Miss won the first four completed singles matches to clinch the overall match, 4-1.
One day after moving their all-time record to 8-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by winning four of six singles matches against Indiana, the Commodores were unable to continue their success in singles play against a very strong Ole Miss team that has four players ranked in singles.
The Rebels tied the match at one when Jonas Berg downed Vanderbilt’s Bryant Salcedo, 6-0, 6-2, in the No. 4 position.
Ole Miss took its first lead of the match when No. 95 Bram ten Berge defeated Vanderbilt’s Adam Baker, 6-1, 6-2, in the No. 6 position.
The Rebels then extended their lead to two, 3-1, when No. 56 Robbye Poole topped Vijay Paul, 6-1, 6-2. On Saturday, Paul clinched Vanderbilt’s win against Indiana.
Trailing 3-1 in the match, the Commodores were unable to mount a comeback against the Rebels, who clinched the match when Kalle Norberg defeated Evan Dufaux, 6-2, 6-3, in the No. 4 position.
At the time that Ole Miss clinched the overall match, the remaining two singles matches that were suspended were extremely tight. In the No. 1 position, VU’s Ryan Preston lost the first set to No. 22 Erling Tveit in a tiebreaker and trailed 1-0 in the second set.
In the No. 2 position, VU’s Nick Cromydas was leading No. 31 Matthias Wellermann, 4-2, in the second set after losing the first set.
With the loss, Vanderbilt ended its season with a 14-10 record. Nine of Vanderbilt’s 10 losses came against teams from the SEC and all 10 of Vanderbilt’s losses were against ranked opponents. Eleven of the team’s 14 wins were also against ranked opponents.
The season is not completely over for the Commodores. Senior Ryan Preston will participate in the NCAA Singles Championships in Tulsa, Okla., May 21-26.
No. 4 Ole Miss (23-4) def. No. 29 Vanderbilt (14-10), 4-1
1. Ryan Preston/Alex Zotov (VU) def. No. 5 Jonas Berg/Erling Tveit (OM), 8-6
2. Nick Cromydas/Bryant Salcedo (VU) def. No. 21 Matthias Wellermann/Bram ten Berge (OM), 9-8 (5)
3. Tucker Vorster/Jakob Klaeson (OM) def. Adam Baker/Vijay Paul (VU), 8-4
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. No. 22 Erling Tveit (OM) vs. No. 53 Ryan Preston (VU), 7-6 (5), 1-0 (susp.)
2. No. 31 Matthias Wellermann (OM) vs. Nick Cromydas (VU), 6-3, 2-4 (susp.)
3. No. 56 Robbye Poole (OM) def. Vijay Paul (VU), 6-1, 6-2
4. Jonas Berg (OM) def. Bryant Salcedo (VU), 6-0, 6-2
5. Kalle Norberg (OM) def. Evan Dufaux (VU), 6-2, 6-3
6. No. 95 Bram ten Berge (OM) def. Adam Baker, 6-1, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 3, 5