Sweep Start To NCAA Tournament

Dores advance, handing Musketeers first round exit

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Vanderbilt women’s tennis extended its season with a 4-0 sweep over Xavier inside the Ty Tucker Tennis Center Saturday on the campus of Ohio State. With the win, the Commodores advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round for the 13th-straight time.

Vandy came out strong as they clinched the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. In singles competition, the Dores claimed five of six first sets to give themselves the advantage as the match progressed, ultimately clinching three singles courts in straight sets to complete the sweep.

For the second time in her last three matches, Anessa Lee called match with a win on Court 3. The Second Team All-SEC honoree captured 7-6(3) and 6-3 set wins to lift the Commodores to victory and extend their season to the NCAA Second Round.

Dasha Kourkina and Amy Stevens also picked up wins on Courts 5 and 6, respectively, to help lead the team to the sweep. With her win at No. 5 singles, Kourkina registered her 30th singles win of the season while extending her streak to 11-straight wins. She now boasts a 20-2 record this dual season, including an undefeated 9-0 record on Court 5.

Seeing Double

  • The Commodores jumped out to the early lead, grabbing the doubles point with wins on courts two and three to open the contest 1-0.
  • Anna Ross and Holly Staff struck first with a 6-2 win on Court 1 to give Vanderbilt the edge at doubles. The 37th-ranked pair opened the match down 0-40 in the first game before storming back to grab the point and go up 1-0. The rest of the set seemed to be all Commodores as the duo recorded their seventh win of the dual season together.
  • On Court 3, Kourkina and MaryAnn Rompf saw themselves down early in the doubles portion, 2-1, but the duo held strong and eventually pulled within one. Trailing their Musketeers’ opponents 4-2, the pair made it 4-3 but Xavier came back to secure the next two games for the 6-3 set score.
  • Marcella Cruz and Lee clinched the doubles point for Vanderbilt with a 6-3 win on Court 2. After trailing early in the match, the two sides traded a series of points halfway through the match to tie it up 3-3. With the set tied, the Commodores got the breakpoint to go up 4-3 before quickly tallying two more for the 6-3 final.

Strength at Singles

  • Kourkina extended the Commodores’ lead to 2-0 with a win in straight sets at No. 4 singles. After taking a 6-3 win in set one, the junior sailed to a 6-0 second set victory enroute to her 30th singles win of the season.
  • On Court 6, Stevens rallied to a 7-5 second set victory to record the team’s third point of the day. With the win in straight sets, following an opening 6-2 win in set one, Stevens improved to 21-13 at singles in her rookie season.
  • After forcing a tiebreaker in the first set, Lee took set one, 7-6(3) at No. 3 singles to round out the opening set of singles action with the Commodores claiming five of six courts. With Vanderbilt looking for one more point, up 3-0 at the time, Lee sailed to a convincing 6-3 second set victory to complete the sweep and send her team on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • At No. 1 singles, Ross trailed her opponent early in the opening set, down 4-2, but fought back to knot things up at 5-5. Claiming the advantage soon after, her Musketeers opponent forced a tiebreak where Ross came out with a 7-6(4) win. She then dropped a battle in set two, 4-6, as she was forced to a third set. There she led 2-1 at the time of Lee’s match-clinching victory and the junior’s court went unfinished.
  • Court 2 and Court 4 were also in the midst of close third sets when the match was called as Staff at No. 2 singles and Cruz at No. 4 singles each traded sets with their Xavier opponents early on. Staff won her first set before dropping the second while Cruz fell in set one before sweeping the second set to prolong her time on the court. At the time the match was called, Staff was knotted 3-3 on Court 2 and Cruz had just gone down, 4-5, in her third set.

Up Next
The Commodores will face the winner of Illinois State/Ohio State at 11 a.m. CT, Sunday, at the Auer Tennis Complex in Columbus, Ohio.