NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The No. 17 Vanderbilt women’s tennis team fell to No. 16 Tennessee 4-3 in a hard-fought battle between the two in-state SEC rivals.
The pairing of Celia-Belle Mohr and Marcella Cruz extended their doubles win streak to five and set up the team to clinch the doubles point. Anna Ross and Holly Staff took down the No. 55 duo of Rebeka Mertena and Esther Adeshina to give the Dores the advantage heading into singles.
The Lady Vols came out strong in singles, posting wins over the Dores on Court 2, Court 3 and Court 6, giving them a two-point lead and within one point of winning the match. No. 60 Bridget Stammel came out victorious in three sets on Court 4 to bring Vanderbilt’s score to two. On Court 1, the top 50 showdown between Mohr and Mertena ended in Vanderbilt’s favor, tying the match at three. After a third-set tiebreaker, No. 113 Anessa Lee fell to Eleonora Molinaro on Court 5.
“Tough one for sure, but this is life in the SEC. I give UT a lot of credit. I thought they were a bit tougher and more disciplined in a few positions in singles. In all three matches they lost first sets, and they were able to force third sets and shift momentum,” Vanderbilt head coach Aleke Tsoubanos said. “We played great doubles again today and came within two points of flipping the team score. Bridget and CB also picked up impressive third set victories in singles. We will have to regroup quickly and host Georgia on Sunday.”
No. 48 Mohr (Vandy) def. No. 31 Mertena 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-3
No. 57 Elza Tomase (UT) def. No. 80 Ross 6-2, 6-3
No. 37 Daria Kuczer (UT) def. No. 111 Staff 6-4, 6-3
No. 60 Stammel (Vandy) def. Catherine Aulia 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
Molinaro (UT) def. No. 113 Lee 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
Adeshina (UT) def. Amy Stevens 6-4, 6-1
Ross/Staff (Vandy) def. No. 55 Mertena/Adeshina 6-4
Mohr/Cruz (Vandy) def. Kuczer/Molinaro 6-3
Stammel/Lee (Vandy) vs. Thomase/Aulia 4-5, unfinished
The Dores will take on the Georgia Bulldogs at home at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday.