Vandy powers past Belmont

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 17 Vanderbilt cruised to a 6-0 win over cross-town rival, Belmont, Friday afternoon at the 8607932.jpegCurrey Tennis Center.

The Commodores (6-4) bounced back from a tough loss last weekend at TCU to snap Belmont’s (3-3) two-match win streak.

“We have a great relationship with Belmont and it benefited both teams to play today,” Vanderbilt Head Coach Geoff Macdonald said. “Any match play is going to be better than any practice. We had an open date and it worked out perfectly.”

Frances Altick cruised to a straight sets victory in the No. 2 position. The freshman defeated Nikki Maciel, 6-0, 6-0. Just minutes after Altick clinched her win, Ashleigh Antal recorded a win at No. 1. Antal defeated Catherine Holliday, 6-0, 6-1, to win her seventh-straight match and improve to 12-4 overall this season.

Courtney Colton got back on track with a win in the No. 4 spot over Carolyn Caire, 6-1, 6-1. Marie Casares made quick work of Fabiana Mersan, 6-0, 6-1.

Playing in the No. 5 singles position, senior Megan Gornet won the first set against Natalia Nunes, 6-1, before making a furious comeback to claim the second set and the match, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6). In the second set, Gornet led 5-4 before Natalia Nunes rallied to take a 6-5 lead. Gornett broke Nunes’ serve to send the set to a tiebreaker. Gornet led 3-1 in the tiebreaker before falling behind 3-6. However, Gornet was able to take the set and the match by winning the next five points of the tiebreaker.

Maggie Leavell faced off against Sandra Kancheva in No. 6 singles. The Memphis, Tenn., native won her first career dual match, 6-4, 6-1.

“I was very happy for a couple of our players who don’t get to play as much, but got to play a full singles match today,” Macdonald said. “The other players I thought took care of business nicely. There is something in tennis called match toughness where if you haven’t been playing matches, you can be hitting the ball great in practice, but it is just different. Situations come up in matches that you aren’t faced with in practice.”

Vanderbilt will conclude its non-conference schedule on Feb. 27 when the Commodores host Memphis at the Currey Tennis Center.

Singles Results
1. Ashleigh Antal (Vanderbilt) def. Catherine Holliday (Belmont) 6-0, 6-1
2. Frances Altick (Vanderbilt) def. Nikki Maciel (Belmont) 6-0, 6-0
3. Marie Casares (Vanderbilt) def. Fabiana Mersan (Belmont) 6-0, 6-1
4. No. 112 Courtney Colton (Vanderbilt) def. Carolyn Caire (Belmont) 6-1, 6-1
5. Megan Gornet (Vanderbilt) def. Natalia Nunes (Belmont) 6-1, 7-6(8-6)
6. Maggie Leavell (Vanderbilt) def. Sandra Kancheva (Belmont) 6-4, 6-1

Order of Finish
Singles: 2,1,4,6,3,5