Vandy women eliminated from ITA All-American

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Vanderbilt’s last chance to move on at the ITA All-American came to an end when Marie Casares fell in the second round of qualifying to Georgia’s Maho Kowase 6-4, 6-0 at the Riviera Tennis Club Tuesday night.8147578.jpeg

Casares was the final Commodore left, but could not defeat Kowase, an SEC foe. The Quito, Ecuador, native picked up the only win for Vanderbilt at the highly-touted tournament.

“It’s an honor to be out there (California) and it was a great experience for our players to see that level (of competition),” said Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald. “There was a lot of learning in terms of this is the top level of college tennis. The good news is you can hang here, but the bad news is you have some work to do.”

Earlier in the day, Casares advanced to the second round after defeating Duke’s Mary Clayton 6-1, 7-5 in the first round.

Lauren Mira, who led the team with 28 wins last season, fell in the first round of qualifying to Stefanie Tan from TCU 7-5, 7-5. It was an extremely intense match with Tan moving on to the second round.

Mira was then placed in the consolation bracket where she fell to North Carolina’s Zoe De Bruycker 6-4, 6-1.

Casares was also in action in qualifying doubles with partner Ashleigh Antal. Antal and Casares were knocked out by Virginia’s Li Xi and Stephanie Nauta, 9-7, in the first round.

For it being the first tournament of the season Coach Macdonald was pleased that his team learned a lot, but knows there is much to work on.

“We need to cut down on the unforced errors, maintain our focus for longer periods of time and once you have some momentum, maintain an aggressive mentality rather than getting passive at times,” Macdonald explained. “All three of them got ahead at various times and then were passive. At that level you really have to keep playing to win.”

Vanderbilt’s women’s tennis team now turns its attention to this weekend (Oct. 5-7) when the team travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Roberta Alison Fall Classic.

Qualifying Results

Second Round Singles:
Maho Kowase (Georgia) def. Marie Casares (Vanderbilt) 6-4, 6-0

First Round Singles:
Marie Casares (Vanderbilt) def. Mary Clayton (Duke) 6-1, 7-5
Stefanie Tan (TCU) def. Lauren Mira (Vanderbilt) 7-5, 7-5

First Round Consolation Singles:
Zoe De Bruycker (North Carolina) def. Lauren Mira (Vanderbilt) 6-4, 6-1

First Round Doubles:
Li Xi/Stephanie Nauta (Virginia) def. Ashleigh Antal/Marie Casares (Vanderbilt) 9-7

Pre-Qualifying Results

First Round:
Elizabeth Kilborn (Georgia Tech) def. Ashleigh Antal (Vanderbilt) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3