NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Down to the wire at Currey Tennis Center, No. 16 Vanderbilt dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 19 Tennessee Friday night after battling to the bitter end with the Volunteers.
With the match coming down to No. 5 singles, Marcella Cruz took a break for a 4-2 advantage in the third set as Anessa Lee finished off her straight-set win at No. 4 to even the match at 3-3. With Cruz leading, Daria Kuczer rallied back into the set with a break of her own to meet Cruz at 4-4. She then went on to find another break and came away with the 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win to seal Tennessee’s victory.
Vanderbilt (12-4, 4-4 SEC) opened the day with a 2-0 lead thanks to the doubles point and a win from No 54 Christina Rosca at No. 1 singles. The Dores clinched the doubles point by way of wins at Nos. 1 and 2. First it was Cruz and Emma Kurtz topping Tenika McGiffin and Carly Briggs 6-1 at No. 2. Holly Staff and Anna Ross then completed an upset of No. 25 Kuczer and Esther Adeshina 6-3 at No. 1 to give the Dores the point.
With Kurtz and Cruz winning, it marked the 100th career doubles victory for Kurtz in black and gold.
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In singles, Rosca cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 56 Eleonora Molinaro. While UT came back to win three singles matches in a row, Lee polished off a nice 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 4 where she used consecutive breaks to win four straight games to earn the win. But from there, Kuczer started her comeback and clinched the Tennessee (10-5, 4-3 SEC) win.
With the Tennessee victory, it ended Vanderbilt’s seven-match winning streak against the Volunteers.
The Commodores will finish its home slate on Sunday afternoon with Senior Day against No. 3 Georgia. First serve is set for 1 p.m. Prior to the match, Vanderbilt will honor its three seniors: Kurtz, Rosca and Lauren Gish.
1. #54 Christina Rosca (VANDY) def. #56 Eleonora Molinaro (UT) 6-2, 6-2
2. #96 Rebeka Mertena (UT) def. Emma Kurtz (VANDY) 6-1, 6-3
3. #46 Carly Briggs (UT) def. Holly Staff (VANDY) 6-2, 6-2
4. Anessa Lee (VANDY) def. Tenika McGiffin (UT) 6-4, 7-5
5. Daria Kuczer (UT) def. Marcella Cruz (VANDY) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
6. Johanna Silva (UT) def. Amanda Meyer (VANDY) 7-5, 6-0
1. Anna Ross/Holly Staff (VANDY) def. #25 Esther Adeshina/Daria Kuczer (UT) 6-3
2. #56 Emma Kurtz/Marcella Cruz (VANDY) def. Carly Briggs/Tenika McGiffin (UT) 6-1
3. Christina Rosca/Anessa Lee (VANDY) vs. Rebeka Mertena/Eleonora Molinaro (UT) 5-3, unfinished
Tennessee 10-5, 4-3 SEC; National ranking #19
Vanderbilt 12-4, 4-4 SEC; National ranking #16
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,3,6,2,4,5) T-3:17