Wheels Up To California

Tennis travels to California for ITA Kickoff Weekend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt women’s tennis team prepares for a weekend in the Golden State as they travel to Berkeley, California, for the ITA Kickoff Weekend. 

The Commodores are set to take on San Diego on Day 1 of competition (Jan. 28) with first serve scheduled for 2 p.m. PT, before playing either Cal or BYU the following day (Jan. 29). 


The Commodores opened their dual season last weekend when they hosted Middle Tennessee and Northwestern for a pair of matches. The women walked away from their opening weekend with a 2-0 record, including a sweep over Middle Tennessee followed by a 5-2 win over Northwestern. 

The team hosted the Blue Raiders to open their home slate on Friday, Jan. 21, defeating the in-state rivals 7-0 to register their first win of the season. 

The Dores followed it up with a hard-fought 5-2 win over the visiting Wildcats of Northwestern on Jan. 23. After securing the doubles point, the match came down to a three-set thriller at No. 2 singles when Anessa Lee pulled off the victory, 6-7(3), 6-0, 6-4. Dasha Kourkina finished shortly after to give Vanderbilt the 5-2 edge.  

ITA Rankings 

  • Three individuals are ranked heading into the start of the season in Marcella Cruz (96th), Anessa Lee (112th) and Holly Staff (119th). 
  • Two doubles teams rank among the top in collegiate tennis as Cruz and Staff sit 36th nationally and Lee and Staff are ranked 57th. 

Second Season 

Head coach Aleke Tsoubanos is in her second year at the helm of the Dores in 2021-22. In her first year as head coach, Tsoubanos led her team to a 14-10 record and second round berth in the NCAA Tournament.  

A former student-athlete for Vandy, she spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach before taking over in 2020-21. 

On The Radar 

The Dores return to the Music City to host a series of duals Feb. 4-6 before the ITA National Team Indoor Championships the following week.  

The team’s next home match will take place Feb. 4 at 10:30 a.m. CT as they are set to host East Tennessee State.