Tennis Cruises by No. 24 Ohio State, 6-1
Commodores claim doubles point in seventh-straight
Tenn. - In front of a large contingency of spectators,
the No. 28-ranked Vanderbilt men's tennis team pick
up a huge non-conference win against Big Ten power and
No. 24-ranked Ohio State on Sunday afternoon at the
Brownlee O. Currey Tennis Center, 6-1. With the win,
the Commodores move their overall mark to 6-1, while
the visiting Buckeyes fall to 5-3.
Following last season's split in the two matches the
teams played against each other, Sunday's match-up had
a little extra meaning. Vanderbilt wanted to prove it
could play with the top teams in the country, while
Ohio State wanted to avenge their NCAA first round loss
to the Commodores.
The Commodores came out of the gates with something
to prove, and this was indicative by their play in doubles
portion of the match.
All three of Vanderbilt's doubles teams were relentless
against their opponents. Juniors Bobby Reynolds and
Lewie Smith closed their match out first, as they defeated
Conor Casey and Dennis Mertens at the No. 1 position,
8-3. Reynolds and Smith, who are undefeated in dual-match
competition, jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead and never
The Commodores claimed the doubles point when junior
Chad Harris and sophomore Scott Brown eased by Scott
Green and Jeremy Wurtzman at the second doubles spot,
8-5. Harris, who injured his wrist during Saturday's
match with Furman, showed no ill-effects from the injury.
Finally, juniors Zach Dailey and Jens Pilgram-Larsen
continued to be a force for head coach Ken Flach at
the No. 3 position, as they easily defeated Vince Ng
and Brenton Contini, 8-3.
The positive energy the Commodores got from their doubles
play carried over to the singles portion of the match.
In the showcase singles match of the day, the eighth-ranked
Reynolds squared off with the seventh-ranked Wurtzman.
The first set showcased an incredible display of talent
from the baseline by both players.
Neither player was able to grab the advantage until
the 11th game of the first set, as Wurtzman was finally
able to break Reynolds' serve and grab a 6-5 lead. With
the first set on the line, Reynolds was able to break
Wurtzman's serve on just four points to send the set
to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Reynolds jumped
out to a quick 3-0 lead, and was able to hold on to
take the set. With all the momentum on Reynolds' side,
he kicked his level of play into high gear and won the
second set, 6-0. For the season, Reynolds has now defeated
14 players who have an ITA ranking.
No. 14-ranked Harris also had a big singles match, as
he took on 45th-ranked Ng. Ng was one of the hottest
players in the country, as he entered the match with
a 24-3 singles record this season. From the start, Harris
was locked in on the match and really never gave Ng
much of an opportunity to get any momentum. Harris was
never lost his serve during the match, as he rolled
to a 6-2, 6-1 win. Harris and Reynolds have combined
to win 43 singles matches this year.
The Commodores picked up their other three singles points
at the No. 3, 4 and 6 positions. Sophomore Matt Lockin
had no problems in easily defeating Mertens, 6-2, 6-0.
After winning a tight first set 7-5 over Conor Casey,
Dailey rolled in the second set 6-1 to give Vanderbilt
the team victory. Smith closed things out by defeating
Green in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.
The Commodores will look for their best start during
the Ken Flach era, as they will take on Indiana University
at 12 p.m. Saturday, February 22, at the Currey Tennis
Center. Admission for the match is free. Vanderbilt
defeated Indiana last season in Bloomington, Ind., 4-3.