Ohio State Recap
W, 6-1

Men's Tennis Cruises by No. 24 Ohio State, 6-1 2/16/03
Commodores claim doubles point in seventh-straight match.

NASHVILLE, 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 looked back.

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.

The 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.


Vanderbilt Ohio State Winner Score
Bobby Reynolds Jeremy Wurtzman VU 7-6, 6-0
Chad Harris Vince Ng VU 6-2, 6-1
Matt Lockin Dennis Mertens VU 6-2, 6-0
Zach Dailey Conor Casey VU 7-5, 6-1
Scott Brown Brenton Contini OSU 6-4, 7-6
Lewie Smith Scott Green VU 6-1, 6-3


Vanderbilt Ohio State Winner Score
Reynolds/Smith Casey/Mertens VU 8-3
Brown/Harris Green/Wurtzman VU 8-5
Dailey/Pilgram-Larsen Ng/Contini VU 8-3




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