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NCAA Tournament Semifinals
UCLA Recap
W, 4-3

One Final Step; Men’s Tennis Defeats UCLA to Advance to NCAA Finals
Harris Wins Marathon Match To Clinch Team Victory

ATHENS, Ga. - The Vanderbilt men’s tennis team, behind the pressure play of junior Chad Harris (Aurora, Colo.) and sophomore Scott Brown (St. Louis, Mo.), advanced to the NCAA Finals with a gut-wrenching victory over sixth-seeded UCLA, 4-3, on Monday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

The Commodores, under the direction of head coach Ken Flach, will now take on the winner of the No. 1-seed Illinois/No. 4-seed Stanford match at 4 p.m. (EST) Tuesday. The Illinois/Stanford match was just getting started following the conclusion of the Vanderbilt semifinal match.

"I am so proud of our team," Flach said. "We made it to the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four, and now we will be playing for the national championship. I have been so impressed with the way our players have handled the expectations placed upon them all season."

Vanderbilt will be seeking the first team national championship in university history.

The 16th-ranked Harris, coming off an emotional win over No. 2-ranked Benedikt Dorsch of Baylor on Monday, stunned UCLA’s Marcin Matkowski in a three-set thriller, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4. The clinching win came more than an hour all the other singles matches were completed. The third set of Harris’ match was postponed by two rain delays.

"Marcin is a big hitter. I watched his match yesterday and I noticed that he gets a little tight when the match gets close," Harris said. "I tried to keep rallying throughout the match and he missed some shots. I am happy to come away with a win."

Earlier in the match, Brown showed the heart of a champion against 37th-ranked Chris Lam. With the Commodores down 3-2 in the team score and Brown down one set, he battled back to win, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. Brown, who won the decisive match against Baylor on Sunday, has won 21 matches this season for the ‘Dores.

The Commodores got things rolling in doubles, as they won the key point for the 25th time in 29 opportunities. The No. 1 doubles team of junior Bobby Reynolds (Acworth, Ga.) and sophomore Scott Brown clinched the teams split the two earlier matches. Reynolds and Brown defeated 24th-ranked Rodrigo Grilli and Marcin Matkow, 8-4.

Juniors Zach Dailey (Memphis, Tenn.) and Lewie Smith (Memphis, Tenn.) improved their dual-match record to 10-0 in defeating the Bruins’ No. 3 team of Erfan Djahangiri and Alberto Francis, 8-4.

Reynolds, the top-ranked collegiate player in the country, got things started in singles. He picked up a straight-set win over fifth-ranked Tobias Clemens, 6-3, 6-4, at No.1 singles. He improves his 2002-03 record to 43-6, which includes a 24-1 dual-match mark. Reynolds has also won 10 straight matches.

With Vanderbilt leading the team competition 2-0, UCLA stormed back to win three consecutive matches. The 88th-ranked Djahangiri clinched the first point for the Bruins, defeating Dailey at the No. 5 position, 6-4, 6-3. The loss ended Dailey’s 11-match winning streak.

UCLA’s second point came at No. 6, as Lassi Ketola defeated Smith in convincing fashion, 6-1, 6-2. Smith had won six of his last seven matches entering the showdown with Ketola.

Sophomore Matt Lockin (Lilburn, Ga.), who had won his last two matches for the Commodores, was upended by the 98th-ranked Grilli, 6-4, 7-5, at No. 3 singles. The 66th-ranked Lockin had scored two big wins the previous two days over players from Texas A&M and Baylor.

No. 7 Vanderbilt vs. No. 6 UCLA (Tournament Seedings)
May 19 • Athens, Ga. • Dan MaGill Tennis Complex

Singles

Vanderbilt UCLA Winner Score
Bobby Reynolds Tobias Clemens VU 6-3, 6-4
Chad Harris* Marcin Matkowski VU 5-7, 7-6, 6-4
Matt Lockin Rodrigo Grillo UCLA 6-4, 7-5
Scott Brown Chris Lam VU 6-7, 6-4, 6-2
Zach Dailey Erfan Djahangiri UCLA 6-4, 6-3
Lewie Smith Lassi Ketola UCLA 6-1, 6-2

* Clinching Singles Victory

Doubles

Vanderbilt UCLA Winner Score
Reynolds/Brown* Grilli/Matkowski VU 8-4
Harris/Lockin Clemens/Ketola UCLA 8-3
Dailey/Smith Djahangiri/Francis VU 8-4

* Clinching Doubles Victory

 

 







 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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