Tennis Claws by No. 12 Kentucky in Home Finale, 6-1
Tenn. - Virtue of its 6-1 triumph over No. 12 Kentucky
on Friday, the eighth-ranked Vanderbilt men's tennis
team will receive one of the four byes for next weekend's
Southeastern Conference Tournament in Oxford, Miss.
If the Commodores defeat the 13th-ranked Gamecocks of
South Carolina on Sunday, they will earn the No. 2 seed
for the tournament. However, if they lose, the Commodores
will slip to the No. 3 seed, while Mississippi will
the No. 2 seed.
Friday's win, the Commodores improve to 18-3 overall
and 8-2 in the conference, while the Wildcats fall to
16-10 overall and 6-5 in the SEC.
match started off with the Commodores sweeping the doubles
competition. However, it didn't come as easy as it might
have seemed by the scores. Junior Bobby Reynolds and
sophomore Scott Brown continued to play outstanding
tennis at the No. 1 position, as they defeated Karim
Benmansour and Matt Emery, 8-1. Reynolds and Brown are
now 4-0 since joining forces against Auburn last weekend.
the No. 2 doubles position, junior Chad Harris and sophomore
Matt Lockin battled back from being down two breaks
of serve and 3-0 to defeat Jesse Witten and Rahim Esmail,
8-4. After falling behind 3-0, Harris and Lockin won
six-straight games. At No. 3 doubles, juniors Lewie
Smith and Zach Dailey also battled back from 4-1 deficit
to defeat Alex Hume and Evan Austin, 8-5. Smith and
Dailey are also 4-0 since joining forces back on April
4 against Auburn.
showcase match of the afternoon featured No. 2-ranked
Reynolds and No. 16-ranked Witten, who was the NCAA
runner-up last year. The spectators in attendance were
not disappointed at all, as both players displayed their
solid ground-stroke abilities. Reynolds jumped out on
Witten early in the first set, as he got up 5-0. Witten
would not go away, as she won the next three games before
Reynolds was able to close out the set.
second set featured the same high level from the baseline
by both players. Reynolds was able to grab the momentum
late in the second set and had to a chance to serve
out the match at 5-3. However, Witten would not let
up and was able to break right back and get the match
back on serve. Witten would eventually get the set to
a tiebreaker, which he went on to win, 7-4.
the momentum on Witten's side, he jumped out to a quick
3-1 lead in the third set. With Reynolds' back against
the wall, he fought his way back into the match and
won the next five games, which ended up being the match.
With the win, Reynolds is now 10-0 in SEC dual matches,
and he will the opportunity a perfect conference season
on Sunday against Seth Rose of South Carolina.
15th-ranked Harris was able to gut out a three-set thriller
over Austin at the No. 2 positon. Harris was able to
clinch his 14th dual-match victory and 29th win of the
year, as he defeated Austin, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-4. He has
also won 13 of his last 16 matches.
55th-ranked Lockin continued his hot play at the No.
3 position, as he defeated Benmansour in straight sets,
6-4, 6-4. Lockin has now won five of his last six dual
and Brown continued to be productive at the No. 4 and
No. 5 positions, respectively. Dailey won his 16th dual
match of the year and sixth-straight match, as he defeated
Emery, 6-2, 6-2. Brown continued his upswing, as he
defeated Esmail in a tight three-set match, 6-4, 5-7,
Commodores will conclude their regular season at 1 p.m.
(EST) Sunday against No. 13 South Carolina in Columbia,
||6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3
||6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-4
||6-4, 5-7, 6-1
||6-4, 1-6, 6-3