Tennis Advances to First-Ever SEC Tournament Championship;
Shocks No. 6 Ole Miss, 4-1 4/19/03
Commodores and Gators to face off for SEC Title on
Miss. - The eighth-ranked Vanderbilt men's tennis team
(21-3) is now only one step away from earning its first-ever
Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship, as
the Commodores shocked sixth-ranked and tournament host
Mississippi (18-4), 4-1, on Saturday afternoon at the
Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. It was the was second
time Vanderbilt has defeated Mississippi this season
Saturday's win, the Commodores will advance to the finals
to take on No. 2-ranked and tournament top-seed Florida
at 2 p.m. (CST) Sunday in Oxford. The Commodores will
be looking to avenge their 4-3 loss to the Gators back
on March 16 in Gainesville.
Commodores got things going, as they continued their
dominance in doubles. The Commodores won the critical
point for the 20th time in 23 opportunities this season.
Junior Zach Dailey and sophomore Scott Brown locked
up the point for the 'Dores, as they defeated Patrick
Chucri and Karim Alayli, 8-6, at the No. 3 position.
For Dailey and Brown, it was the second-straight day
the duo has clinched the doubles' point for Vanderbilt.
first victory in doubles came at the No. 2 position,
as junior Chad Harris and sophomore Matt Lockin improved
to 6-0 on the season. Harris and Lockin defeated Paul
Ciorascu and Catalin Gard, 8-5. Juniors Bobby Reynolds
and Lewie Smith had their match with 11th-ranked Alex
Hartman and Claes Lindholm suspended at 6-6, as the
Commodores had already clinched the point.
second point of the afternoon came at the No. 4 position,
as reliable Dailey continued his outstanding play. Dailey
picked up a straight-set win over Patrick Chucri, 6-4,
6-4. Dailey has now won nine-consecutive matches and
is 19-3 during the dual-match season. He is also 13-2
at the No. 4 position in dual matches.
Commodores earned their third point against Ole Miss
when Smith defeated Alayli at the No. 6 position in
one of the strangest matches of the afternoon. Smith
grabbed the early advantage in the match, as he won
the first set, 6-3. However, Alayli picked up his level
of play in the second, as he won a lopsided second set,
6-0. With all the momentum on Alayli's side, Smith reached
deep down inside to pull out the third and decisive
set, 6-4. With the win, Smith improves his dual-match
record to 18-3.
decisive point came from Brown, who pulled out one of
the biggest victories of his career. After dropping
the first set to Lindholm, 6-2, Brown battled back to
force the second-set to a tiebreaker, which he won 7-3.
With all the momentum on his side, Brown was able to
use an early break of serve in the final set and hold
on to win it, 6-3.
and Harris' matches were suspended in their final sets.
Both players were up 5-3 in their matches to Hartman
and Gard, respectively, before they were stopped.
||7-6 (5), 1-6, 5-3 (Susp.)
||6-3, 2-6, 5-3 (Susp.)
||2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3
||6-3, 0-6, 6-4