Tennis Comes Back to Defeat Pepperdine in NCAA Second
Commodores will now square off with Texas A&M
in Sweet 16
Tenn. - The sixth-ranked Vanderbilt men's tennis team's
miracle run in 2003 will live to see another day, as
the Commodores battled back to defeat an extremely talented
team in Pepperdine, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon in the
second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Brownlee
O. Currey Tennis Center.
win was big," Vanderbilt head coach Ken Flach said.
"Winning the SEC Championships was awesome, but
the NCAAs and postseason is what it's all about. If
we would have lost today, I think this season would
have been somewhat of a disappointment. I've been stressing
to this team that they are good enough to win, and go
to the Sweet 16. I'm elated and just thrilled for this
This was the first time the Commodores have advanced
past the second round of the tournament. Vanderbilt
will now have a showdown with 10th-ranked Texas A&M
on Saturday, May 17, at the Dan McGill Tennis Complex
in Athens, Ga. The NCAA has not released times for the
eight third round matches. Check back to VUCommodores.com
for further updates.
hero of Sunday's match was junior Bobby Reynolds. With
the Commodores leading the team score 3-2 and junior
Chad Harris trailing at the No. 2 singles position,
Reynolds battled back from a break of serve down in
the third set to Calle Hansen to give the Commodores
Reynolds came out quickly to start the match, as he
won the first set, 6-1. He broke Hansen in the first
game of the second set and seemed to be in the driver
seat, but Hansen would not fold. Hansen was able to
break back in the next game and still another break
later on to take the second set, 6-3. Hansen carried
the momentum into the final set and was able to race
out to a 4-2 lead. After cutting the deficit to 4-3,
Reynolds dug down deep to finally break back and get
the match back on serve. With all the momentum on his
side, Reynolds won the next two games and the match.
was huge, just huge," Flach said. "He dug
down and played great when we really needed him. It's
amazing how much heart he has. He was down a break in
the third (set) and know his team needed him. He simply
put us on his neck, like he has all year."
to the start of singles, the Commodores set the early
tone in doubles for what was to be an incredible dual
match. Vanderbilt won its 22nd doubles point of the
year, as the Commodores scored victories at No. 1 and
No. 3. Juniors Zach Dailey and Lewie continued their
outstanding play at No. 3, as they defeated Alexis Rafidison
and Kevin Borzenski, 8-4. The point was wrapped up when
Reynolds and sophomore Scott Brown defeated Hansen and
Diego Acuna, 8-3.
With the early momentum on the Commodores' side, Pepperdine
would not go away. The Waves picked up two quick wins
at the No. 3 and No. 4 positions to take a 2-1 lead
in the team score. Acuna used an incredible baseline
game to defeat Vanderbilt sophomore Matt Lockin, 6-3,
6-1. Their other win would come from Scott Doerner,
as he defeated Brown, 6-2, 6-0.
a moment there, I thought it was our match," Pepperdine
head coach Adam Steinberg said. "We played hard,
about as good as we could."
Vanderbilt's back against the wall, Smith continued
his dominance at the No. 6 position. He defeated Borzenski
in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, to pick his 26th singles
victory of the year.
Dailey would give the Commodores a 3-2 advantage by
defeating Rafidison in a lopsided three-set match, 6-2,
0-6, 6-0. With the win, he is now 21-3 in dual matches
(9), 5-4 (PU Led)
Pepperdine Head Coach Adam Steinberg
"I'm very disappointed in the loss, but not the
effort. Our guys played great tennis against a terrific
"The spectators saw great college tennis today.
For my guys to come into this environment and have a
chance win this match was thrilling. We played hard,
but it simply wasn't meant to be."
"For a moment there, I thought it was our match.
We played hard, about as good as we could."
"I'm disappointed, but we learned a lot today.
Like Vanderbilt, we have a young team, with everybody
coming back. Maybe we will be back in this position
Vanderbilt Head Coach Ken Flach
"What an exciting, awesome match. It was a just
a great match between two teams that wanted to win."
"This was just a total team effort. It's been that
way the whole season, one guy picking up another guy.
We are just a scrappy bunch that has defied all the
odds and never backed down. We kept thinking we would
find a way to win. In the end, we did."
"Bobby (Reynolds) was huge, just huge. He dug down
and played great when we really needed him. It's amazing
how much heart he has. He was down a break in the third
(set) and know his team needed him. He simply put us
on his neck, like he has all year."
"This win was big. Winning the SEC Championships
was awesome, but the NCAAs and postseason is what it's
all about. If we would have lost today, I think this
season would have been somewhat of a disappointment.
I've been stressing to this team that they are good
enough to win, and go to the Sweet 16. I'm elated and
just thrilled for this team."