No. 8 Women's Tennis Drops Heartbreaker to No. 4
Duke, 4-3 1/26/03
N.C. - The eighth-ranked Vanderbilt womens tennis
team (6-1) dropped its first dual match of 2003, as
it fell to fourth-ranked Duke (3-0) in dramatic fashion
on Sunday afternoon at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center,
Vanderbilt gave Duke all it could handle on Sunday,
as the Blue Devils are possibly the deepest team in
the country with seven players ranked in the Intercollegiate
Tennis Association top 100.
After dropping the critical doubles point, the Commodores
rebounded by winning three of the next four singles
matches to take a 3-2 lead. Vanderbilt hopes were now
on the shoulders of senior Sarah Riske and freshman
Ashley Schellhas. If either of them could pull out a
victory, the Commodores would claim the upset.
Riskes match against No. 2-ranked Kelly McCain
at the No. 1 position, and Schellhas match with
former Vanderbilt player Katie Blaszak at the No. 5
spot were both stretched to three sets and determine
the outcome of the dual match.
In the Riske-McCain match, Vanderbilts only senior
was able to jump out to early one set lead (6-3), but
McCain clawed back to take the second, 6-3. The third
and decisive set was determined by one break of serve,
which McCain was able to steal away and take the third
and final set, 6-4. In probably the most exciting match
of the day, Schellhas and Blaszak battled for three
tough and grueling sets. Blaszak was able to take the
first set 6-4, but Schellhas battled back to win the
second in a marathon tie-breaker, 13-11. With the match
coming down to a third set, Blaszak was able to grab
the early advantage and win the set, 6-2. For Schellhas
it was her first dual-match loss and only her second
loss of the 2002-03 season.
Vanderbilt three wins came from juniors Kelly Schmandt,
Aleke Tsoubanos and sophomore Audra Falk. All three
easily defeated their opponents, who were all ranked
in the ITA top 65. The Vanderbilt trio only surrendered
nine games in their three matches. Tsoubanos, Schmandt
and Falk are a combined 20-1 this dual-match season.
On Saturday, the Commodores defeated No. 51-ranked
Pennsylvania, 7-0, in Durham, N.C.
The womens tennis team will look to rebound from
Sundays loss, as it returns to action at 2:30
p.m. Friday, January 31, against No. 57-ranked Iowa
at the Brownlee O. Currey Tennis Center. Admission for
the match is free.
||3-6, 6-3, 6-4
||6-4, 6-7 (11), 6-2