Tennis Stuns Top-Ranked Florida, 4-3
Commodores defeat Gators for first time in program's
Tenn. - Like the old saying goes, 'All good things come
to those who wait'. In the case of the Vanderbilt women's
tennis team, it has been waiting since 1980 to defeat
one of the most storied college women's tennis programs
in the country. The waiting game finally ended, as the
10th-ranked Commodores stunned top-ranked Florida, 4-3,
on Sunday afternoon at the Brownlee O. Currey Tennis
Center. For Vanderbilt, it was its first win over Florida
in 28 meetings.
With the win, the Commodores stay alive for a Southeastern
Conference regular-season title, as they improve their
overall record to 13-3 and their conference mark to
4-2. The visiting Gators fall to 14-2 overall and 5-1
in the conference.
In front of a highly energetic crowd, Vanderbilt was
able to grab the early advantage by taking the critical
doubles point. Junior Kelly Schmandt and sophomore Audra
Falk picked up a huge win at the No. 2 position, as
they defeated seventh-ranked Alexis Gordon and Julia
Scaringe, 8-3. The Commodores locked up the doubles
point at the No. 1 spot, as the fourth-ranked duo of
senior Sarah Riske and junior Aleke Tsoubanos battled
back to defeat Lindsay Dawah and Julie Rotondi, 9-7.
Riske and Tsoubanos got behind late in the match, 7-5,
but was able to win four-straight games to win the point.
Riske and Tsoubanos are now 23-2 overall and 14-2 in
In some outstanding singles action on both sides, Vanderbilt
was able to win at the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 6 positions.
Freshman Ashley Schellhas was the hero of the day, as
she clinched the team victory at the No. 6 position
with the team match tied at 3-3. Schellas scored the
biggest win of her young college career, as she upset
No. 55-ranked Jennifer Magley, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0. She is
now 12-2 in dual matches and 20-3 overall.
The 12th-ranked Riske also had a strong showing at the
top position, as she scored a straight-set win over
37th-ranked Julia Scaringe, 6-2, 7-5. Riske was able
to break Scaringe's serve once in both sets to solidify
the victory. With the win, Riske improves her dual-match
record to 13-3.
Tsoubanos gave head coach Geoff Macdonald his other
singles victory, as she scored a straight-set upset
over 22nd-ranked Julie Rotondi, 7-5, 6-4. After a tight
first set, Tsoubanos jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead;
however, Rotonidi stormed back to take a 4-3 lead. With
the momentum of the match changing, Tsoubanos was able
to string together three solid games to win the second
set and the match.
The Commodores will now have a nice 12-day layoff before
taking the court again. Vanderbilt will host SEC Western
Division foe Louisiana State at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March
28, at the Currey Tennis Center. Admission for the match
||7-6 (6), 6-0
||6-1, 7-6 (4)
||4-6, 6-4, 6-0 *
* Schellhas' victory clinched win for 'Dores.