Feb. 27, 2010
NASHVILLE - Vanderbilt's 39th-ranked men's tennis team stayed perfect at home this season as the Commodores knocked off No. 65 Furman, 6-1, on Saturday at the Currey Tennis Center.
Vanderbilt, 7-3, won the doubles point and first four completed singles matches to clinch the match, while building a 5-0 lead against Furman, 3-5, 1-0 Southern Conference.
"I thought doubles looked good after having to make some adjustments after last weekend," Head Coach Ian Duvenhage said. "We didn't have a lot of days to practice two new combinations and I thought they did a good job. We got off to a sensational start in singles and then they came back on us a little bit, but with the exception of Adam's (Baker) match, we were able to win the rest of them, so I'm happy with the win."
The Commodores continued to be dominant at home this season where they have outscored opponents 33-2. Vanderbilt also stayed perfect this season when winning the doubles point, and is now 7-0 when it does so.
Leading 1-0 after doubles, Vanderbilt junior Bryant Salcedo gave the Commodores a 2-0 lead in the match when he defeated Furman's Chris Motes, 6-2, 6-2, in the No. 2 position. It was the first time this season Salcedo has played in the No. 2 slot after previously playing all but one of his matches at No. 3.
Vanderbilt freshman Ryan Lipman extended the Commodores' lead to three, 3-0, when he knocked off Furman's Sawyer Duncan, 6-0, 6-4, in the No. 1 position. Ranked No. 39 nationally, Lipman is now 6-3 in dual play and 17-5 overall.
Clinching the match for the Commodore was senior Vijay Paul. Playing at No. 3 for the first time this year, Paul knocked off Furman's Jordan Walters, 6-2, 6-3, to clinch his second overall match of the season (N.C. State).
Commodore junior Alex Zotov stayed undefeated in dual play, moving to 9-0, but it did not come easily. For only the second time this spring, Zotov was pushed to three sets. After winning the first set 6-2 over Furman's Andrew Mellow, Zotov dropped the second set 6-3 and trailed 2-1 in the third set before winning five straight games to win the set and match, 6-2.
Vanderbilt's lone loss was by junior Adam Baker, who entered the day 7-0 in dual play. Playing in the No. 4 position, Baker won the first set against Furman's Carl Lundberg, 6-4. Down a set, Lundberg rallied to win the second, 6-3, to even the match. Playing a 10-point tiebreaker to decide the match, Baker built a 5-4 lead before Lundberg rallied to win the tiebreaker 10-6 and take the match.
The Commodores' final point came courtesy of sophomore Alex DiValerio, who defeated Tyler Droll, 7-5, 6-2.
Vanderbilt opened the match by winning all three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead in the match. It was the seventh time this season Vanderbilt has won the doubles point.
Playing together for the first time since last season, Vijay Paul and Alex DiValerio were met with little resistance as they cruised to an 8-1 victory in the No. 3 position over Watson George and Carl Lundberg of Furman.
Clinching the doubles point was another first-time Vanderbilt duo of Ryan Lipman and Bryant Salcedo. Lipman and Salcedo built a 5-1 lead in the match before posting an 8-3 victory in the No. 2 slot.
Completing the sweep was VU's No. 1 duo of Adam Baker and Alex Zotov, who topped Furman's Chris Motes and Chris Rhyne, 8-4. The match was knotted at four before the Commodores went up a break and cruised the rest of the way.
Vanderbilt will be in action again on Sunday when the Commodores host No. 64 MTSU at noon.
"We've got to turn around and be ready for (MTSU) to play its best and not only that, we've got to be ready for ourselves to maybe have a bad day and still find a way to win the match," Duvenhage said. "The great ones win when they are struggling and their opponents are playing well."