Feb. 27, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Although the Commodores won the doubles point for the eighth time this season, the men’s tennis team was unable to hold off the University of North Carolina in singles play and fell, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Center.
“We talk on a daily basis about the fact that what wins matches is the execution of certain fundamentals,” said head coach Ian Duvenhage. “We did not execute those fundamentals nearly as well today as we have in the past and it cost us.”
UNC got off to a quick start, as Ryan Lipman and Adam Baker were unable to hold off the No. 20 double pair in the nation, falling 8-3 in the No. 2 match. Charlie Jones and Alex Zotov evened things up with an 8-6 win on court two.
On court three, Bryant Salcedo and Blake Bazarnik jumped out to a 7-3 lead, before the UNC duo of Zach Hunter and William Parker fought back to take an 8-7 lead. Salcedo and Bazarnik evened the score and then claimed the match with a 7-2 win in the tiebreaker.
The Commodores (8-2) increased their lead when Lipman picked up a 6-4, 6-1 win over No. 30 Jose Hernandez in the No. 1 match. William Parker picked up the first point of the afternoon for the Tar Heels after defeating Bazarnik, 6-4, 6-3, in the No. 4 match.
Salcedo gave Vanderbilt a 3-1 lead when he defeated UNC’s Cameron Ahari, 6-0, 6-1 on court five. Unfortunately, the Commodores were unable to hold off the Tar Heels in the final three singles matches. Brennan Boyajian knocked off Baker, 6-4, 6-2, in the No. 2 match. Matches three and six both went to three sets, as UNC won the first set of each before Vanderbilt tied it. Jones battled with Stefan Hardy, but fell, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 on court three.
Zotov split the first two sets, 2-6, 6-1, against Zach Hunter in the No. 6 match, but was unable to hold off Hunter in the third set, falling 6-4, for UNC to claim the match victory.
“We used our loss to Nebraska to motivate us to execute the fundamentals better,” said Duvenhage. “We went on a six-match winning streak, so we’ll just have to use this as motivation to get back to executing the basics and the results will take care of themselves.”
The Commodores look to rebound from this loss as SEC play begins next weekend. Vanderbilt travels to Mississippi to take on Mississippi State on Friday and Ole Miss on Sunday.