Feb. 28, 2009
TULSA, Okla. - Vanderbilt's 34th-ranked men's tennis team opened its five-match road trip with a 4-3 loss to No. 17 Oklahoma State on Saturday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center at Tulsa University.
The loss was Vanderbilt's second in a row and dropped the Commodores to 4-4 on the season and 1-2 on the road. All four of Vanderbilt's losses have come by one point (4-3). Oklahoma State moved to 4-1 with the win.
Like its other losses, Vanderbilt had an opportunity to win at the end of Saturday's match. This time, the Commodores came within one game of clinching the match. Senior Nick Cromydas was serving for the match at 5-4, but was unable to hold his serve or the match against Oklahoma State's Mikhail Trukshanin, who took the match, 4-6, 7-5 7-5, in the No. 2 singles position.
"I'm happy with the effort, but when you have the match on your racquet, you have to get it done," Head Coach Ian Duvenhage said. "I feel like we are so close to being 8-0. Eventually, we need to start winning some of these close matches."
Vanderbilt was able to build a 1-0 lead in the match after taking the doubles point for the fourth straight time and the sixth time in eight matches this season.
Winning doubles matches were Vanderbilt's 25th-ranked duo of Adam Baker and Alex Zotov in the No. 1 position and Nick Cromydas and Bryant Salcedo in the No. 2 position. Baker and Zotov defeated OSU's 39th-ranked tandem of Oleksandr Nedovyesov and Nathan Byrnes, 8-4.
Cromydas and Salcedo defeated OSU's duo of Mikhail Trukshanin and Igor Sobolta, 9-7.
Vanderbilt's two points in singles competition came from Vijay Paul and Charlie Jones. Paul defeated OSU's Nathan Byrnes in the No. 3 position, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, to move his singles record to 8-8 this season. He has now won four of his last five matches.
Jones moved his record to 13-8 on the year and 6-2 in dual play with a 6-4, 7-6 win over OSU's Igor Sobolta.
Vanderbilt will return to action Sunday at noon against No. 20 Tulsa (10-5). The match will also be held at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.