Feb. 28, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The 14th-ranked Vanderbilt men's tennis team opened Southeastern Conference play Friday, knocking off No. 66 Arkansas 7-0, at the Dills Indoor Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Ryan Lipman clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles.
"I'm really pleased with how we played today," said Vanderbilt head coach Ian Duvenhage. "In doubles we still have a few things to work out but I thought we did a great job in singles. We came out with a sense of urgency which I really liked to see."
The Commodores (9-2, 1-0 SEC) started the match off right with some strong doubles play at No. 1 and No. 3. Vanderbilt's top-ranked doubles team of 5th-ranked Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman cruised to a quick 8-3 win over No. 56 Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott.
The win for Lipman and Austin move them to 18-3 on the year and 8-1 in dual play. The duo has also now won eight matches this year over ranked opponents.
Austin and Offerdahl kept that momentum from doubles and took it into singles, winning quickly at No. 1 and No. 6, respectively. Offerdahl put the `Dores up 2-0 winning 6-3, 6-2 over Juan Marino at No. 6. No. 15 Austin would then put VU 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 1.
"AJ (Austin) and Jeff (Offerdahl) did a great job to win and get off the court quick," Duvenhage said. "They put us up 3-0 and really pushed Arkansas' back up against the wall."
Kris Yee and Lipman continued the strong singles play for the Commodores, winning in straight-sets at No. 4 and No. 2, respectively. Lipman extended his win streak to five-matches and earned the clinch with 6-4, 6-2 win. Shortly after Yee won a tough second set tiebreak to take his match 6-2, 7-6 (3).
Johnson won 6-3 in the first set before Hall Fess earned the split with a 6-4 win in the second. The Australia native earned a hard fought win, breaking Fess who was serving for match point, forcing a third set breaker. In the break Johnson locked in, cruising past Fess for a 7-1 win.
Kovrigin broke at 4-all in the third set against den Toom before taking the match 6-4.
"I'm pleased with how Anton (Kovrigin) and Rhys (Johnson) played after the match was clinched," Duvenhage said. "Sometimes players can lose focus after the team match has been won, but they both remained focused and were able break late to earn tough wins."
Vanderbilt will continue its road trip with a match against No. 73 LSU on Sunday at noon.
#14 Vanderbilt 7, #66 Arkansas 0
1. #15 Gonzales Austin (VU) def. Mike Nott (ARK) 6-1, 6-2
2. #122 Ryan Lipman (VU) def. Manfred Jeske (ARK) 6-4, 6-2
3. Rhys Johnson (VU) def. Hall Fess (ARK) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-1)
4. Kris Yee (VU) def. Jovan Parlic (ARK) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
5. Anton Kovrigin (VU) def. Johan den Toom (ARK) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. Jeffrey Offerdahl (VU) def. Juan Marino (ARK) 6-3, 6-2
1. Ryan Lipman/Gonzales Austin (VU) def. #56 Manfred Jeske/Mike Nott (ARK) 8-3
2. #41 Hall Fess/Pete Thomason (ARK) def. Rhys Johnson/Ryan Smith (VU) 8-3
3. Suresh Eswaran/Jeffrey Offerdahl (VU) def. Jovan Parlic/Johan den Toom (ARK) 8-4
Vanderbilt 9-2, 1-0 SEC; National ranking #14
Arkansas 8-7, 0-1 SEC; National ranking #66
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,1,2,4,5,3)