March 20, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Although the Vanderbilt men’s tennis team took three singles matches from Auburn, it wasn’t enough as the team fell 4-3 and was unable to pick up its first Southeastern Conference victory.
Auburn got out to a quick lead after winning two of three doubles matches. Charlie Jones and Alex Zotov dropped an 8-5 decision in the No. 2 match. Adam Baker and Ryan Lipman, ranked 49th in the nation, defeated Tim Puetz and Dan Cochrane in the No. 1 match to force the No. 3 doubles match to decide the point. Bryant Salcedo and Blake Bazarnik couldn’t hold off Lucas Lopasso and Rafael Rondino, falling 8-6.
With a 1-0 lead heading into singles play, the Tigers won the first three singles matches to jump out to a 4-0 lead and claim the match victory. Zotov dropped a 6-2, 6-4 match on court six. In the No. 5 match, Bazarnik lost the first set, 6-1, and battled in the second set but couldn’t hang on, falling 7-5 to No. 121 Andreas Mies. Lipman faced No. 31 Tim Puetz, who reached the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA singles tournament, in the No. 1 match. Puetz picked up a 6-4, 6-3 victory to clinch the match.
Although the outcome of the match was already decided, the Commodores fought hard in the remaining matches and picked up three wins. Jones defeated Tim Hewitt, 6-4, 7-5 on court two, and Salcedo beat No. 105 Cochrane, 6-4, 7-5 in the No. 4 match. After falling 4-6 in the first set, Baker responded with a 7-6(8) win in the second set and claimed the win with an 11-9 win the super tiebreaker set.
The Commodores return to action at Alabama next Sunday at 1 p.m.