April 6, 2013
NASHVILLE - No. 14 Vanderbilt used a surge midway through singles to blitz past the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats, 4-2, Saturday afternoon in the 2012-13 home finale at the Currey Tennis Center.
The Commodores (15-7, 6-4) finished the home portion of the schedule for the 2012-13 season with a record of 11-3 at the Currey Tennis Center. Kentucky dropped to 19-8 overall this season and 6-4 in SEC play.
Vanderbilt's win also marks the second time this season the Commodores have taken down a top 10 team. The Commodores upset No. 4 Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., back on March 17.
"I'm so proud of the way we competed in singles," said Vanderbilt men's tennis head coach Ian Duvenhage. "We played so badly in doubles, and to come back in singles and win this match, that is huge. To win this one the way we did is really special."
Kentucky took a 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point. In No. 1 doubles, the 19th-ranked duo of Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai defeated Gonzales Austin and Suresh Eswaran, 8-2. The Wildcats then clinched the point with a win at the No. 3 position. Ryuji Hirooka and Beck Pennington downed Ryan Lipman and Kris Yee, 8-3. The match for Lipman and Yee marked the first time the two Commodores have paired up in doubles.
In No. 6 singles, Pennington defeated Anton Kovrigin, 6-1, 6-4, to give Kentucky a 2-0 lead.
(Gonzales) Austin would start the comeback rally with a comeback three-set win over No. 24 (Tom) Jomby, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Despite dropping the first set, Austin controlled the match in sets two and third. The sophomore from Miami, Fla., has now won his last three matches with all of them over ranked opponents.
The Commodores tied the match at 2 after Yee defeated Lai, 7-5, 6-4. Yee improved to 23-5 overall and 18-2 during the dual season. The Las Vegas, Nev., native has lost only once in SEC play (7-1).
In No. 1 singles, a pair of top 20 players battled for three sets, as well. Ryan Lipman, who is ranked No. 17, came back to win the second and third sets (3-6, 6-4, 6-1) after dropping the first to No. 18 Anthony Rossi. The win would give Vanderbilt a 3-2 lead that they would not let slip away. Lipman is now an impressive 28-7 overall and 18-3 in dual play. The redshirt junior also leads the team with an 8-2 mark in conference play.
Leading 3-2, the Commodores looked to freshman Marc van der Merwe to bring home the win, and the Stellenbosch, South Africa, native would not disappoint. After dropping the first set to Grant Roberts, 4-6, van der Merwe took control the rest of the match, winning 6-2, 6-3.
Vanderbilt wraps up the SEC regular season with trips to South Carolina next Friday, April 12 at 4 p.m., and Florida Sunday, April 14 at 12 p.m. CT.
1. No. 17 Ryan Lipman (VU) def. No. 18 Anthony Rossi (UK) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
2. No. 62 Gonzales Austin (VU) def. No. 24 Tom Jomby (UK) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
3. Jeff Offerdahl (VU) vs. Charles Minc (UK) 6-4, 3-6, 3-2, unfinished
4. Marc van der Merwe (VU) def. Grant Roberts (UK) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Kris Yee (VU) def. Kevin Lai (UK) 7-5, 6-4
6. Beck Pennington (UK) def. Anton Kovrigin (VU) 6-1, 6-4
1. No. 19 Jomby/Lai (UK) def. Austin/Eswaran (VU) 8-2
2. Johnson/van der Merwe (VU) vs. Roberts/Rossi (UK) 5-6, unfinished
3. Hirooka/Pennington (UK) def. Lipman/Yee (VU) 8-3
Order of finish