April 11, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt's come-from-behind effort took over four and a half hours, but the 27th-ranked Commodores were able to knock off the No. 15 Florida Gators, 4-3, Friday night at the Currey Tennis Center in Nashville. The win was the first for the Commodores over the Gators since 2004.
Vanderbilt (14-8, 5-6 SEC) sophomore Kris Yee clinched the match with a 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4) win at the No. 3 position over Maxx Lipman. Yee's clincher capped off three-straight wins for the Dores to win it 4-3 after trailing 3-1 early on.
Yee, who was fighting through arm cramps late in the second set, battled through three break points from Lipman to go up 4-2 in the second.
The Gator freshman, and younger brother of Vanderbilt senior Ryan Lipman, chipped away at Yee and eventually got the match back on serve and went up 5-4. Yee and Lipman would go on to hold their remaining serves to force the second set tiebreaker.
With Yee up 4-2 at the switch, Lipman would send two returns into the net to give the Vandy sophomore four match points in the break. Lipman got it back to 6-4 before Yee clinched it for the Commodores.
Florida (12-8, 7-4 SEC) took the doubles point early on with wins at No. 2 and the clincher at No. 1 doubles.
Vandy's No. 1 team of third-ranked Gonzales Austin and Lipman fell for just the fifth time this season. The duo is 14-3 in dual play and 7-2 in SEC play going into Sunday's regular season finale.
The Commodores got a tough match from their No. 3 team of Suresh Eswaran and Ryan Smith. A position where the `Dores have struggled a lot this season, Vandy's threes were able to take the match into a tiebreak, before going unfinished leading 4-3.
After winning the doubles point, Florida jumped to a 2-0 advantage with a quick 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 6 over Eswaran.
Playing out of the No. 5 position for the first time this season, Rhys Johnson put the `Dores on the board with his 20th win of the year. Johnson knocked off No. 85 Elliot Orkin in straight-sets to make it 2-1 in favor of the Gators.
Jeffrey Offerdahl fell at the No. 4 position in straights to make it 3-1 Gators.
With their backs against the wall the Commodores reeled off three-straight wins to clinch the match, led by 19th-ranked Austin at the No. 1 position.
Austin, who took the first set 7-5, was able to get momentum back on the side of the Commodores with a big 7-4 second set tiebreak win. Austin's win cut the Gator lead to one.
After splitting sets with No. 106 Gordon Watson, 60th-ranked Lipman picked up a break in the seventh game of the third set to go up 5-2. Serving for the match, Lipman would get broken by Watson, not once, but twice as the Florida sophomore brought the match back on serve.
After holding to force a tiebreak at 6-all, Lipman would take control. The senior got up 6-3 before a big ace to seal it and knot the overall score up at 3-all. The win was No. 91 for the Nashville native.
With the match at 3-all, Yee clinched it snapping the nine-match losing streak against the Gators.
Vanderbilt will close its regular season on Sunday at noon against South Carolina. There will be a Senior Day celebration prior to the match to honor Lipman.
Following the match against the Gamecocks the Commodores will play host to the 2014 SEC Men's Tennis Tournament from April 16-20.
#27 Vanderbilt 4, #15 Florida 3
1. #19 Gonzales Austin (VU) def. #120 Florent Diep (UF) 7-5, 7-6 (7-4)
2. #60 Ryan Lipman (VU) def. #106 Gordon Watson (UF) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3)
3. Kris Yee (VU) def. Maxx Lipman (UF) 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4)
4. Diego Hidalgo (UF) def. Jeffrey Offerdahl (VU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
5. Rhys Johnson (VU) def. #85 Elliot Orkin (UF) 6-2, 7-5
6. Mike Alford (UF) def. Suresh Eswaran (VU) 6-2, 6-4
1. Florent Diep/Gordon Watson (UF) def. #3 Gonzales Austin/Ryan Lipman (VU) 8-5
2. Maxx Lipman/Elliot Orkin (UF) def. Rhys Johnson/Jeffrey Offerdahl (VU) 8-3
3. Suresh Eswaran/Ryan Smith (VU) vs. Mike Alford/Diego Hidalgo (UF) 7-7 (4-3), unfinished
Florida 12-8, 7-4 SEC; National ranking #15
Vanderbilt 14-8, 5-6 SEC; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,5,4,1,2,3)