April 19, 2007
BATON ROUGE, La. --- The eighth-seeded Vanderbilt men's tennis team was upset 4-0 by ninth-seed Mississippi State in the opening round of the SEC tournament Thursday afternoon in Baton Rouge, La.
The Commodores (10-12, 4-8) surrendered the doubles point to the Bulldogs (7-12, 4-8) to fall behind 1-0 at the start of singles. VU's Nik Cromydas and Evan Dufaux earned the only doubles victory, defeating M-State opponents 8-1. It would be Vandy's only win of the match, which was halted following Mississippi State's clinching singles victory.
Senior Andy Mack and junior Evan Dufaux dropped straight sets to M-State opponents, putting the Bulldogs within one match win of advancing in the tournament.
The Commodores followed with fierce third set battles at Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 6. At the time of VU senior Nathan Sachs' third set loss to Pjotrs Necajevs that clinched the Bulldog win, Nik Cromydas and Vijay Paul were leading M-State opponents, while Ryan Preston trailed 39th-ranked Ivan Bjelica by just one game at No. 1.
The loss marks the second upset by the Bulldogs in 2007. When the opposing teams met in March, the Commodores dropped the contest 5-2 in what Vanderbilt Head Coach Ian Duvenhage called "our worst match all year."
Duvenhage is optimistic that despite the tournament loss, his 37th-ranked Commodores will still earn an invitation to the NCAA tournament, set to begin in mid-May.
In 2006, the Commodores ended their dual match campaign at the SEC tournament with a 4-3 loss to Arkansas in the opening round.
The Bulldogs will advance to Round 2 of the championships, where they will meet top-ranked Georgia.
Mississippi State 4, Vanderbilt 0
1. #36 Ivan Bjelica/Phillippe Frayssinou (MS) d. Ryan Preston/Vijay Paul (VU) 8-3
2. Evan Dufaux/Nik Cromydas (VU) d. Artem Kuzentsov/Pjortrs Necajevs (MS) 8-1
3. Chris Doerr/Ryan Farlow (MS) d. Andy Mack/Jordan Magarik (VU) 8-5
1. #39 Ivan Bjelica (MS) vs. #60 Ryan Preston (VU) 7-5, 6-2, 2-1
2. Nik Cromydas (VU) vs. #55 Phillippe Frayssinou (MS) 6-7, 6-0, 1-0
3. Artem Kuzentov (MS) d. Evan Dufaux (VU) 6-1, 6-2
4. Vijay Paul (VU) vs. Ryan Farlow (MS) 6-2, 4-6, 4-2
5. Chris Doerr (MS) d. Andy Mack (VU) 6-2, 6-2
6. Pjotrs Necajves (MS) d. Nathan Sachs (VU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 3, 5, 6*