April 21, 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Vanderbilt men’s tennis team suffered a 4-0 loss to Ole Miss in the first round of the SEC Championships on Thursday evening at the Linder Tennis Stadium. The Commodores fall to 13-10 on the season, while the Rebels improve to 12-8.
In doubles, the Rebels quickly got ahead with an 8-3 victory over Ryan Lipman and Bryant Salcedo on court two. Adam Baker and Charlie Jones knocked off the ninth-ranked duo of brothers Marcel and Chris Thiemann in the No. 1 match. On court three, Blake Bazarnik and Alex Zotov traded games with Johan Backstrom and Kalle Norberg, until Ole Miss came up with the victory in a tiebreaker.
In singles play, the Commodores were without Lipman, who had previously played every match this season at No. 1. Without him in the lineup, everyone moved up one position.
The Rebels jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Jonas Lutjen topped Salcedo, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 4 singles. Backstrom increased the lead with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Zotov on court five.
Ole Miss clinched the victory when Marcel Thiemann posted a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 over Baker at No. 1.
“We battled our hearts out and showed a lot of fight today,” said assistant coach Jamie Hunt. “Without Ryan in the lineup everyone had to move up a spot. We were in positions to win at 2 and 3. We have to get back and get healthy and continue to work. I really believe this team can make a great run in the NCAA Tournament and we are going to prepare for exactly that.
The other three singles matches went unfinished once Ole Miss clinched the victory.
The NCAA Tournament field will be announced in early May.