MT defeated by Alabama
April 23, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - Vanderbilt entered the 2009 SEC Tournament with hopes of building off its 2008 performance in which the Commodores earned their first tournament win in five years before losing a close contest to eventual national champion Georgia. Unfortunately, this year's tournament didn't play out like last as 12th-seeded Vanderbilt fell in the first round to fifth-seeded Alabama, 4-0, on Thursday.
Played at the Yarbrough Tennis Center, in Auburn, No. 57 Vanderbilt split the first two completed doubles matches before No. 13 Alabama was able to win the decisive match and first three completed singles matches to clinch the overall match. The loss dropped Vanderbilt to 5-17 overall, while Alabama improved to 20-6. Alabama will now play fourth-seeded Florida in Friday's quarterfinals.
Vanderbilt entered the match having won the doubles point in three of the last five matches and it looked as if the Commodores were on their way to taking another 1-0 advantage on Thursday. Nick Cromydas and Vijay Paul defeated Alabama's Saketh Myneni and Billy Mertz, 8-4, in the No. 2 position, but Alabama was able to take the next two completed matches to earn the point. The win by Cromydas and Paul moved their record to 5-1 in dual play.
Things continued to go Alabama's way in singles play. Michael Thompson gave Alabama a 2-0 lead in the match when he defeated Vanderbilt's Adam Baker, 6-1, 6-3, in the No. 4 position. Alabama took a 3-0 lead in the match when No. 22 Saketh Myneni posted a 6-3, 6-2 win over Vanderbilt's Vijay Paul, in the No. 1 position. Clinching the match was Michael Jung, who topped James Moye, 6-1, 7-5, in the No. 6 position.
Vanderbilt will now turn its attention to next Tuesday when the field for the NCAA Tournament will be set. The selections will be made live, beginning at 4:20 p.m. CT on ESPNEWS. The Commodores have made the NCAA Tournament seven of the last eight years, including the last two.
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