May 13, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Vanderbilt men's tennis season came to an end Friday afternoon after suffering a 4-2 loss to 37th ranked Virginia Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This is the second year in a row that the Hokies have ended the Commodores season.
With the loss, the Commodores conclude the season with a 13-11 record, while Virginia Tech improves to 15-10, and will face the winner of the Tennessee-Radford match in the second round on Saturday.
Vanderbilt got out to a 1-0 lead after winning two doubles matches, before Virginia Tech picked up four wins in singles play to claim the victory.
In doubles, the 42nd-ranked duo of Adam Baker and Charlie Jones picked up an 8-4 win over Will Beck and Pedro Graber on court one. Alex DiValerio and Bryant Salcedo clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 win on court two.
"I thought we did a good job in doubles," said head coach Ian Duvenhage. "We came out with a lot of energy, and we had them with their backs against the wall when singles started. We got behind early and Virginia Tech got really fired up."
Virginia Tech got ahead in singles with quick wins on courts six and five. DiValerio dropped a 6-1, 6-0 decision to Corrado Tocci in the No. 6 match. On court five, Alex Zotov lost the first set, 6-1. Zotov tied the score in the second at 5-5, but Lucas Oliveira won the next two games to take the 7-5 victory.
The Hokies earned their third point of the afternoon after 59th-ranked Luka Somen defeated Baker 6-3, 6-3, in the No. 1 match.
The Commodores cut into Virginia Tech's lead when Blake Bazarnik earned a three-set victory over Will Beck on court three. Bazarnik dropped the first set in a tiebreaker, 6-7(6), but posted scores of 6-2 and 6-1 in the second and third sets to pick up the victory.
With the Commodores trailing 3-2, Jones and Salcdeo both entered their third sets. Salcdeo dropped his first set, 5-7, and tied the match with a 6-3 win in the second set. On court two, Jones cruised to a 6-1 win in the first set, and was up 5-3 in the second, before Patrick Daciek fought back and earned 7-5 victory to tie the set.
In the third set, Jones fell behind 4-0, but won three consecutive games to pull within one just as Pedro Garber clinched the match victory with a win over Salcedo on court four.
"Today's match was just how it's been all year long," said Duvenhage. "We were on the verge of putting the other team away, and then we didn't convert on big plays. If Blake and Charlie had closed out their matches earlier, we could have kept momentum going and had a chance. In the future, we'll have to do a better job of putting people away when we have them down."