Dores fall to Waves in ITA semifinals, 4-3

Feb. 11, 2018

Madison, Wisc. -- The top-seeded Vanderbilt women's tennis team fell in their third-ever ITA National Team Indoor semifinal appearance to fourth-seeded Pepperdine 4-3 on Sunday afternoon.

The Commodores opened up Sunday's match by clinching its fifth doubles point in a row with victories on courts three then two, respectively.

Amanda Meyer and Christina Rosca flew through their matchup against Pepperdine's Laure Gulbe and Adrijana Lekaj, limiting their opponents to just a single game. While the Dores' No. 3 doubles team dominated their matchup, courts one and two found themselves in tight competitions.

Astra Sharma and Fernanda Contreras led Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey and Mayar Sherif Ahmed 3-0 until the Waves rose to take four straight games on court one. Vanderbilt had opportunities to close out the doubles point while leading 5-4, but again Lahey and Sherif Ahmed rallied to string together another three games for a 7-5 victory. The loss was the Vanderbilt duo's first of the season (4-1). 

For the second match in a row, Emily Smith and Emma Kurtz rallied to clinch the doubles point for VU, overcoming a 2-5 deficit and winning the tandem's first doubles tiebreaker of the season. With their teammates cheering them on, Smith and Kurtz blew past Evgeniya Levashova and Dzina Milovanovic to clinch the one-point advantage for Vandy with a 7-6 (1) win. 



The Commodores opened up singles play going 3-3 in first sets against five ranked Pepperdine players. 

VU experienced its first singles loss of the season on court four as Kurtz suffered a 6-0, 6-3 loss to No. 75 Gulbe. The Waves then claimed court two as 20th-ranked Sherif Ahmed defeated No. 4 Contreras 7-5, 6-0.

Vandy's No. 19 Rosca leveled the score for the black and gold. The sophomore out of Princeton, N.J. earned a straight set victory on court three over Levashova 6-3, 6-4.

The Commodores took the lead once more as Meyer delivered VU its third point of the matchup. The freshman cruised through her first set versus Lekaj 6-2 but the Wave fought back in the second set to force a tiebreaker. Meyer, however, handled business for Vandy in the tiebreaker, walking away with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) victory.

The tide then began to turn in the Waves' favor as Pepperdine earned early third set leads on court five over Dvorak and court one over Sharma. Milovanovic rebounded after a 6-2 first set loss to limit Dvorak to just four games throughout the remaining two sets to hand her a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 defeat. 

Vanderbilt's struggles continued on court one as 51st-ranked Sharma fell into a first set hole against No. 27 Lahey. The redshirt-senior Commodore battled back in her second set to force a match-deciding second set tiebreaker. Sharma evened the match by holding on to an early lead in the tiebreaker to force a third set. But Lahey powered past Sharma in the final set, limiting her to one game to earn a spot in the National Team Indoor finals for Pepperdine with a 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-1 win. 

Suffering their first loss of the season, the Commodores fall to 6-1 on the spring. Vanderbilt will take a break from competition next weekend and next travel on Feb. 23 to Evanston, Ill. for a matchup at Northwestern.


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