No. 11 Vandy takes down Mississippi State
March 16, 2014
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 11th-ranked Vanderbilt women's tennis team had to fight the weather, but the Commodores were able to knock off No. 61 Mississippi State, 4-2 Sunday afternoon in Starkville. Without indoor courts, it was decided that singles would be played first with doubles used on an as needed basis.
Vanderbilt (12-4, 5-1 SEC) would not need to play doubles as Ashleigh Antal clinched the match with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 win at No. 6.
"I would have to say that Mississippi State is one of the most improved teams in the conference," said Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald. "This is a good road win for us and I think we competed well in all six of our matches."
The Commodores saw two quick wins from No. 93 Courtney Colton at No. 3 and Lauren Mira at No. 5 to take an early 2-0 lead. Colton picked up the 6-2, 6-0 win to pick up her 18th win of the season. Mira won it 6-1, 6-1 to improve to 2-0 at No. 5 singles.
With a 2-0 advantage Marie Casares extended her nations best winning streak to 18 with a three-set win at No. 5. Casares won 6-3 in the first set, but Timea Guibe was able to fight back and win 6-3 in the second. The Vandy junior had won 13-straight sets before her 6-3 loss in the second, but that wouldn't mean the win streak had to end. The Quito, Ecuador native would lock in and win 6-0 in the third to put the Commodores up 3-0.
"Marie is in such good physical shape and so mentally tough," said Macdonald. "Add that to the fact that she gives it 100 percent every time she takes the court and it's a recipe for success."
Antal would pick up the clincher for the `Dores with her win at No. 6. The junior improved to 3-0 in conference play and 21-8 overall with her 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 win.
With the match clinched, the remaining two singles matches would play out.
Making her first appearance at No. 1 singles in conference play, Sydney Campbell put up a fight against No. 65 Georgiana Petrasc. Campbell dropped her first set 6-1, but was then able to bounce back and take the second set 6-1.
In the third set both Campbell and Patrasc would go back-and-forth to force a tiebreak at 6-all. In the breaker Campbell got down early, 2-0 but then worked it back to 3-all. From there the tiebreak got to 6-all before Patrasc won the final two points to take the match.
At No. 2 singles Frances Altick fell in three-sets to MSU's Alexandra Perper. Altick dropped her first set 6-4, but then forced a third set winning 6-2 in the second. In a back-and-forth third set Altick broke for match point in the final set, but Perper was able to break back to force a tiebreak.
In the breaker Altick got up 2-1, but it would get to 4-all before Perper won the next two points to earn two match points at 6-4. The Vandy sophomore would get another point but fall in the breaker 7-5.
Vanderbilt will be back in action next week, beginning with a Friday afternoon match against in-state rival Tennessee. Then on Sunday, the `Dores will host Georgia at 1 p.m.
#11 Vanderbilt 4, #61 Mississippi State 2
Women's Tennis Headlines