March 25, 2012
The Vanderbilt Commodores fought back from a slow doubles match to beat the Auburn Tigers 5-2 in singles on Sunday afternoon.
The Commodores got off to a rough start, falling in long doubles matches in 9-7 and 8-6 decisions on courts one and two, failing to take advantage of an early lead with an 8-5 victory on court three by Nelly Radeva and Marie Casares.
With that, the momentum swung, and the Dores found their pace. Casares made it 1-1 in the match, swiftly winning her singles sets 6-2, 6-0 over Plamena Kurteva, and Ashleigh Antal made it 2-1 with her win over Paulina Schippers on court five.
“It was really good for both of our freshmen to get points on the board for the team quickly,” said head coach Geoff Macdonald. “Both Marie and Ash worked quickly in their matches to get ahead.”
On court three, Lauren Mira battled with Emily Flickinger for a 6-2, 6-4 win to put the team one point away from the victory.
With that, Alex Leatu clinched the match, fighting her way back from being down in her second set to win 6-4, giving the Commodores their fourth SEC win of the spring.
"I think a little bit of the disappointment from the loss on Friday carried into the doubles and we were just kind of frustrated,” said Leatu. “But in singles we really just focused from the beginning and took it point by point and stayed in the moment.”
Nelly Radeva, after dropping her first set 7-5, swept through her second and third sets for to wrap up the scoring for the Dores.
“I’m really proud of how my teammates performed today and supported one another,” said Leatu. “It was nice to actually feel like I had some confidence going into the match, again, from watching my teammates fights. It enabled me to fight that much harder to get back in the match and win.”
The Commodores host in-state rival Tennessee next Friday at 4 p.m., and Georgia on Sunday at 1 p.m.
#23 Vanderbilt, 12-6 (4-2)
#64 Auburn, 8-7 (3-4)
Order of Finish: Singles (3,5,2,4,1,6) Doubles (3,2,1)
1. Jen Pfeifler (Auburn) def. Jackie Wu (Vanderbilt) 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4)
2. Lauren Mira (Vanderbilt) def. Emily Flickinger (Auburn) 6-2, 6-4
3. Marie Casares (Vanderbilt) def. Plamena Kurteva (Auburn) 6-2, 6-0
4. Alex Leatu (Vanderbilt) def. Jackie Kasler (Auburn) 6-4, 6-4
5. Ashleigh Antal (Vanderbilt) def. Paulina Schippers (Auburn) 6-1, 6-3
6. Nelly Radeva (Vanderbilt) def. Olivia Bennett (Auburn) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
1. Flickinger-Kastler (Auburn) def. Antal-Mira (Vanderbilt) 9-7
2. Schippers-Pfeifler (Auburn) def. Wu-Leatu (Vanderbilt) 8-6
3. Radeva-Casares (Vanderbilt) def. Schriemann-Kurteva (Auburn) 8-5