April 5, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 19th-ranked Vanderbilt women’s tennis team won five of the six singles matches after dropping the doubles point to defeat No. 27 Ole Miss, 5-2 at the outside courts of the Currey Tennis Center. The win over the Rebels gives the Commodores its fourth straight SEC win and improves their conference record to 5-2. Sunday’s win over Ole Miss (10-7, 3-5 SEC) marked the final regular season home match for the Commodores. VU finishes the 2009 home campaign 8-3.
“I am really impressed with the way our team responded after dropping a tight doubles point,” head coach Geoff Macdonald said. “We maintained our composure and everyone competed at a high level in singles. We just beat a real good Ole Miss team and I want to give them credit.”
Vanderbilt (9-5, 5-2 SEC) went 1-2 against the Rebels in doubles play as the freshman tandem of Jackie Wu and Heather Steinbauer notched an 8-6 victory over Ole Miss’s 45th-ranked pair of Kristi Boxx and Karen Nijssen for their seventh win of the season.
The Commodores tied things up one a piece when Wu defeated Mississippi’s 80th-ranked Karen Nijssen in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. With the win Wu improved to 23-8 overall and 8-4 in dual play. VU grabbed its first lead of the match when Keilly Ulery topped Laura van de Stroet in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Following Ulery’s match the Commodores got within one point of clinching the match when Chelsea Preeg picked up her ninth win of the dual season, dispatching Gebriela Rangel in consecutive sets, 6-4, 7-5 to give the ‘Dores a 3-1 lead. Preeg improves to 23-8 overall and 9-3 in dual play.
With three singles matches still in progress, VU’s Steinbauer took the match into her own hands. After dropping the first set 2-6, the former Texas prep state champion found her groove and clinched the match for the ‘Dores by winning the second and third sets over Abigail Guthrie for the three set win. It marked the third time in the last 10 days that Steinbauer had clinched a dual match for ‘Dores. With the win, Steinbauer pushes her singles mark to 18-5, including a perfect 7-0 in SEC play.
With the match already clinched, VU’s Courtney Ulery won her final regular season home singles match by topping Pippa Reakes in three sets, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3. It was only fitting that Courtney’s 90th career singles win came in her final regular season home match.
Vanderbilt’s Catherine Newman nearly recorded her eighth win over a ranked opponent Sunday before falling in a tight two set tie-breaker, 5-7, 7-6 (10-2).
"It's unfortunate that Catherine had to finish up in a tiebreaker instead of playing the final third set," Macdonald said. "She is at her best when she can go the distance and wear people out with her athleticism."
The Commodores will return to the hard courts next weekend as they travel to Athens, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn., for weekend tilts with No. 2 Georgia and No. 13 Tennessee.
No. 19 Vanderbilt 5, No. 27 Ole Miss 2
1. No. 29 Kristi Boxx (OM) def. No. 62 Catherine Newman (VU) 5-7, 7-6, (10-2)
2. No. 57 Jackie Wu (VU) def. No. 80 Karen Nijssen (OM) 6-4, 6-1
3. Keilly Ulery (VU) def. Laura van de Stroet (OM) 6-3, 6-3
4. Chelsea Preeg (VU) def. Gabriela Rangel (OM) 6-4, 7-5
5. Heather Steinbauer (VU) def. Abigail Guthrie (OM) 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
6. Courtney Ulery (VU) def. Pippa Reakes (OM) 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3
order of finish: 2, 3, 4, 5*, 6, 1
1. No. 49 Steinbauer / Wu (VU) def. No. 45 Boxx / Nijssen (OM) 8-6
2. Guthrie / Rangel (OM) def. Newman / Preeg (VU) 9-7
3. Renaudin / van de Stroet (OM) def. Ulery, C. / Ulery, K. (VU) 8-6
order of finish: 3, 2, 1