April 16, 2010
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Hannah Blatt and Rachael Dillon went a combined 20-0 in singles and doubles to help guide Vanderbilt to a 6-1 win over Kentucky on Senior Day Friday. The Commodores won eight of the nine contested matches en route to its third straight win.
With the win, the Commodores finish the regular season12-8 overall and 7-4 in Southeastern Conference, while Kentucky fell to 2-19 and 0-11 in league play.
"I pleased with the way our team competed today against Kentucky," head coach Geoff Macdonald said. "It was good to see the seniors go out with a win and I was proud of the way we closed out the season with three important wins. I think Keilly Ulery's and Jackie Wu's wins in singles give us great momentum heading into SECs next week."
The `Dores jumped out to a 1-0 lead after they won all three doubles matches. VU's No. 3 team of Blatt and Dillon defeated UK's team of Elle Coldiron and Nicole Scates, 8-0 before VU's No. 1 duo of Chelsea Preeg and Jackie Wu clinched the doubles point with an 8-1 win over Caroline Lilley and Minnette Pienaar. Vanderbilt's Erica Robertson and Catherine Newman closed out doubles action with an 8-5 decision against Megan Broderick and Christine Johnston on court two. Newman and Robertson lost the first two games of the pro-set and fell behind 3-1 before winning seven of the next nine games to earn their seventh win of the dual season.
Vanderbilt wasted little time extending its lead when Blatt and Dillon took down their respected opponents, 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6 and No. 5 positions. Both matches lasted less than 55 minutes. The win for Blatt, was her 12th win of the dual season, while Dillon won her ninth match. Blatt finished the conference season a team-best 9-1 in league play.
With Vanderbilt leading 3-0, 29th-ranked Newman took down Broderick in consecutive sets, 6-1, 6-2, clinching the dual for the Commodores. The win for Newman marked her 105th victory of her career and 14th of the dual season. The Greensboro, N.C., finishes the regular season with an 8-3 record in the SEC while competing at the No. 1 spot in the lineup.
With the match already in hand, Kentucky got its first point of the match when Johnston upended Preeg at No. 3.
The Commodores closed out the match with a pair of impressive straight set wins from Keilly Ulery and Wu at No. 4 and No. 2. Both Ulery and Wu had tight first-set matches with their opponents and won their opening sets in tiebreakers before closing out strong in their second sets. Ulery went back-and-forth with Pienaar before outlasting the UK sophomore, 7-6(4), 6-1 for her ninth win of the dual season. Similar to Ulery, Wu won a tight first-set tiebreak, 7-6(2) before notching a 6-3 win in the second for her ninth win in her last 10 matches. The Holmdel, N.J., native is now 10-2 this spring, including 5-1 in the SEC.
Before the match, the Commodores recognized its two seniors, Catherine Newman and Hannah Blatt for all of their accomplishments on-and-off the court during their four-year careers. The two seniors were joined at centre court by their parents and received a standing ovation from the Commodore faithful.
"I am really proud of both Catherine and Hannah's career at Vanderbilt," Macdonald. "They have been great players for us and have achieved at a very high level in the classroom."
The `Dores will not wait to see what they are seeded for the 2010 SEC Championships. VU will compete in the SEC Championships April 22-25 in Athens, Ga.
Other match notes:
Rachael Dillon had the privilege to play in front of her parents as they made the 4,000-mile trek to Nashville from their native home in Dublin, Ireland to watch the Commodores play their last regular season match of the season.
No. 30 Vanderbilt 6, Kentucky 1
April 16, 2010
1. No. 29 Catherine Newman (VU) def. Megan Broderick (UK) 6-1, 6-2
2. No. 32 Jackie Wu (VU) def. Caroline Lilley (UK) 7-6(2), 6-3
3. Christine Johnston (UK) def. No. 81 Chelsea Preeg (VU) 6-2, 6-1
4. Keilly Ulery (VU) def. Minnette Pienaar (UK) 7-6(4), 6-1
5. Rachael Dillon (VU) def. Elle Coldiron (UK) 6-0, 6-0
6. Hannah Blatt (VU) def. Nicole Scates (UK) 6-0, 6-0
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 1, 3, 4, 2
1. No. 28 Preeg / Wu (VU) def. Lilley / Pienaar (UK) 8-1
2. Newman / Robertson (VU) def. Broderick / Johnston (UK) 8-5
3. Blatt / Dillon (VU) def. Coldiron / Scates (UK) 8-0
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
Vanderbilt improved to 12-8 overall and 7-4 in the SEC
Kentucky fell to 2-19 overall and 0-11 in the SEC