May 11, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The Vanderbilt women's tennis team advanced to the second round of the 2012 NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament with a 4-1 opening round win over San Diego on Friday, May 11, at Southern Cal's Marks Tennis Stadium.
The Commodores got things started right, winning a battle for the doubles point that took more than 90 minutes.
After Ashleigh Antal and Marie Casares jumped out to a 6-1 lead at number two doubles over USD's Maja Sujica and Anna Depenau, but the Toreros fought back. Sujica and Depenau closed it to 6-5 before Antal and Casares won two straight games to take the match, 8-5.
The first and third doubles matches provided no shortage of drama themselves.
San Diego's top doubles team of Juliette Copuez and Laura Claus led Vanderbilt's Jackie Wu and Lauren Mira, 7-6, but the Commodore pair rallied back from deficits of 6-7 and 7-8 to tie the set at 8-8. Wu and Mira then took the tiebreak, 7-5, to clinch the doubles point.
"Our number one doubles was great," said Vanderbilt Head Coach Geoff Macdonald. "They were down twice with the serve and they held serve with a lot of poise then came back to win the match."
Macdonald knew getting the doubles point after such a battle was huge.
"(San Diego's) one doubles is really, really talented and they play with a lot of flair," said Macdonald. "Their number two team plays a lot of defense and if you don't play patient, you can fall into a trap."
At singles, things felt a little smoother for Vanderbilt.
Mira cruised to a 6-0, 6-1, win at number two, defeating USD's Hoffpauir, before Radeva won at number five, 6-1, 6-0, over Marite Raygada, to get the Commodores within a point of victory.
San Diego got on the scoreboard when Sujica defeated Gornet, 6-0, 6-0, but the fourth and match-clinching point came at number four singles. Antal defeated Depenau, 6-2, 6-2, to send Vanderbilt into the second round.
While the final score was 4-1, Macdonald didn't feel comfortable until his squad had that fourth and final point.
"(San Diego) is really, really good and very talented," Macdonald said. "Nelly and Lauren won fast, but even up 3-0, they were still in it. It was a close 4-1."
The Commodores now await the winner of a first round match between fifth-seeded host USC and Fairfield. The second round meeting is set for Saturday, May 12, at 5:00 p.m. CT.