May 14, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Vanderbilt women's tennis team defeated Winthrop, 4-0, and advances to the second round of the tournament. The Commodores will face Tennessee on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT.
"Winthrop was a very solid team, top to bottom," said Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald. "All three doubles positions played really well and they were very strong in singles. For us having a three week layoff, I thought we played a really solid match."
The Commodores got out to a 1-0 lead after winning two of three doubles matches. Jackie Wu and Chelsea Preeg cruised to an 8-2 victory over Giovanna Portiolli and Sandra Herrera on court two. Winthrop evened the doubles matches with an 8-5 win on court one, but Vanderbilt quickly clinched the point when Lauren Mira and Keilly Ulery picked up an 8-3 win in the No. 3 match.
Rain moved into the Knoxville area and there was a brief delay after doubles and the match was moved indoors for singles competition.
In the No. 1 singles match, Alex Leatu easily picked up a 6-0 victory in the first set. Winthrop's Yasmine Alkema gave Leatu a little trouble late in the second set, but Leatu eventually won, 6-3, giving Vanderbilt a 2-0 lead.
Minutes after Leatu's match concluded, Wu increased the Commodore's lead with a 6-2, 6-1 win on court two. Mira clinched the win for Vanderbilt when she defeated Portiolli, 6-3, 6-1, on court four. Nelly Radeva was up 6-1, 5-2 on court six.
"I thought Lauren Mira's match to clinch the victory was really well played," commented Macdonald. "Winthrop's Giovanna Portiolli was a very good player. We're really looking forward to playing Tennessee tomorrow for a chance to advance to the Sweet 16."
Rachael Dillon was down 1-0 in the third set, and Preeg was playing in a tiebreaker in her second set when Mira clinched the victory.
Live stats for Sunday's second round match can be found here. Also, follow the team on Twitter @VandyWTennis for updates throughout the match.