May 21, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. – The Vanderbilt women’s tennis team’s run in the NCAA Tournament came to an end Friday evening when No. 4 North Carolina came away with a 4-0 victory in the Sweet 16 matchup at Stanford’s Taube Family Tennis Center.
The Tar Heels picked up the first point of the evening as they rallied back in doubles play. The Commodores struck first as Chelsea Preeg and Jackie Wu topped Carolina’s Tessa Lyons and Jelena Durisic, 8-4, on court two. North Carolina’s Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale, ranked seventh in the nation, reversed the score for an 8-4 victory over Rachael Dillon and Alex Leatu on court one.
Leading 7-5 on court three, Keilly Ulery and Lauren Mira looked poised to clinch the doubles point, but North Carolina’s Gina Suarez-Malaguti and Zoe De Bruycker rallied back and forced a tiebreaker, which they won 7-5 to claim the first point.
Carolina’s Suarez-Malaguti increased the lead to 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Ulery on court five. Minutes later, the lead increased to 3-0 as Lyons posted a 6-3, 6-2 win over Dillon on court six.
Vanderbilt dropped the first set in a tiebreaker on the top three courts, but battled back and held a lead in the second set on courts one and two. On court three, Preeg couldn’t hold on as Featherston posted a 6-2 win in the second set to seal the victory for the Tar Heels.
On court four, Mira won her first set, 7-5, and was trailing 2-1 in the second set when the match was decided.
“Overall, looking back at the year, I’m really proud of this team and what they did,” said head coach Geoff Macdonald. “Getting to the Sweet 16 is quite an accomplishment, and of course I wish we could have gone another step, but I’m really proud of this team.”
Dillon and Leatu will stay in Stanford for the NCAA Doubles Tournament, which begins Thurs., May 26. More information about the tournament will be posted to vucommodores.com this week.
The Commodores close out the season with a 17-9 record.