Jan. 6, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As most Vanderbilt students were spending their winter break relaxing and spending time with family and friends, one women's tennis player was winning a national championship.
On New Year's Eve, senior Rachael Dillon captured her second consecutive David Lloyd National Indoor Championship in her home country of Ireland. Over the last four years, Dillon has entered, and won, the tournament three times.
"I think this year the tournament was the toughest [competition I've faced]," said Dillon. "The girls I was up against played really well, and obviously I'm delighted to be able to come back home and still be somewhat at the top of Irish tennis."
Dillon entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, and cruised through her first two matches, defeating opponents 6-0, 6-3 and 6-0, 6-0. In the semifinals, Dillon withheld a three-hour match against Jenny Claffey to advance to the finals. Dillon topped Sinead Lohan, the No. 2 seed, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, to claim the tournament title.
"The main reason I played in the national indoors was to help me prepare for the upcoming season," said Dillon. "Playing in a tournament is the best possible way to get ready for the rigorous SEC schedule."
Dillon also competed in the doubles draw of the tournament, advancing to the finals with partner Tanya Murtagh. The duo, which was ranked No. 1, was defeated by the No. 2 overall seed to claim the runner-up spot.
Dillon and the rest of the Commodores open up the spring season against Northwestern on January 21 at the Currey Tennis Center.