NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The No. 12 Commodores rounded up some doggies when they upset the No. 11 Texas Longhorns 5-2 on Friday at the Currey Tennis Center.
The Longhorns were the 2006 National Team Indoors runner-up and the 2005 NCAA runner-up, so the win has special significance to Head Coach Geoff Macdonald.
"This was a great win. This is top-notch competition. Yes we are young, but I think this shows that we are definitely improving. We are thrilled to win," Macdonald said.
It was a nippy 48 degrees when the teams took the court for the doubles round outdoors. In addition to the cold, the Commodores were also navigating new territory with Macdonald's line up changes at doubles.
Freshmen Courtney Ulery and Liberty Sveke remained a tandem, but fell at the No. 2 slot to UT's Kelly Baritot and Kendra Strohm 8-2. Amanda Fish and Amanda Taylor teamed up at No. 1, replacing the Taylor/Maggie Yahner pair who had been leading the lineup. The duo notched the clinching match when they defeated Mia Marovic and Courtney Zauft to notch the doubles point for the 'Dores.
Playing her fourth doubles match in 2006, Caroline Ferrell joined Taka Bertrand at No. 3 against UT's Marija Milic and Petra Dizdar. The VU pair was the first to notch a doubles win with an 8-5 victory.
Caroline Ferrell continued to flourish in the cold, notching the first Commodore singles win upon defeating Baritot 6-4, 6-2.
"Caroline's doubles play was superb," Macdonald said. "She hasn't been playing as much in doubles, but she did a great job. And her mental toughness in singles definitely set her apart from her opponent."
In other singles rounds, VU's two competing freshman dropped their matches in two sets. First to fall was Courtney Ulery to Courtney Zauft (6-1, 6-0). Despite her three game lead in the first set, Liberty Sveke also fell to Longhorn Ristine Olson (4-6, 5-7). P>
The match was decided at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. No. 1 also remained tight throughout both sets, but junior No. 20 Amanda Fish tied the match up when she defeated No. 71 Mia Marovic 7-5, 6-4.
"I was glad to tough it out," Fish said. "I really just had to stay positive."
At No. 2, No.40 Taka Bertrand battled No. 59 Petra Didzar. Bertrand soundly won the first set, but neither player was able to gain a definitive lead in the second set. Bertrand finally rounded up her steer when she edged ahead 7-5, putting the 'Dores up 4-2.
Sophomore Amanda Taylor dominated Kendra Strohm in the first set 6-0 at No. 3 singles, but was unable to keep her momentum in the second set (4-6). After Strohm notched two games in the final set, Amanda Taylor fired back to win six straight games in the final match of the night.
"It was a really good win," Fish said. "Texas is a great team, and especially for the weather being so cold we showed a lot of fight."
The Commodores will head south for two road matches against Ole Miss and Mississippi State next weekend.
Vanderbilt 5, Texas 2
1. Fish/Taylor, VU def. Marovic/Zauft, UT 8-6
2. Baritot/Strohm, UT def. Ulery/Sveke, VU 8-2
3. Ferrell/Bertrand, VU def. Milic/Dizdar, VU 8-5
1. Amanda Fish, VU def. Mia Marovic, UT 7-5, 6-4
2. Taka Bertrand, VU def. Petra Didzar, UT 6-3, 7-5
3. Amanda Taylor, VU def. Kendra Strohm, UT 6-0, 4-6, 6-2
4. Courtney Zauft, UT def. Courtney Ulery, VU 6-1, 6- 0
5. Caroline Ferrell, VU def. Kelly Baritot, UT 6-4, 6- 2
6. Ristine Olson, UT def. Liberty Sveke, VU 6-4, 7-5