Men's Tennis Falls at No. 20 Vanderbilt, 5-1
Feb. 14, 2014
NASHVILLE - -
The No. 18 University of Memphis men's tennis team (3-2) lost the doubles point for the first time in 15 matches and could not bounce back, falling 5-1 at No. 20 Vanderbilt (7-1), Friday.
"We fought hard and came up a little bit short," Head Coach Paul Goebel said. "It was a great college tennis match featuring two top 20 teams."
That left the point to be decided by the match at number one doubles, a match that featured two of the top 10 ranked doubles teams in the country. Unfortunately for the Tigers, it was the No. 6 ranked team of Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman that pushed through for the 8-7 victory over the No. 8 ranked team of David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury, putting Vanderbilt up 1-0 for the match with a 7-3 win in the breaker.
The Tigers tried to regroup before singles play began, facing the 1-0 deficit. Vandy took advantage though, jumping up a set advantage at No. 1, 2, 4 and 5 singles while David O'Leary was the lone Tiger to win the first set of his match, 6-3, at No. 3.
The Commodores were looking to make it 2-0, as No. 10 ranked Austin tried to put away Salisbury at No. 1 in the second set. But Salisbury battled back and forced a second set tiebreak, winning 7-6, to fight off the second point of the match for Vanderbilt.
Salisbury's second set win was part of a Tiger resurgence that saw Connor Glennon battle back and take the lead in his second set, as did Chadwell and Grimal. Grimal and Chadwell both won their second sets, 6-3, and the momentum seemed to swinging the Tigers' way, but Vandy then got their second team point just a few moments later when Lipman came back against Glennon at number two to win the second set tiebreak 9-7, and that match, 7-6, for point number two.
Vanderbilt got their third point when Austin down the third set at No. 1, 6-2.
While O'Leary was trying to hold on to the lead in his match at No. 3, Grimal was at 6-6 in the third set when Anton Kovrigin bounced back from a second set loss to Chadwell to win the third, 7-5, giving the Commodores the deciding fourth point in the match.
O'Leary got the Tigers on the board moments later, winning at No. 3, 6-3, 7-5. Vanderbilt picked up their fifth point of the match with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 win at No. 4. With just five courts on at once, O'Hare was barely in to his first set when the match was decided, but played out the first set before the Tigers packed it up for the trip home.
The loss drops Memphis to 3-2 on the season and to 0-2 against top 20 ranked opponents. At the beginning of a three-game road swing, the schedule does not get any easier for Memphis. In one week, the Tigers play at No. 63 Dartmouth, Feb. 21st, then play at No. 25 Harvard two days later on Feb. 23rd.
No. 20 Vanderbilt 5, No. 18 Memphis 1