BATON ROUGE, La. -- Enjoying a bye into the SEC quarterfinals, the second-seeded No. 5 Vanderbilt women's tennis team downed Mississippi State 4-2 to kickoff their 2016 SEC Tournament competition.
With the victory, Vanderbilt will take on the third-seeded No. 4 UGA Bulldogs on Saturday at 11:00 am CT in semifinal action.
Friday afternoon's competition began with Vanderbilt pulling out the doubles point over the Bulldogs. Astra Sharma and Frances Altick earned their first sweep this season and second career, with a 6-0 victory on court two over Patrasc/Rentouli.
VU clinched the point, as Courtney Colton and Sydney Campbell narrowly escaped court one with the 7-5 win over No. 35 Harrison/Vozniak.
Following the doubles loss, MSU rallied in singles play making up for the point loss with a big 6-0, 6-0 sweep over No. 19 Campbell. Freshman Fernanda Contreras gave the 'Dores the 2-1 advantage, taking her first SEC victory on court five in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.
Mississippi State again leveled the score, but for the last time, as No. 26 Sharma fell to Madison Harrison 6-2, 6-3 on court three. Vanderbilt clinched the match as No. 13 Altick and Georgina Sellyn carried in straight set victories on courts two and six.
"We'd been in tough situations before," said Sellyn. "This is the time of year where everyone has to pull their own weight, and where all the works you've put in comes out. Not everyone is going to play amazing all the time, so when someone isn't playing great someone else will step up and do what they need to do to get the win."
Altick defeated No. 32 Patrasc, only allowing the Bulldog three games in the Commodores' 6-2, 6-1 victory. Having not played last season, Sellyn was excited to be back out on the court to clinch VU's victory on six to advance with a 6-4, 6-3 win.
"It's so exciting to be back. Last year I got a feel for what it's like to be in one of those tight matches, but from a different perspective than if I was actually playing. I just really enjoy getting back out there everyday, and I'm loving feel of these matches. We're all just looking forward to getting continuing to do well here at the tournament."
Scouting the Bulldogs: In their last meeting, Vanderbilt earned a 4-3 victory over UGA, taking doubles and three singles matches to clinch 4-1. Having to play the match out, Vanderbilt's two additional losses of the competition came on courts two and one.
The Bulldogs advanced to SEC semifinals following a 4-1 defeat over the Texas A&M Aggies Friday morning.