Vandy downs Alabama, advances to SEC quarterfinals
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The No. 34 Vanderbilt women's tennis team beat No. 63 Alabama 4-2 in its first match of the SEC Women's Tennis Championship tournament to advance to the quarterfinals.
Celia-Belle Mohr and Marcella Cruz took down the No. 36 pairing of Anne Marie Hiser and Loudmilla Bencheikh to put the Dores within one point of clinching the doubles point. Anna Ross and Holly Staff finished shortly after, giving the Dores the advantage heading into singles.
In singles, Bridget Stammel doubled the Dores' lead early with a two-set victory on Court 2. Anessa Lee added to Vanderbilt's lead after she won in two sets on Court 4. After falling on Court 1 and Court 5, the Dores were able to clinch the match with Amy Stevens' three-set victory on Court 6.
"That was a heck of a match, and I am proud of the way our team competed to pull out a gritty win. We played very well in doubles and that point was key, " head coach Aleke Tsoubanos said. "There was a momentum swing midway through the singles, but we responded really well, and the straight set wins by Bridget and Anessa to push us to 3 points were absolutely huge. I'm really proud of the finish for Amy in that third set and look forward to having a rematch with Texas A&M tomorrow.
"On a separate note, I also give Alabama a ton of credit, it was a very different match than the one we played in Nashville. I have the ultimate respect for Coach Mainz. She has had an incredible career and always does things the right way, with integrity and gratitude for the privilege of getting to do this job. The SEC and all of college tennis will miss her greatly."
No. 119 Bencheikh def. No. 34 Mohr 1-6, 6-1, 6-3
No. 89 Stammel def. Ola Pitak 6-2, 6-1
No. 117 Ross vs. Petra Sedlackova 7-5, 2-6, 5-3, unfinished
Lee (Vandy) def. Anna Parkhomenko 6-4, 6-1
Hiser def. Staff 6-4, 6-0 Stevens def.
Klara Milicevic 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2
Mohr/Cruz (Vandy) def. No. 36 Hiser/Bencheikh 6-4
Ross/Staff (Vandy) def. Sedlackova/Parkhomenko 6-3
Stammel/Lee (Vandy) vs. O. Pitak/Kasia Pitak 5-4, unfinished
The Dores will take on No. 2 Texas A&M at noon CT on Friday.