March 28, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The men's tennis team topped Vanderbilt, 4-1, Friday night at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide lifts its overall record to 10-11 and its Southeastern Conference mark to 3-5, while the loss drops the Commodores to 12-7 on the season and 3-5 in league play.
"I am very happy for the team tonight," said Alabama head coach George Husack. "As I said before this has been a season of inches, and it was nice to see us close out the match going for our shots."
Alabama came away with the doubles point after wins on courts two and three. Vanderbilt's fourth-ranked duo of Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman won 8-3 over No. 38 Becker O'Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura before the Tide's Sean Donohue and Stuart Kenyon came away with an 8-4 win on court two over Rhys Johnson and Anton Kovrigin. That left the point up to the decision on court three, which would play out in a tiebreaker. Alabama's Hayes Brewer and Andrew Goodwin won the first point and eventually pulled away to take the breaker 7-3 to award the Tide the 1-0 lead.
In singles, the Commodores' Kris Yee won 6-3, 6-3 on court three over Kenyon, but that would be the lone point of the match for Vanderbilt as the Tide went on to get the wins on courts one, two and four for the team victory. Proskura, ranked 28th, played a solid match to beat No. 17 Austin, 7-5, 6-3 from the top spot, while No. 105 O'Shaughnessey overcame a first-set loss to knock off 57th-ranked Lipman, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 on court two. In the biggest turnaround of the match, Nikko Madregallejo would come from behind to beat Johnson, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to clinch the win for Alabama.
"Winning those top two spots back-to-back in singles certainly created momentum for the guys left on court," added Husack. "Nikko said to me on the changeover he had been tentative in his service games and wasn't going to hold back. He played aggressive and smart down the stretch to clinch the victory."
Alabama continues its home stand on Sunday when it hosts No. 13 Kentucky at 1 p.m. CT. The Tide will hold a USTA Campus Kids' Day with a bounce house, post-match clinic and pizza party.
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