March 29, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
The 17th-ranked women’s tennis team suffered a 5-2 loss at No. 26 Vanderbilt on Sunday. The Crimson Tide is now 13-3 on the season and 3-3 against SEC opponents, while the Commodores improved to 7-5 overall and 3-2 versus league foes.
Vanderbilt picked up a quick win at No. 3 doubles to jump out to an early edge. The Ulery sisters, senior Courtney and sophomore Keilly, cruised to an 8-3 victory over senior Shelley Godwin and sophomore Meritt Emery. The Commodores duo of junior Catherine Newman and freshman Chelsea Preeg earned an early break at No. 2 over Alabama junior Paulina Bigos and freshman Taylor Lindsey, but the Tide pair came back to tie it up at 5-5. Newman and Preeg would win the next two games pulling within one game of the match win, but Bigos and Lindsey wouldn’t go down without a fight. The Alabama tandem earned the next game setting the score at 7-6. In the following game the Commodore duo put it away giving them the win and awarding Vanderbilt the doubles point. The Tide was able to get a win at No. 1 however, as sophomore Tiffany Welcher and freshman Courtney McLane won a close 9-7 decision over the freshman pair of Heather Steinbauer and Jackie Wu. Each duo held serve until Welcher and McLane were able to break to take the 6-4 advantage. Steinbauer and Wu came within one at 8-7, but the Alabama team was able to win the next game to finish the match.
Vanderbilt would go on to win four of the six singles matchups to earn the team victory. First off the court in singles was the No. 3 pairing of 112th-ranked Keilly Ulery and Bigos. Ulery took control from the start earning a 6-1, 6-4 victory over the Tide junior. No. 64 Wu came off shortly after to give the Commodores the 3-0 lead with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over McLane on court two. Clinching the win for Vanderbilt was Steinbauer at No. 5 with a win over Godwin. After Steinbauer jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first, Godwin rallied to win the next four games tying the set at 5-5. The Commodore freshman bounced back to win the first 7-6(3) before taking the second set 6-2 en route to the match win. At No. 1, Welcher earned a first set win by a score of 6-4 before Newman was able to take the second set 6-0 and decisive third 6-2. The Tide’s first point of the afternoon was won by Emery at No. 4. Despite dropping her first set 6-1 to Preeg, Emery fought back to take the next two sets by scores of 6-2, 6-4. Finishing up the match at No. 6 was Lindsey earning a 6-3, 6-2 win over Courtney Ulery giving Alabama its second and final point.
Alabama returns to the court Friday, April 3 when it hosts Tennessee for a 3:00 p.m. (CST) start.
1. Courtney McLane/Tiffany Welcher (UA) def. Heather Steinbauer/Jackie Wu (VU) 9-7
2. Catherine Newman/Chelsea Preeg (VU) def. Paulina Bigos/Taylor Lindsey (UA) 8-6
3. Courtney Ulery/Keilly Ulery (VU) def. Shelley Godwin/Meritt Emery (UA) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3,2,1
1. No. 61 Catherine Newman (VU) def. No. 105 Tiffany Welcher (UA) 4-6, 6-0, 6-2
2. No. 64 Jackie Wu (VU) def. Courtney McLane (UA) 6-2, 6-2
3. No. 112 Keilly Ulery (VU) def. Paulina Bigos (UA) 6-1, 6-4
4. Meritt Emery (UA) def. Chelsea Preeg (VU) 1-6, 6-2, 6-4
5. Heather Steinbauer (VU) def. Shelley Godwin (UA) 7-6(3), 6-2
6. Taylor Lindsey (UA) def. Courtney Ulery (VU) 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3,2,5*,1,4,6