OXFORD, Miss. - The 21st-ranked Auburn men's tennis team fell to No. 16 Vanderbilt 4-1 on Thursday afternoon, eliminating the Tigers from the 2013 SEC Tournament at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center at Ole Miss.
Auburn (13-10) will await an expected NCAA Tournament bid when selections are announced later this month, while Vanderbilt (16-9) advances to the SEC quarterfinals to face Tennessee on Friday.
"Give Vanderbilt credit, they played better than we did in doubles," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "We didn't execute well enough. We didn't get off to a very good start, needless to say. You lose a set, and you've got to rebound like we did at some spots. Mies, Cochrane and Lopasso pushed back after losing a set, so that was encouraging. We're looking forward to a couple of weeks to rest up and get better, and then we're going to get ready for NCAAs."
The Tigers fell behind early as Vanderbilt claimed the doubles point. Vandy's team of Jeff Offerdahl and Suresh Eswaran earned an 8-5 win over Lukas Ollert and Joseph Van Dooren at the No. 3 spot, and the Commodores clinched the point as Ryan Lipman and Gonzales Austin downed Andreas Mies and Daniel Cochrane, 8-5, at the top line.
Vandy made it 2-0 with a win on court six as Rhys Johnson defeated Van Dooren, 6-0, 6-1. The Commodores would extend their lead to 3-0 as Ollert fell on court four to Kris Yee, 6-3, 6-2.
The Tigers would start to push back, however. Lengsfeld got the Tigers on the board with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Offerdahl on court three, and Mies, Cochrane and Lopasso sent their matches to a third set after dropping first sets in each of their respective contests. But Cochrane fell behind an early break and could not recover in the third as he dropped a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 decision to 51st-ranked Gonzales Austin to end the match.
Mies was in a third set with 13th-ranked Lipman and on serve at 3-3, and Lopasso had just won a second-set tiebreaker on court five against Marc van der Merwe when play was halted.
Team selections to the NCAA Tournament will be announced April 30 on NCAA.com, and the individual selections will be released May 1. The NCAA Tournament begins May 9 at various campus sites, and the NCAA Championships run May 16-26 in Urbana, Ill.
2013 SEC Men's Tennis Championship - Second Round
April 18, 2013
Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center - Oxford, Miss.
(7) Vanderbilt 4, (10) Auburn 1
1. Ryan Lipman/Gonzales Austin (VU) def. #4 Andreas Mies/Daniel Cochrane (AU) 8-5
2. Dennis Lengsfeld/Lucas Lopasso (AU) vs. Rhys Johnson/Marc van der Merwe (VU), 6-6 unfinished
3. Jeff Offerdahl/Suresh Eswaran (VU) def. Lukas Ollert/Joseph Van Dooren (AU) 8-5
1. #13 Ryan Lipman (VU) vs. #28 Andreas Mies (AU) 6-3, 2-6, 3-3, unfinished
2. #51 Gonzales Austin (VU) def. #121 Daniel Cochrane (AU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
3. Dennis Lengsfeld (AU) def. Jeff Offerdahl (VU) 7-5, 6-4
4. Kris Yee (VU) def. #119 Lukas Ollert (AU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Lucas Lopasso (AU) vs. Marc van der Merwe (VU) 1-6, 7-6, unfinished
6. Rhys Johnson (VU) def. Joseph Van Dooren (AU) 6-0, 6-1
Auburn 13-10; National ranking #21
Vanderbilt 16-9; National ranking #16
Order of finish: Doubles (3, 1); Singles (6, 4, 3, 2)