OXFORD, Miss. – No. 16 Vanderbilt’s run in the 2013 SEC Tournament came to an end with a 4-1 loss to seventh-ranked Tennessee in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
The No. 7 seed Commodores dropped to 16-10 overall this season, while the second-seeded Volunteers improved to 22-7 on the year and will play No. 3 seed Florida on Saturday in the semifinals.
Tennessee seized control of the match early on by winning the doubles point. At the No. 2 position, John Collins and Edward Jones defeated Rhys Johnson and Marc van der Merwe, 8-5. Jarryd Chaplin and Taylor Patrick downed Suresh Eswaran and Jeff Offerdahl, 8-6, in No. 3 doubles.
“I thought we came and played an uninspired doubles point and got ourselves in a hole there," said Vanderbilt head coach Ian Duvenhage. "I thought we did a better job in singles coming back but there were some critical areas of the match where we had to capitalize and we were not able to do so. Specifically, we really needed to win that tiebreaker at No. 1 and close No. 5 out to keep it close and we were not able to do that. We also had chances and we were not able to capitalize on that but we will learn from that and move on.”
Johnson continued his strong play in singles during the SEC Tournament with a win at the No. 6 position over Patrick, 6-2, 6-2. The win would prove to be the Commodores lone point of the match.
The Volunteers regained the lead after No. 3 Mikelis Libietis defeated No. 13 Ryan Lipman, 6-2, 7-6. The loss dropped Lipman to 18-6 in dual matches this season.
Leading 2-1, Tennessee clinched the match with wins at position Nos. 2 and 3. In the No. 2 spot, Hunter Reese came back after dropping the first set to Gonzales Austin, 4-6, to win sets two and three, 6-0, 6-1. Chaplin took down Offerdahl at No. 3, 7-5, 6-3.
Vanderbilt will take the court next in NCAA Regional action beginning May 11-13 at campus sites to be announced after conference tournaments.
1. No. 3 Mikelis Libietis (UT) def. No. 13 Ryan Lipman (VU) 6-2, 7-6(4)
2. No. 34 Hunter Reese (UT) def. No. 51 Gonzales Austin (VU) 4-6, 6-0, 6-1
3. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Jeff Offerdahl (VU) 7-5, 6-3
4. John Collins (UT) vs. Kris Yee (VU) 5-7, 4-3, unfinished
5. Edward Jones (UT) vs. Marc van der Merwe (VU) 3-6, 6-5, unfinished
6. Rhys Johnson (VU) def. Taylor Patrick (UT) 6-2, 6-2
1. No. 3 Libietis/Reese (UT) vs. Austin/Lipman (VU) 7-5, unfinished
2. No. 47 Collins/Jones (UT) def. Johnson/van der Merwe (VU) 8-5
3. Chaplin/Patrick (UT) def. Eswaran/Offerdahl (VU) 8-6
Order of finish