Women’s Tennis wins second-straight SEC Tournament title


The Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis Team faces off against Nebraska on Friday, January 26, 2018. (Photo by Brent Szklaruk)

Cutler Klein, Sports Editor

Just a week after clinching the SEC regular season title, the No. 2 Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis team rolled straight into Knoxville and won the 2018 SEC Tournament with a 4-0 clean sweep of the No. 9 Florida Gators on Sunday.

With the win, the Commodores claimed both SEC titles for the second year in a row. It’s also their third tournament win in four years.

Vanderbilt dominated from the get-go, claiming the doubles point with 6-1 wins by both Christina Rosca/Amanda Meyer and by the powerhouse duo of Astra Sharma and Fernanda Contreras. It was just the second time since March 25 that the Sharma/Contreras dynamic duo had been paired together. The 22nd-ranked pair had just come off a dominant 6-0 win over a top-10 Ole Miss pairing in the semifinal.

In singles play, Vanderbilt made some quick work of the Gators. While top singles player Sharma had all she could handle against Florida’s Anna Danilina, her teammates were helping to take care of business. Meyer got off the court first with a blitzing 6-1, 6-2 win over Victoria Emma in the No. 4 match.

After having her contentious first-set tiebreaker cut short by Vanderbilt’s clinch in Saturday’s semifinal, Summer Dvorak was fired up and looking to dominate. She came out with a head of steam and dismantled Florida’s Katie Kubicz 6-2, 6-1 on the sixth court.

With a 3-0 edge and just one more match needed to clinch the title, Vanderbilt’s ace-in-the-hole in Contreras took over. On the second singles court, Contreras put together her second straight-set performance of the weekend and beat Florida’s Josie Kuhlman 6-2, 6-1 to clinch Vanderbilt’s second consecutive SEC tournament championship.

At the clinch, Sharma was locked in a tight battle with Danilina in the second set. This was Vanderbilt’s first clean sweep of the tournament, having beaten Texas A&M and Ole Miss by scores of 4-1 to advance to the Final. Now, Vanderbilt will move on to the NCAA tournament for the 24th consecutive season under head coach Geoff Macdonald. They will be seeking their second NCAA title in program history, having made the semifinals of the tournament in each of the last two seasons.

The NCAA regionals begin on May 11 with the championship rounds starting on May 17.