Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis swept at home by South Carolina

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Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis swept at home by South Carolina

Photo by Tyger Quarles

Photo by Tyger Quarles

Photo by Tyger Quarles

Photo by Tyger Quarles

Ryan Suddath

On a cool and windy afternoon, No. 5 Vanderbilt never seemed to get into a rhythm against No. 6 South Carolina.

While the Commodores matched the Gamecocks’ high energy and loud “c’mons!” throughout the match, they lacked South Carolina’s ability to execute—especially on important points. The mistakes piled up, and it cost the Commodores in a 4-0 defeat to the Gamecocks. 

After splitting the first two doubles lines, the Gamecocks’ tactical advantage came to light in the deciding match between Vanderbilt’s Georgia Drummy/Christina Rosca and South Carolina’s Paige Cline/Rachel Rohrabacher. With a 4-1 lead in the set tiebreaker, Drummy and Rosca seemed poised to clinch the doubles point for the Commodores. Yet, five points later, after an improbable reflex volley by Rohrabacher against a routine putaway attempt by Rosca, the Gamecocks enjoyed a 6-4 lead and two set points of their own. South Carolina then converted on their second set point as Rosca missed a return long, and the Gamecocks secured a 1-0 lead.

Early into singles play, it seemed as though Vanderbilt would continue along its seasonal trend of following struggles in doubles with dominance in singles. On Court One, the Commodores’ Fernanda Contreras led Ingrid Gamarra Martins 3-1 in the first set; Drummy led the Gamecocks’ Mia Harvit 4-1, and both Carolyn Campana and Summer Dvorak of Vanderbilt won their opening sets 6-1.

However, as Contreras’ unforced errors piled up and Martins’ play sharpened, Contreras’ lead devolved into 7-5 first set loss. Similarly, at line three, Drummy began to struggle to match the pace of Harvit’s aggressive gameplay, and she fell 7-6 in the opening set.

Meanwhile, on court two, Cline’s mix of high-rollers and crafty lefty angle shots frustrated Rosca, as Cline cruised to a 6-2 victory in the first set, and at line six, South Carolina’s Kennedy Wicker was too consistent for Vanderbilt’s Emily Smith, as she too enjoyed a 6-2 opening set win.

Although Contreras, Rosca, and Smith all jumped to promising leads in the second sets of their matches—Contreras up a break 4-3, Rosca up a break 5-4, and Smith 4-1—none of them could overcome their opponents’ composure and shot-making abilities in the waning stages of their matches.

Smith eventually fell 6-2, 7-6. Contreras lost 7-5, 6-4. Finally, Cline clinched a 4-0 victory for the Gamecocks as she defeated Rosca 6-2, 7-6.

After the team match was officially complete, the ITA officials pulled the individual matches of Campana, Drummy, and Dvorak off the court.

While the highly-anticipated top ten match-up with the No. 6 Gamecocks ended in disappointment for the No. 5 Commodores, they will have the opportunity to bounce back on Sunday at home against No. 31 Florida.

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