Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis Upsets No.10 Ohio State 5-2

After dropping the doubles points, Vanderbilt roared back to take the victory as Rosca's comeback sealed the deal.

Christina+Rosca+took+the+final+three+games+of+the+third+set+to+clinch+the+victory+for+the+Commodores.

Mattigan Kelly

Christina Rosca took the final three games of the third set to clinch the victory for the Commodores.

Jack Hollier, Staff Writer

On Sunday afternoon, the Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis team held off the Ohio State Buckeyes, beating the 10th-ranked team in the country 5-2. The Commodores’ upset victory comes from their last non-conference match of the season and moves them to 4-2 with SEC play on the horizon.

Each of Vanderbilt’s three matches for the doubles point went down to the wire. At three doubles, Marcella Cruz and Dasha Kourkina played a close match against Ohio State’s Isabelle Boulais and Danielle Wolf, but eventually Boulais and Wolf came out on top, 6-4. 

Then, after a large deficit early in the set, Vanderbilt’s Emma Kurtz and Anna Ross clawed their way back into a match against Shiori Fukuda and Luna Dormet of Ohio State, tying the set at 6-6. In the tiebreaker, Kurtz and Ross dominated at the net and took the set with a 7-3 tiebreaker. 

At one doubles, Christina Rosca and Georgia Drummy battled with the Buckeyes’ Kolie Allen and Inna Cantos for the set that would determine who received the doubles point. The score stayed nearly even throughout the set until it reached 6-6, when Rosca and Drummy also entered a tiebreaker. But Allen and Cantos held a slight lead throughout the tiebreaker, taking the set 7-6 and the doubles point.

The Commodores needed a rally to defeat a strong Ohio State team and they demonstrated their persistence in their singles matches. 

In one of several three-set matches on Sunday, Georgia Drummy took on Ohio State’s Danielle Wolf. Wolf took the first set 7-5, but in the following sets Drummy dominated with her shot placement and frustrated Wolf with her consistency. Drummy shot ahead to an early lead in both the second and third set and held both, taking each 6-1 to win the match 7-5, 6-1, 6-1. 

The Vanderbilt freshmen continued to prove themselves on Sunday. Although Marcella Cruz lost a tough match to Ohio State’s Inna Cantos 6-4, 6-2, Both Anna Ross and Dasha Kourkina scored two crucial points for the Commodores in their line four and line six singles matches. 

Anna Ross won the first set of her match over a visibly frustrated Kolie Allen of Ohio State 6-4 with her powerful serves and forehand shots. In the second set, Allen came back from a 2-0 deficit and took the second set 6-4. But after two close sets, the third set was all Ross. The speed and sheer force of her shots wore down Allen over the course of the match, and Ross took the match 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 after a dominating third set. 

Dasha Kourkina secured another point in her six singles match against Ohio State’s Luna Dormet. Kourkina looked consistent and composed throughout the match, and an early break helped her take the first set 6-4. In the second set, Kourkina’s consistency and Dormet’s unforced errors allowed the freshman to prevail 6-2 to win the match in straight sets.

After Ross, Kourkina, and Drummy had won their singles matches, Vanderbilt was leading 3 points to Ohio State’s 2, but the match was far from over. Seniors Christina Rosca at line one and Emma Kurtz at line three remained on the court, but each had split their first two sets, and the outcome was far from certain.

All eyes were on the seniors.

At one singles, Vanderbilt’s Rosca started out strong against Ohio State’s Shiori Fukuda, taking the first set 6-4 with her backcourt consistency and several well-placed drop shots. In the second set, Fukuda struck quickly and broke Rosca, going up 3-0. Rosca then took two straight games, but Fukuda took the next three to win the second set 6-2.

When Rosca was down 3-4 in the third set, it looked as if Ohio State might take the match. But in a stunning display, Rosca stormed back and took three straight games with the match on the line. With her win, she clinched the match for the Commodores, and she did so under extreme pressure. 

Senior Emma Kurtz also came out with a victory with the match on the line. After losing the first set 1-6, she won a close second set 6-4. Kurtz also faced a deficit in the third set, as she was losing 3-4 to Ohio State’s Isabelle Boulais. She orchestrated an incredible comeback, capitalizing on unforced errors from the visibly distraught Boulais and closed out the set with a 7-3 tiebreaker, winning the match 1-6, 6-4, 7-6. 

The fifteenth-ranked Commodores may see their rank rise after they beat the Buckeyes 5-2, in a win that showcased the entire team’s determination and persistence. With the conclusion of non-conference play, Vanderbilt will face SEC opponents in the coming weeks, starting with a match-up against LSU on February 28th at home.