Vanderbilt tennis falls in first round of NCAA tournament

Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 5:00pm
Staff reports

URBANA, Ill. – Vanderbilt dropped four of the six singles matches, including the only two that went to three sets, and lost 4-3 to Illinois in a first-round NCAA tournament match on Saturday.

The defeat ended a streak of 11 consecutive season the Commodores reached the third round – or beyond – of the national championship event.

Jakie Wu and Courtney Ulery both forced decisive third sets at No. 1 and No 6 singles, respectively, after they dropped the opening set.

When Wu fell 6-0, 4-6, 6-4, Ulery’s match was the only one remaining. She extended Illinois’ Kristina Minor to a tiebreaker but fell 6-4, 3-6, 7-6.

Keilly Ulery won a critical second-set tiebreaker for Vanderbilt at No. 3 singles. She gave Vanderbilt a 3-2 lead when she finished off Illinois’ Chelcie Abajian 6-4, 7-6.

The Commodores’ only other victory in singles was from Catherine Newman at No. 2 (6-2, 6-4).

Vanderbilt won the doubles point with an 8-4 victory from Newman and Wu at No. 1 doubles and a 9-8 victory from the Ulery sisters at No. 3. The Commodores’ No. 2 team of Chelsea Pregg and Heather Steinbauer trailed 7-6 when the point was awarded.