The Gators avenged an earlier loss to the Commodores, 4-3, on March 16 in Nashville. The Commodores' season, though lacking a national title, was successful. Team highlights include a ninth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, sixth straight appearance in the Sweet 16, second showing in the quarterfinals and a win over the Gators for the first time in the program's history.
Florida jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the match, after picking up the critical doubles point. With the Gators' singles lineup deep from top to bottom, the Commodores needed to earn the doubles point to make their chances a little bit easier to win the match.
Florida's No. 2 tandem of Alexis Gordon and Julie Rotondi scored the first win in doubles, defeating Vanderbilt's 37th-ranked team of junior Kelly Schmandt and sophomore Audra Falk, 8-1. The Gators earned the point when their 26th-ranked team of Jennifer Magley and Zerene Reyes scored an upset over the third-ranked team of senior Sarah Riske and junior Aleke Tsoubanos, 8-4. It marked just the fifth time this season that Vanderbilt lost a doubles point.
Following doubles, Gordon picked up the first singles point for Florida, as she defeated Commodore freshman Ashley Schellhas in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, at the No. 5 position. Gordon, who is ranked 14th nationally, has not lost to an SEC opponent in a dual match this year. Schellhas concludes a very successful freshman campaign with a 26-5 overall record.
The next singles point came from the 24th-ranked Reyes, who defeated Falk at the No. 4 position, 6-3, 6-2. Falk ends her second season at Vanderbilt with an outstanding 24-5 singles mark. She is now 45-10 over her first two seasons.
The match was concluded when Magley defeated Annie Menees at the sixth position, 6-2, 6-3. Menees, who dealt with injuries throughout the 2002-03 season, finishes the year with a 13-8 record.
Riske, Tsoubanos and Schmandt all had their singles matches stopped following Magley's victory. Riske was up one set over Julia Scaringe, while Tsoubanos and Schmandt were both down one set to Rotondi and Lindsay Dawaf, respectively.
While the season is now over from a team standpoint, Riske and Tsoubanos will continue on in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, which begin on May 19 in Gainesville. Riske will compete in both the singles and doubles competitions, while Tsoubanos will join Riske in singles. Tsoubanos is still awaiting word on whether or not she will get into the main draw of singles.