Dores roll past Lady Dogs 4-1, into Final Four

ATHENS, Ga.-— On Friday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Center, the third-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores (26-3) battled stifling heat and humidity to defeat the Georgia Lady Bulldogs, 4-1, and advance to the program's second NCAA Final Four in four years. "Today our team had a refuse to lose mentality," said Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald. "I'm so proud to be a Commodore."

ATHENS, Ga.-— On Friday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Center, the third-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores (26-3) battled stifling heat and humidity to defeat the Georgia Lady Bulldogs, 4-1, and advance to the program's second NCAA Final Four in four years. Ironically, both VU visits to the NCAA Final Four have occurred in the state of Georgia as the 2001 squad reached the finals at Stone Mountain, Ga.

The Black and Gold will face the second-seeded Stanford Cardinal in the national semifinals on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. CT, while fifth-seeded Clemson battles ninth-seeded UCLA in the day's other matchup. Live results of both matches can be followed on the University of Georgia's official website, www.georgiadogs.com.

"I thought this match was another incredible display of toughness and fight by our team," said Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald. "Today our team had a refuse to lose mentality. I am so proud of this group to come down to Athens and beat a tough Georgia squad on their home court to advance to the Final Four. I'm so proud to be a Commodore."

For the second straight day, the ‘Dores put themselves in an early hole by losing the doubles point. However, much as they did yesterday, the Black and Gold managed to win with a stirring rally in the singles portion of the match.

Sophomore Ashley Schellhas and freshman Amanda Fish got things started by falling 8-1 to Georgia's duo of Jitka Schonfeldova and Douglas Wink at the number three doubles position. Then, UGA's Shadisha Robinson and Alexandra Smith upset the #39-ranked Commodore pair of Audra Falk and Annie Menees by an 8-4 count to secure the doubles point for the Lady Bulldogs. The nation's second ranked doubles pairing of Aleke Tsoubanos and Kelly Schmandt trailed Georgia's Agata Cioroch and Evgenia Subbotina, 6-5, when their match was suspended.

Once singles got underway, Black and Gold senior Aleke Tsoubanos registered the Commodores first point with a commanding 6-1, 6-2 victory over Subbotina. VU junior Audra Falk, ranked 13th in the nation in singles, routed ninth-ranked Agata Cioroch, 6-2, 6-3, to put Vanderbilt ahead in the match by a 2-1 count.

On Friday, senior Aleke Tsoubanos played a tough three-set match to grab a crucial point against Tennessee, today it was Kelly Schmandt who provided senior leadership by grabbing a key tally in a hard-fought three-setter.

After losing the opening frame to UGA's Robinson by a 6-2 count, Schmandt rallied to take the second set 6-4, before rolling over her foe 6-0 in the final set to claim the point and a 3-1 VU lead.

The match was clinched at the number five singles position for the second straight day as sophomore Ashley Schellhas battled for three sets before taking a 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 decision.

Junior Annie Menees trailed Alexandra Smith, 7-6, 5-3, and freshman Amanda Fish was deadlocked with Georgia's Schonfeldova at 6-4, 4-6, 1-1 when their matches were suspended. Vanderbilt Results


Doubles

1. Aleke Tsoubanos and Kelly Schmandt-2 (VU) vs. Agata Cioroch and Evgenia Subbotina (UGA), 5-6, DNF 

2. Shadisha Robinson and Alexandra Smith (UGA) d. Audra Falk and Annie Menees-39 (VU), 8-4* 

3. Jitka Schonfeldova and Douglas Wink (UGA) d. Ashley Schellhas and Amanda Fish (VU), 8-1 

*clinched doubles point 

Order of Finish:3,2 

Singles 

1. Audra Falk-13 (VU) d. Agata Cioroch-9 (UGA) 6-2,6-3 

2. Kelly Schmandt-61 (VU) d. Shadisha Robinson-32 (UGA) 6-2,4-6,6-0 

3. Aleke Tsoubanos-120 (VU) d. Evgenia Subbotina-54 (UGA) 6-1,6-2 

4. Amanda Fish (VU) vs. Jitka Schonfeldova-108 (UGA) 4-6,6-4,1-1 DNF 

5. Ashley Schellhas (VU) d. Natalie Frazaier-84 (UGA) 1-6,7-5,6-1** 

6. Annie Menees (VU) vs. Alexandra Smith (UGA) 6-7(3),3-5 DNF 

**clinched match 

Order of Finish: 3,1,2,5 

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