With Friday's win, Harris avenged a March loss to van der Merwe during dual-match play. He will be looking to repeat that feat against Zoltan Pelva, who won a three-set encounter when the Tigers and Commodores faced off during the regular season.
Harris is the first Commodore to advance through three rounds of the NCAA Tournament and reach the quarterfinals. Bobby Reynolds (2000-03) and Chris Groer (1993-96) both were defeated in the Round of 16 during their final seasons at Vanderbilt.
The Southeastern Conference leads the NCAA with three competitors remaining in the final eight. The Atlantic Coast Conference has two, and the Big 12, Conference USA and the Sun Belt also are represented.
Chad Harris at the NCAA Singles Championships First Round: def. No. 100 Jamie Cerretani (Brown), 6-1, 6-4 Second Round: def. No. 13 Lester Cook (Texas A&M), 7-6, 7-5 Third Round: def. No. 23 Izak van der Merwe (Old Dominion), 6-4, 7-6 Quarterfinals: vs. No. 20 Gabor Zoltan Pelva (Auburn), May 29 NCAA SINGLES QUARTERFINALS Saturday, May 29 1 p.m. No. 31 Chad Harris, Vanderbilt vs. No. 20 Gabor Zoltan Pelva, Auburn No. 15 Benjamin Becker, Baylor vs. No. 12 Hamid Mirzadeh, Florida 2:30 p.m. No. 5 Phillip King, Duke vs. No. 11 Michael Kogan, Tulane No. 29 Nicholas Monroe, North Carolina vs. No. 33 Franticek Babej, South Alabama
ATHENS, Ga.-- Vanderbilt seniors Kelly Schmandt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Aleke Tsoubanos (Chesterfield, Mo.) dropped a 6-3, 6-3 decision to UCLA's Daniela Bercek and Lauren Fisher in the semifinal round of the 2004 NCAA Doubles Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex Friday.
Schmandt and Tsoubanos captained the 2004 Commodores all the way to the semifinals of the NCAA Team Tournament, and advanced as far in the individual event before their loss Friday. The pair combined for an overall record of 35-6 during the 2003-04 season, including a 21-5 mark in dual match play.
"What these two women have done at Vanderbilt is just remarkable," VU Head Coach Geoff Macdonald said. "They have brought this program to a new level during their four years and I am grateful to them for all of their hard work. You probably will not find a pair of student-athletes with more heart than Kelly and Aleke, and I could not be prouder of them."
Playing as a doubles team for the first time in their VU careers this fall, Schmandt and Tsoubanos won the first tournament they entered-- the 2003 ITA All-American Championships, one of three national championship events throughout the season.
The Commodore duo earned the No. 1 seed in December's ITA National Indoor Championships, and were ranked in the nation's top 5 throughout the dual-match season. Seeded seventh in the NCAA Doubles Championship, Schmandt and Tsoubanos outlasted the other seven seeded teams to be one of the final four teams left in the tournament Friday.
Aleke Tsoubanos ends her collegiate career as a three-time All-American and the winningest doubles player in Vanderbilt history. She posted 122 total doubles victories during four years as a Commodore, while winning the ITA All-American Championship twice (with Sarah Riske in 2002).
Kelly Schmandt, a four-time All-Southeastern Conference honoree, will earn her first All-America recognition this season. The pair led Vanderbilt to four straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament's Round of 16, including a National Runner-Up finish in 2001. In four years, Schmandt and Tsoubanos helped the Commodores win a total of 100 dual matches.