Men's Tennis Falls at Vanderbilt, 7-0

by Sidney Kleinpeter
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Men's Tennis Falls at Vanderbilt, 7-0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The LSU men’s tennis team was unable to overcome its road struggles as the 30th-ranked Tigers fell to No. 33 Vanderbilt 7-0 on Friday afternoon at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center.

The Tigers (9-11, 4-5 SEC) are now 1-7 away from home this year, with the lone road victory coming in a 5-2 win against South Carolina in Columbia. With the win the Commodores improve to 12-8 overall and 3-6 in conference competition.

“We had several opportunities in both singles and doubles,” LSU head coach Jeff Brown said. “We had opportunities to win the doubles point and then several first sets in singles. We just weren’t executing as well as we would like to. I can’t fault the effort, it just wasn’t our day.”

LSU fell behind early after Vanderbilt narrowly took the doubles point. The 10th-ranked Tiger pair of senior Sebastian Carlsson and junior Neal Skupski continued their excellent play on Court 1, quickly dispatching Vanderbilt’s Adam Baker and Alex Zotov 8-3.

The Commodores retaliated as Charlie Jones and Blake Bazarnik took down the LSU pair of senior Julien Gauthier and sophomore Olivier Borsos 8-6 on Court 3. With the first two matches split the doubles point rested on the Court 2 match between LSU’s sophomore duo of Stefan Szacinski and Roger Anderson and Vanderbilt’s Ryan Lipman and Bryant Salcedo.

Anderson and Szacinski held a 7-3 lead, but were unable to close it out as Lipman and Salcedo stormed back to eventually tie the match at 8-8. The Tiger pair was then unable to regain their momentum as the Commodore duo won the tiebreaker to win the match 9-8 (5) and clinch the early 1-0 lead.

LSU attempted to regain the momentum in singles play, but the Commodores came out strong and picked up wins in four of six first sets. Vanderbilt increased its lead to 2-0 as 82nd-ranked Skupski fell to Baker 6-4, 6-3 on Court 2, and then pulled ahead 3-0 after junior Mark Bowtell dropped his Court 4 match 6-4, 7-5 to Salcedo.

The Commodores then picked up the match-clinching point on Court 1. No. 27 Lipman cruised in the first set 6-2 over Borsos, but the Budapest, Hungary, native battled back to take the second set 6-2. Lipman proved to be too much however, outlasting Borsos 6-4 in the deciding third set to claim the 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win and seal the 4-0 victory for Vanderbilt.

The final three matches were played to their completion, with the Tigers falling in a pair of three-setters. Carlsson couldn’t capitalize on his first set victory as he fell Bazarnik 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Court 5, and Gauthier fell 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1 to the hands of Zotov on Court 6 to make the overall score 6-0. On Court 3, Szacinski split his first two sets 7-6, 5-7, but retired before the start of the third set to make the final score 7-0.

LSU looks to get back on track on Sunday when the Tigers head to Lexington, Ky., to square-off with No. 14 Kentucky. First serve is slated for Noon CDT.

For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access to the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men’s team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.

#33 Vanderbilt 7, #30 LSU 0

Singles competition
1. #27 Ryan Lipman (VU) def. Olivier Borsos (LSU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
2. Adam Baker (VU) def. #82 Neal Skupski (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Charlie Jones (VU) def. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 6-7 (7-9), 7-5, retired
4. Bryant Salcedo (VU) def. Mark Bowtell (LSU) 6-4, 7-5
5. Blake Bazarnik (VU) def. #124 Sebastian Carlsson (LSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. Alex Zotov (VU) def. Julien Gauthier (LSU) 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. #10 Sebastian Carlsson/Neal Skupski (LSU) def. Adam Baker/Alex Zotov (VU) 8-3
2. Ryan Lipman/Bryant Salcedo (VU) def. Roger Anderson/Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 9-8 (7-5)
3. Blake Bazarnik/Charlie Jones (VU) def. Olivier Borsos/Julien Gauthier (LSU) 8-6

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,4,1,5,6)