CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (godrakebulldogs.com) – The Drake University men's tennis team suffered a hard-fought 4-2 defeat to No. 22 Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday afternoon at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign, Ill.
"Vandy is a great team and we knew it would take one of our best efforts to come out on top. Coming out, Vandy showed its toughness in doubles and got on us early," said Drake head coach Davidson Kozlowski.
The Commodores get out to an early lead in doubles and won courts No. 1 and No. 2, taking a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs battled back and managed to build some momentum in singles as they won the first set on four of the six singles courts.
"We were hungry. We were determined. And we competed hard to take the first set on four courts. We put ourselves in position and put pressure on Vandy to respond. The team that Vandy has you know they were going to fight back and that's exactly what they did," said Kozlowski.
Vanderbilt managed to go earn a 2-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-4 win from George Harwell over Finley Hall at No. 6 singles
Tom Hands put the Bulldogs on the board as he defeated Baker Newman, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.
No. 22 Cameron Klinger put the Dores a point away with his 6-3, 6-4 win over Barny Thorold at No. 1.
Ben Clark kept Drake's hopes for a comeback victory alive with a three-set 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 at No. 5.
Senior Ben Wood grinded out a first set tiebreaker victory, but Billy Rowe came back to win the final two sets 6-3, 6-4 to secure the Commodore 4-2 win and end Drake's' season.
The Bulldogs finished the 2018 season with a 19-14 record after making their 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history.
Vanderbilt 4, Drake 2
May 12, 2018 at Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex
1. Cameron Klinger (VANDY) def. Barny Thorold (DRAKE) 6-3, 6-4
2. Daniel Valent (VANDY) vs. Vinny Gillespie (DRAKE) 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 3-1, unfinished
3. Tom Hands (DRAKE) def. Baker Newman (VANDY) 6-3, 6-4
4. Billy Rowe (VANDY) def. Ben Wood (DRAKE) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4
5. Ben Clark (DRAKE) def. Maxwell Freeman (VANDY) 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
6. George Harwell (VANDY) def. Finley Hall (DRAKE) 6-4, 6-4
1. Cameron Klinger/Billy Rowe (VANDY) def. Barny Thorold/Vinny Gillespie (DRAKE) 6-2
2. Lachlan McPhee/Maxwell Freeman (VANDY) def. Ben Clark/Finley Hall (DRAKE) 6-2
3. George Harwell/Baker Newman (VANDY) vs. Ben Wood/Tom Hands (DRAKE) 5-4, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (6,3,1,5,4)
NCAA First Round - Match 1