NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Led by a first collegiate victory from Holly Staff, Vanderbilt opened its 2020 fall slate Friday with a round of singles and two rounds of doubles in the Music City Scramble.
“Overall I was really pleased with the way our team competed in both singles and doubles,” said head coach Aleke Tsoubanos. “We have a ways to go but this being our first competition in several months, I’m optimistic about the growth of this team.
“In singles I thought Marcella Cruz played a really clean, disciplined match with Auburn this morning. Holly Staff had a very competitive match with a veteran in Auburn’s Taylor Russo, found herself down 5-2 in the third set and was able to fight back and pull out five straight games for a very impressive win. Emma Kurtz bounced back after a three-set loss and really played some of the best tennis I’ve seen her play. We lost a few doubles tiebreakers and had some great opportunities and we will build on that when we play more doubles Sunday. We are just happy to be competing and we know how fortunate we are to be able to do that against some great SEC competition this weekend.”
Staff, a freshman from Manchester, England, battled through her West End debut to come away with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Auburn’s Taylor Russo. Elsewhere, Marcella Cruz earned Vanderbilt’s first win of the season by cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Auburn’s Shir Azran. Rounding out singles action as morning turned to afternoon, Emma Kurtz earned a quick 6-2, 6-1 victory over Tennessee’s Tenika McGiffin.
In doubles action later Friday, Cruz and Staff continued their winning ways with a 6-1 victory over the Volunteers’ McGiffin and Esther Adeshina. The duo also took on Tiphanie Fiquet and Kelsey Mize of Ole Miss, but dropped the match in a tiebreaker 7-6 (3).
The Dores will continue the Music City Scramble throughout the weekend with action at Currey Tennis Center set to start Saturday at 8 a.m. Saturday’s play will feature three rounds of singles with Vanderbilt taking on Ole Miss at noon. Live stats to follow the match can be found by clicking here.
Carolyn Ansari (Aub) def. Anna Ross (Vandy) 6-4, 4-5, ret.
Marcella Cruz (Vandy) def. Shir Azran (Aub) 6-3, 6-2
Holly Staff (Vandy) def. Taylor Russo (Aub) 7-5, 4-6, 7-5
Georgie Axon (Aub) def. Amanda Meyer (Vandy) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Yu Chen (Aub) def. Anessa Lee (Vandy) 6-3, 6-3
Selin Ovunc (Aub) def. Emma Kurtz (Vandy) 0-6, 7-6, 6-2
Emma Kurtz (Vandy) def. Tenika McGiffin (UT) 6-2, 6-1
Carly Briggs/Daria Kuczer (UT) def. Amanda Meyer/Anessa Lee (Vandy) 6-4
Holly Staff/Marcella Cruz (Vandy) def. Esther Adeshina/Tenika McGiffin (UT) 6-1
Sabina Machalova/Alexa Bortles (UM) def. Emma Kurtz/Anessa Lee (Vandy) 7-6 (3)
Tiphanie Fiquet/Kelsey Mize (UM) def. Holly Staff/Marcella Cruz (Vandy) 7-6 (3)