No. 19 Tigers Hold Off No. 41 Vanderbilt to Earn 4-3 Victory
Michael Wardell

March 25, 2012

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AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 19-ranked Auburn men's tennis team earned a hard-fought Southeastern Conference victory over the No. 41 Vanderbilt Commodores, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.

With the win, the Tigers move to 14-5 (3-3 SEC) on the year while Vanderbilt falls to 7-9 (2-4 SEC).

"We knew Vanderbilt wasn't going to go away easily," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "They were down early in doubles, but they came back and made a match of it. I told the guys before singles that they are a good team. They compete hard, and they are well coached. They are going to battle and that is what they did. We have to get tougher in certain spots. I thought we could have done a better job of battling through. Hats off to Dan (Cochrane). He was down in both sets today and comes back and wins it for us. We need bigger efforts like that if we are going to win some of these tough matches in the SEC."

In doubles, the 13th-ranked Auburn duo of Alex Stamchev and Andreas Mies defeated Vanderbilt's Charlie Jones and Gonzales Austin, 8-2, on court one. In the No. 3 position, Blake Bazarnik and Jeff Offerdahl topped Auburn's Lucas Lopasso and Rafael Rondino, 8-6. The Tigers clinched the doubles point after Daniel Cochrane and Lukas Ollert held off a late charge by Alex DiValerio and Joe Dorn to win 8-5.

In singles, Auburn quickly earned two victories on courts five and six to take a 3-0 lead in the team match. Michael Wardell topped Dorn 6-3, 6-3 on six while Lopasso defeated Anton Kovrigin, 6-4, 6-2, at the fifth spot.

Vanderbilt quickly came back, picking up two upset wins to get within one point at 3-2. On court four, Jeff Offerdahl edged out No. 100 Lukas Ollert, 6-3, 6-3. In the No. 2 spot, Gonzales Austin toppled No. 95 Alex Stamchev, 6-4, 6-2.

After being down 5-3 in the first set and 5-2 in the second set, Daniel Cochrane clinched the win at No.3 singles for the Tigers after outlasting Blake Bazarnik, 7-5, 7-5, just moments before No. 47 Charlie Jones upset No. 26 Andreas Mies on court one, 7-5, 7-5.

The Tigers face a tough SEC road trip next weekend as they will square off with No. 9 Florida and No. 33 South Carolina. Auburn will play a night match in Gainesville on Friday beginning at 5 p.m. ET, then will face the Gamecocks at the new Carolina Tennis Center at 1 p.m. ET Sunday in Columbia, S.C.

Auburn Men's Tennis
March 25, 2012
Yarbrough Tennis Center - Auburn, Ala.

#19 Auburn 4, #41 Vanderbilt 3

1. #47 Charlie Jones (VU) def. #26 Andreas Mies (AU) 7-5, 7-5
2. Gonzales Austin (VU) def. #95 Alex Stamchev (AU) 6-4, 6-2
3. Daniel Cochrane (AU) def. Blake Bazarnik (VU) 7-5, 7-5
4. Jeff Offerdahl (VU) def. #100 Lukas Ollert (AU) 6-3, 6-3
5. Lucas Lopasso (AU) def. Anton Kovrigin (VU) 6-4, 6-2
6. Michael Wardell (AU) def. Joe Dorn (VU) 6-3, 6-3

1. #13 Alex Stamchev/Andreas Mies (AU) def. Charlie Jones/Gonzales Austin (VU) 8-2
2. Daniel Cochrane/Lukas Ollert (AU) def. Alex DiValerio/Joe Dorn (VU) 8-5
3. Blake Bazarnik/Jeff Offerdahl (VU) def. Lucas Lopasso/Rafael Rondino (AU) 8-6

Match Notes
Vanderbilt 7-9 (2-4 SEC); National ranking #41
Auburn 14-5 (3-3 SEC); National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2*); Singles (6,5,4,2,3*,1)