Belmont faced a tough opponent in Vanderbilt University on Sunday, leaving the Wedgewood neighbor’s Currey Tennis Center with a 0-7 loss.
The loss brings the team to 5-4 overall in the runup to conference play, which kicks off at the end of February.
“We had match points and chances to win, and we just couldn’t finish,” Belmont’s director of tennis, Mauricio Antun, said after the match.
“I think we got a little scared to win there, playing a bigger school,” Antun said. “It was just tough for us, but I was proud of how they competed.”
The Bruins put up a spirited fight against the Commodores, resulting in some close calls and even surprising themselves with their initial success.
Doubles play offered a promising start to Sunday’s matchups, with Belmont seniors Somer Henry and Peyton Lee beating their Vanderbilt counterparts 7-6 and 9-7.
“It was kind of easy there for a second,” Lee said. Her teammate agreed.
“We were just playing our normal selves,” Henry said.
The lead didn’t last for long as the Commodores stepped up their game. But the Bruins’ patience and valiant efforts to regain their stance eventually paid off with a win.
“They changed their game up, but we figured it out there at the end,” Lee said. She and Henry were the only Bruins to walk away with a victory Sunday.
The duo played a competitive game, but they hope to be more focused and keep a good mindset on the court for the games ahead, they said.
Despite seeing the doubles point go ultimately to Vanderbilt, Belmont’s squad kept high spirits. and the Bruins continued to support each other through the competition.
Doubles duo Somer Henry (left) and Payton Lee (right) were the only Bruins to defeat Vanderbilt at Sunday’s series in the Currey Tennis Center, Feb. 27, 2022. Rose Winchester / Belmont Vision.
Singles match struggles
Facing six singles matches, the Bruins stayed resilient till the end. Belmont freshman Gina Feistel kicked off her first solo set with a solid 6-4 lead against Commodore Yufei Long.
Fighting to the end of the second set, a combative 3-6 loss initiated a tiebreaking third set secured by Long 10-4.
“Everybody fights, and I know the overall score doesn’t look like, it but it was really tight. So everybody had the chance to win,” Feistel said.
Looking to the future, Feistel wants to focus on being more consistent in her game, but is ultimately happy with her and her team’s fight Sunday, she said.
Henry, Lee, Meredith Roberts and Viktoria Kliimand all bettered their game as singles matchups continued. Though each faced a loss in two sets, all four women brought in higher scores in the second.
Building on a message of positivity, Antun stressed the importance of keeping spirits high and encouraged his athletes to have confidence in their abilities.
“We need to focus on keeping the energy up and just trying to stay positive instead of beating ourselves down, and just believe that we can win every match that we play,” he said.
The Bruins return home Thursday for a match against Villanova University.
PHOTO: Freshman Gina Feistel pushed it to three sets in her singles round against Vanderbilt’s Yufei Long in the Currey Tennis Center, Feb. 27, 2022. Rose Winchester / Belmont Vision
This article was written by Rose Winchester.