KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Virginia Tech put its’ fate on the back of Pedro Graber for the second time in the last three matches Friday afternoon and the senior came through once again winning the clinching point to give Tech a 4-2 win over No. 32 Vanderbilt in the NCAA First Round. The event is being held at Barksdale Stadium on the University of Tennessee campus.
The Hokies improved to 15-11 on the year, while the Commodores ended the year at 13-11. Tech will play the winner of the No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 64 Radford match in the second round Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
After Vanderbilt won two of the three doubles matches to capture the first point of the day, Tech responded by winning four of the five completed singles matches to seal the victory.
With Tech holding a slim 3-2 advantage, it appeared the Hokies had the match in hand as Patrick Daciek (Jr., Severna Park, Md.) raced out to a 4-0 lead in the final set in his No. 2 match against Charlie Jones. However, Daciek starting suffering from severe leg cramps and dropped the next three games. The match was eventually halted once Tech had clinched the win.
Graber (r-Sr., Santiago, Chile), who won a three hour 27 minute marathon match in Tech’s 4-3 win over NC State in the ACC tournament quarterfinals, dropped the first set, 5-7, before taking the second, 6-3. He then advanced the Hokies into the next round by winning the final set, 6-4.
In singles, Corrado Degl’ Incerti Tocci (Jr., Reggio Emilia, Italy) won Tech’s first point with a dominating, 6-1, 6-0, victory at No. 6 over Alex DiValerio. Lucas Oliveira (So., Sao Paulo, Brazil) gave the Hokies a 2-0 lead after taking the No. 5 contest, 6-1, 7-5, against Alex Zotov.
Luka Somen (Jr., Karlovac, Croatia), ranked No. 59, defeated Adam Baker, 6-3, 6-3, in the No. 1 match to give Tech a 3-1 advantage. With the Hokies needing only one more victory to advance to the next round, the three remaining matches all split the first two sets.
Will Beck (Sr., Potomac, Md.) dropped a tough, 6-7, 6-2, 6-1, decision at No. 3 against Blake Bazarnik to draw the Commodores to within 3-2, setting up Graber’s heroics.
In doubles, Vanderbilt won the No. 1 doubles as Beck/Graber, ranked No. 63 nationally, lost, 8-4, to No. 42 Baker/Jones. The Commodores clinched the point as Oliveira/Somen dropped the No. 2 contest, 8-6, versus Alex DiValevio/Salcedo. Franesc Aulina Fajula (Fr., Barcelona, Spain)/Daciek led the No. 3 match, 7-6, against Bazarnik/Zotov when the contest was halted once the doubles point had been decided.
#37 Virginia Tech 4, #32 Vanderbilt 2
1. #59 Luka Somen (VT) def. Adam Baker (VU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Patrick Daciek (VT) led Charlie Jones (VU) 1-6, 7-5, 4-3 DNF
3. Blake Bazarnik (VU) def. Will Beck (VT) (VU) 6-7, 6-2, 6-1
4. Pedro Graber (VT) def. Bryant Salcedo (VU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
5. Lucas Oliveira (VT) def. Alex Zotov (VU) 6-1, 7-5
6. Corrado Degl’ Incerti Tocci (VT) def. Alex DiValerio (VU) 6-1, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 5, 1, 3, 4
1. #42 Baker/Jones (VU)def. #63 Beck/Graber (VT) 8-4
2. DiValerio/Salcedo (VU) def. Oliveira/Somen (VT) 8-6
3. Francesc Aulna Fajula/Daciek (VT) led Bazarnik/Zotov (VU) 7-6 DNF
Order of finish: 1, 2*
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