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May 21, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - Sophomore Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) dropped a 6-2, 6-2 match against Vanderbilt's Gonzales Austin in the First Round of the NCAA Singles Championships on Wednesday in Athens, Ga. The championships are being hosted by the University of Georgia.
Stakhovsky, ranked 37th in the ITA Poll, matched up against Austin, ranked 21st. In the first set, Stakhovsky took an early 1-0 lead, but Austin took the next three points. Stakhovsky got a game to bring it back to 3-2, but Austin went on another 3-0 run to win the set, 6-2.
Austin continued his strong play in the second set, jumping out to a 5-0 lead. Stakhovsky broke Austin's serve and then won another game to make the score 5-2, but Austin finished the set to win, 6-2.
Stakhovsky, a unanimous First Team All-Big Ten selection, finished the spring with an 18-8 record and eight wins against ranked opponents.
"It was Leo's first NCAA appearance as a sophomore, which is a feat in itself," said Head Coach Jeff Zinn. "I'm not sure that he was ready for the atmosphere of the NCAA Singles Tournament. Hopefully now that he has played today, he can come out and play better tomorrow in doubles."
Senior Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) and Stakhovsky will compete in the First Round of the NCAA Doubles Championships on Thursday. The duo, ranked 26th in the ITA Poll, will take on Memphis' 13th-ranked David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury at 9 a.m.
"Great win for Vandy's Gonzales Austin," said Assistant Coach Paul Tobin. "He kept Leo on the defensive for most of the match and forced Leo to make some errors. Leo had a great season and should be very proud of what he was able to accomplish in both singles and doubles, especially at the No. 1 position."
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