Astra Sharma and Fernanda Contreras have represented Vanderbilt well at the women’s individual and doubles at the NCAA championships in Winston-Salem. The two did not play on the same doubles teams for VU during the season, but as the two best players on the team have been put together a great showing in this tournament that followed the team championship decided on Tuesday when Vanderbilt lost in the finals to Stanford 3-4.
The tandem has been playing superb tennis. They knocked out the number 2 seed in UNC. That was all we needed to see to know that these two teammates who have been so stellar all year long and, in the case of Sharma, for four straight years. This Vanderbilt twosome is unranked because they haven’t played together till now, but they knocked off the #20th ranked doubles team from Kansas a could days ago, 6-1, 6-2. That is simply, dominant.
Speaking of Sharma, who has had an awe-inspiring career at Vanderbilt – she played yesterday in the quarterfinals (elite 8.) She could/should win and land in the semifinals. The only question, this writer has – how can she play both doubles and singles so intensely for so long this week – just how much stamina does this elite athlete have. Time will tell.
The matches are being played at Wake Forest University. Vanderbilt has really set the place on fire and it is a tribute to Coach Macdonald, the team, and now these two student-athletes.
Editor's Note: Sharma concluded her singles career as a Vanderbilt Commodore on Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA singles championships against Pepperdine’s Mayar Sherif while eighth-seeded Fernanda Contreras faces Pepperdine’s 9-16-seeded Ashley Lahey on Sunday morning in the semifinal round of the NCAA singles championships at 11 a.m. CT. VandyMania and the Vandy Nation salute both Sharma and Contreras for their wonderful representation of Vanderbilt throughout their careers (Contreras is not done, of course).
Editor's Note 2: Contreras fell to Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine on Sunday afternoon.