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Vandy wins rematch with Texas, Texas A&M holes out, advancing to East Lake Cup finals

Amid a bizarre day at the East Lake Cup, Vanderbilt got its revenge on Texas.

In the men’s semifinals on Tuesday, the Commodores trounced the Longhorns 3.5-1.5 in a rematch of the quarterfinals at the 2022 NCAA Championships. The Longhorns went on to win the national title.

“I’d hope so,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said when asked if there was extra motivation taking on Texas again. “It wasn’t something that I brought up, but I mean, we know they ended our season in the final four last year. Obviously, they’re a different team and obviously a program that I couldn’t respect any more, just the way they do things and handle themselves, classy.”

The admiration for each other is mutual.

“A lot of respect to Vanderbilt, they’re a great team,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “We got them in the semifinals last year at the National Championship and they returned the favor today with a little exclamation point. They’re a fine team, a much older team than we are and they utilized that experience to just really put it on us today.”

Texas’ Christian Maas was the Longhorns’ lone victor Tuesday, defeating Reid Davenport 4 and 2.

In the most anticipated matchup of the day, the East Lake Cup’s individual champion, Gordon Sargent, who is also the reigning NCAA individual champion, notched a 3-and-2 win over Travis Vick, the 2022 U.S. Open’s low amateur.

Vanderbilt will face Arizona State in the finals on Wednesday. Arizona State topped Pepperdine 3-2 in the semifinals.

Arizona State, like Vanderbilt, endured a crushing defeat at last season’s NCAA Championship, losing to Texas in the finals. Vanderbilt spoiled a chance for a rematch on Tuesday by beating Texas, but Arizona State is ready for tomorrow no matter the opponent.

“I think we could kind of put anybody against anybody and feel like (we) could beat them,” Arizona State head coach Matt Thurmond said. “We have five really, really good players. I think it’s — we’re a hard match-up, but so is Vanderbilt.”

Meanwhile, in the women’s bracket, Auburn came back from three down to defeat Oregon and advance to the finals. The deciding match went one extra hole, with Casey Weidenfeld defeating Cynthia Lu to notch the Tigers’ victory.

“I think this team is, they’re fighters and I think we’re all going to be really motivated by just grinding it out today and I think that’s going to be really good for tomorrow,” Weidenfeld said.

Auburn will face Texas A&M, who defeated UCLA 3-2 thanks to the highlight of the day.

On the par-5 18th, Hailee Cooper holed an eagle to send the Aggies to the finals.

“I had a long time to think about (the shot) because (UCLA’s Emilie Paltrinieri) was looking for it and taking the drop and everything,” Cooper said, “but I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I caught myself trying to change the shot and I was like, ‘Why are you trying to complicate it, like stick to your game plan, hit the shot you talked about.’ I hit it exactly where I wanted, I bounced it and it just went in.”