NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt men’s tennis team defeated Alabama 4-3 in a nailbiter Sunday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Center, to notch its first Southeastern Conference home win on the season.
“I feel like I aged a little during that match,” said head coach Ian Duvenhage. “I told the team beforehand that this is an Alabama team that has faced a lot of adversity this year, but if we get fooled by that and think they’re just going to come in here and roll over, we are in for a big surprise. The rest is history because they came within an inch of upsetting us today.”
Vandy picked up the doubles point to open the match with junior Siim Troost and freshman Michael Ross clinching their second doubles point on the season and first in SEC play.
“I thought we did a really good job in doubles,” noted Duvenhage. “We came out ready to play on all three courts … and then obviously won the doubles point.”
The Commodores posted three singles wins to move past the Crimson Tide for their second SEC win on the season.
“I thought we came out and had a good start in singles and we really were in a position to put them away, but we didn’t,” said Duvenhage. “It’s gotten us in trouble a few times this year where we’re upset in a break and have break points to go up a second break and we don’t capitalize. Before you know it, we are fighting for our lives.”
“I’m happy that we were able to win that one and I thought Joubert (Klopper) did a great job there. After losing the second set, then going down a break in the third to just stay the course and find a way to win.”
The last time the Dores won over Alabama was March 2, 2018, in a narrow 4-3 victory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. With the SEC victory, Vandy now stands at 14-6 on the season as they face a pair of SEC East foes to kick off the month of April.
- Senior Macsen Sisam and sophomore Jeremie Casabon won a quick doubles match on Court 3, 6-2, against their Alabama opposition.
- No. 80 Troost and Ross teamed up on the top Court to clinch the opening point after defeating No. 44 Filip Planinsek and German Samofalov, 6-4.
- Fifth-year senior duo George Harwell and Max Freeman evened the score on Court 2, 4-4, against their Crimson Tide opposition, when their match was called.
Tested at Singles
- The momentum continued in favor of the Dores as Troost earned his fifth SEC singles victory on the season after a win in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2 against his Alabama opposition.
- The Crimson Tide put their first point on the board after Planinsek, ranked 112th nationally, defeated No. 44 Harwell in a two-set thriller, 6-1, 6-4, on the top court.
- Alabama evened the score, 2-2, after Alabama’s Patrick Kaukovalta defeated Freeman, 0-6, 6-0, 6-2, on Court 4.
- Senior Marcus Ferreira helped the Dores grab back the lead, 3-2, after defeating his Alabama opposition in straight sets. The Hilton Head, South Carolina native fought-hard in a first set tiebreaker, 7-6 (4), before a decisive 6-1 win in the second set.
- The Crimson Tide tied the score, 3-3, after Casabon fell to his Alabama opposition in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, on Court 5.
- Coming down to Court 2, junior Joubert Klopper clinched his first SEC match for the Dores in a three-set thriller. The junior got off to a quick start to take the first set, 6-2, before Alabama’s Enzo Aguiard forced a third and decisive set, where Klopper battled to win, 6-4. After the singles victory, Klopper has a 14-4 dual record and is 5-1 in SEC play.
The Dores head back on the road this week for a challenging test against a pair of SEC East foes. Vandy starts off the month of April in the Palmetto State to take on No. 6 South Carolina, before wrapping up the weekend in the Sunshine State to face No. 2 Florida, who leads the SEC standings.