M. Tennis opens SEC Coaches Classic

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Four members of the Vanderbilt men’s tennis team began their final tournament of the fall Friday morning in the SEC Coaches Classic hosted by the University of Alabama.

In singles, Alex Ross picked up a win against Bama’s Ritchie Kruuenberg with a straight sets victory on his opponent’s home court. The sophomore pulled off a tight 6-4, first set victory and advances to play Kentucky’s Jake Stefanik after taking the second set 6-3.

Tate Allwardt and Panu Virtanen fell in their first round singles matches, both facing opponents ranked in the ITA preseason top-35. Allwardt, a junior from Boca Raton, Fla. fell to South Carolina’s No. 30 Gabriel Friedrich in a tough three set match. The Commodore pulled off the first set over the Gamecock, 6-4, but Freidrich rallied to take the next two sets, 6-3 and 6-2. Virtanen lost to the Crimson Tide’s 34th-ranked Mazen Osama, 6-2, 6-1.

The Commodores walked away from two rounds of doubles without a victory. In their second doubles match as a pair, Virtanen and Pen Binet fell to Alabama’s Osama/Richey in a close 8-6 contest.

Against the Tide’s Kruuenberg/Nerterov, Allwardt and Ross forced a tiebreaker but ultimately fell in their second match of the day, 8-7(4).

Vanderbilt continues competition from Tuscaloosa tomorrow at 9 a.m. CT with a round of doubles followed by two rounds of singles.