MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt men’s tennis team commanded an undefeated start to the spring season by sweeping Belmont on the opening day of the Coach LaLance Invite on Friday.
“In doubles, Billy Rowe and Panu Virtanen had a very good win against Belmont’s No. 1 pair,” Vanderbilt head coach Ian Duvenhage said. “In singles, both Virtanen and Max Freeman fought back from substantial deficits to win their matches. All in all, it was a very good start for us.”
Opening the match with doubles, Vanderbilt started strong with all courts picking up victories.
Senior duo Virtanen and Rowe took down Belmont’s top pair Marko Ilic and Hendrick Inno 6-4 followed by junior tandem George Harwell and Freeman defeating Arthur Toledo and Taisei Miyamoto 6-2.
Collecting two additional Commodore victories, Christiaan Worst and James Ignatowich teamed up to overpower Belmont’s Vincent Sterkens and Grant Kelly 7-6 followed by Marcus Ferreira and Adam Sraberg downing David Faulkner and Jake Briggs, 7-5.
Heading into singles play Vanderbilt remained confident to sweep all six courts.
After earning a dominant fall campaign, Rowe collected his eighth singles victory of the season by defeating Inno in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
On court 2, Harwell held Belmont’s Miyamoto to only one game in the first set. Claiming the match, Harwell downed Miyamoto 6-3 in the second set.
James Ignatowich began his freshman spring campaign on top with a straight set defeat over Belmont’s Kelly 6-1, 6-2 while Sraberg took down Bruno Nunes 6-3, 6-2, to collect his seventh victory of the season.
Earning another straight set win, Christiaan Worst overpowered Belmont’s Faulkner 6-3 in the first set and swept the second set.
Concluding the match, Freeman fought back to earn the Dores’ final victory of the day after falling in the first set to Belmont’s Toledo 6-3. The junior bounced back in the second set to hold Toledo to only one game, forcing a third set. In the final set, Freeman claimed the match with a 7-5 victory.
Vanderbilt will return to action in the invite beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Follow along with the Commodores as they continue play in the Coach LaLance Invite by following @VandyMTennis on Twitter and Instagram.