NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 37 Vanderbilt men’s tennis travels to Gainesville, Florida, to compete in the 2019 SEC Championship hosted by the University of Florida.
The Commodores will begin their run in the championship on Thursday as they take on No. 33 Kentucky at noon ET at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.
Vanderbilt enters the league championship as the 10th seed after concluding the regular season earning a 14-10 record, going 4-8 in conference play.
The Dores are set to face the seventh-seeded Wildcats who recently capped the regular season with a loss to No. 13 Tennessee, 4-0 concluding the season 15-13 and 5-7 in SEC play.
In the last meeting between the Wildcats and the Commodores, Kentucky clinched the match, 4-3 at the Currey Tennis Center.
Heading into the first round of the championship, the Commodores feature a top-20 ranked doubles duo — Cam Klinger and Billy Rowe after the pair jumped 19 spots to come in at No. 14 in this week’s Oracle ITA Rankings.
“I’m really excited getting to go to the tournament and have the opportunity to play more matches with the guys. Cam and I are slowly creeping up in the rankings and that’s awesome to see because we feel like we’ve had a good season so far. We had a slow start but now that we’re back I feel like we’re complimenting each other really well on the court,” said Rowe.
In singles, Cam Klinger remains the Dores’ sole ranked player, checking in at No. 78 in the nation.
The winner of Thursday’s match will advance to the quarterfinals of the SEC Championship set to face No. 6 Mississippi State. The Bulldogs sport a 19-3 overall record and shutout the Dores, 7-0 in the last matchup between the two teams.
In last season’s run at the championship, the Commodores concluded their stint in the tournament in the quarterfinals, falling short to No. 10 Florida, 4-1.
“This week we want to do whatever it takes to win. Coach Ian preaches day in and day out, but if we play as a family and for each other this week, I feel like we can really make a run here and surprise some people,” said Rowe.
Follow along with the Commodores as they look to earn a successful SEC Championship run by following @VandyMTennis on Twitter and Instagram.