NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt men’s tennis returns to the Currey Tennis Center to host Big Ten foe and No. 12, Northwestern, 1 p.m. Wednesday. Following the Wildcats, the Dores will continue SEC play on the road to take on Texas A&M 6 p.m. Friday before returning home to close out the weekend against Drake 9 a.m. Sunday.
The match against the Wildcats was previously set for Feb. 20, while the Bulldogs were originally scheduled for Feb. 4. Admission to both home matches are free of charge and parking is available on floors 9-11 of the 25th Avenue Garage (enter from Highland Avenue).
The Commodores enter the weekend with an 8-2 record on the season, highlighted by wins over Arkansas, Cornell, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.
Cracked Racquets’ SEC Redzone
- Both the SEC Network and Cracked Racquets have announced a partnership that allows more coverage of collegiate tennis within the conference.
- The SEC Redzone broadcasts are set to run for Friday SEC and nonconference matchups throughout the regular season. This week’s slate is highlighted by Vandy’s road trip to Texas A&M.
- In conjunction with the live broadcasts of matches, Cracked Racquets will produce a weekly SEC focused show to highlight upcoming events and recap matches.
Vandy split a pair of matches to open conference play last weekend to move to 8-2 on the season. The Dores fell in a heartbreaker to No. 22 Georgia last Friday before a dominant win at Arkansas last Sunday. The win in Fayetteville, Arkansas was Vandy’s first SEC win since March 6, 2020, and the first against the Razorbacks since March 14, 2019.
In their SEC opener, Dores nearly stunned the Dawgs at the Currey Tennis Center but ultimately fell 4-3 last Friday. At the top doubles spot, junior Siim Troost and freshman Michael Ross earned their second upset win of the season after defeating No. 60 Tristan McCormick and Hamish Stewart of Georgia, 6-3. Georgia clinched the opening point after wins on Courts 2 and 3. During singles play, the Dores picked up three wins including a ranked win on Court 4 where senior Max Freeman defeated No. 76 Blake Croyder in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
The resilient Dores concluded their first week of SEC play with an impressive performance at Arkansas, 5-2, last Sunday. Following Vandy’s loss on the top court, seniors George Harwell and Max Freeman beat No. 47 Adrien Burdet and Melvin Manuel, 6-2. After senior Marcus Ferreira and junior Joubert Klopper clinched the doubles point to open the match, there was a 14-minute delay during singles play that moved the match indoors due to inclement weather. At No. 6 singles, Troost grabbed his first-ranked singles win of the season after defeating No. 37 Aleksa Bucan with a pair of 6-4 set wins. On Court 3, Ferreira clinched the match with a tightly contested two-set thriller over No. 119 Oscar Pinto Sansano of Arkansas.
Scouting the Opponents
- No. 12 Northwestern (10-2): The last time both teams met was the 2020 season when the Dores made the trip to Evanston, Illinois, and were swept by the Wildcats, 7-0. Prior to its two-week pause, Northwestern was on a six-match winning streak and looks to return to action this week in the Music City. A pair of Wildcats seniors sit in the latest ITA singles rankings with Trice Pickens at No. 112, while Simen Bratholm sits at No. 121.
- Texas A&M (8-5, 1-0 SEC): The last time the Dores won over the Aggies was March 2016 in a highly contested 4-3 match at the Currey Tennis Center. The victory marked Vandy’s first top-10 win of the 2015-16 season. Since then, the Aggies have been on a five-match winning streak against the Dores. Texas A&M advanced to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships held last February, after picking up a pair of ranked-wins from Pac-12 foes, UCLA and Arizona, at the annual ITA Kickoff Weekend, to commence the dual season in January. Texas A&M opened SEC play last weekend with a win over Arkansas and holds an 8-5 dual record, including 5-1 at home, heading into Friday. In the most recent ITA rankings, the Aggies hold a pair of No. 50 spots – Raphael Perot in singles along with Austin Abbrat and Noah Schachter in doubles play.
- Drake (4-7): During the 2019 season, Vanderbilt met Drake in the consolation match at the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Norman, Oklahoma, where the Commodores left victorious with a 4-2 win. Freeman clinched the match point after a hard-fought three-set victory, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. The Bulldogs are on a three-match winning streak heading to the Music City, highlighted by a clean sweep of Northern Illinois last Friday.
Harwell, a senior and No. 1 singles player, sits at No. 54 in the latest ITA singles rankings.
Klopper Earns SEC Honors
The junior was named SEC Player of the Week, as announced by the league office on Feb. 16.
A native of Bloemfontein, South Africa, Klopper, was honored for his 7-0 dual record at the time, which included three wins during the doubleheader against ACC foe Virginia Tech and The Citadel on Feb. 13. Klopper clinched the match against the Hokies in a two-set thriller, 7-6 (2), 6-4, on Court 2. Later in the afternoon, Klopper moved up to the top singles spot to defeat his Bulldogs opponent in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.
Currently, he has a combined 33-11 record including 19-6 in singles and 14-5 in doubles. During dual season, Klopper’s 13-6 record is highlighted by singles play at 7-3.
For full press release, click here.
What They’re Saying
Head Coach Ian Duvenhage on the Wildcats
“Northwestern is a top 15 team and a great opportunity for us.”
On the Radar
The Dores are set to host a pair of doubleheaders next week at the Currey Tennis Center. Vandy is set to host SEC West foe LSU next Friday at 1 p.m. before returning to the courts that afternoon for a 4:30 p.m. match against Alabama A&M. They round out the weekend with a noon match Sunday against another SEC West foe, No. 25 Auburn, before completing a home-and-home series against Tennessee State at 4 p.m., which was originally scheduled for Feb. 20.