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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Men’s Tennis: Vanderbilt dominates in 6-1 win over DePaul

Vanderbilt men’s tennis secured its fifth win of the season with a 6-1 victory over DePaul.
Vanderbilt men’s tennis faces DePaul on March 24. (Twitter/@VandyMTennis)

Vanderbilt men’s tennis played one of its best matches of the season on Wednesday morning. Coming into the match with a 4-9 record, Vanderbilt took the doubles point 2-0 and five of the six singles matches for an overall 6-1 victory over the 8-2 DePaul Blue Demons.

Starting off early with three highly-competitive doubles matches, the Commodores took the doubles point to start off the morning strong. 

In an entertaining first match between Vanderbilt’s Macsen Sisam and Joubert Klopper and Depaul’s Fran Tonejc and Tripp Tuff, the back-and-forth contest ended with a 6-4 Vanderbilt win. The match was highlighted by long volleys between Sisam and Tonejc, but great returns from Klopper and Sisam late in the contest were decisive in the Commodores’ victory.

On Court One, the Commodores’ duo of George Harwell and Max Freeman proved to be too much for DePaul’s Boris Spanjaard and Christopher Casati, slightly edging out the Blue Demons by a score of 7-6 in a thrilling match. The Commodores fell behind early but stormed back; eventually.  A great dropshot over the middle from Harwell pushed the score to 7-5 in a tiebreak and gave the Commodores the point which decided the game and the set. 

The early match on Court Three ended in a non-decision between Depaul’s Luuk Wassenaar and Vito Tonejc and Vanderbilt’s Marcus Ferreira and Adam Sraberg. As Vanderbilt had won the first two doubles matches, and therefore clinched the doubles point, the third doubles match, which had been tied at 5-5, was ended before it was completed.

“Our guys deserve credit for finding a way to win the doubles point, but it wasn’t necessarily impressive. It was not up to what we are capable of,” Vanderbilt head coach Ian Duvenhage said of his team’s doubles performance.

Following the Commodores doubles win were six singles matches between the Commodores and the Blue Demons. 

The first decision came from Court Five, in a rather lopsided match between Fran Tonejc and Joubert Klopper, with Vanderbilt’s Klopper jumping out to a 4-1 lead early in the first set. Services from Klopper frequently gave him the advantage early in the point, and he carried that momentum throughout the match. Tonejc was unable to keep up with the pace set by Klopper early, and Klopper went on to win the match 6-1, 6-0. 

Court Three’s singles match featured Vanderbilt’s Jeremie Casabon versus Boris Spanjaard. Both players displayed tremendous range in this match, cutting across the court frequently for their returns. A tiring first set for both sides ended in Casabon winning 6-4 after he pulled away late, in large part due to his service returns. Casabon continued to stretch his opponent out early, eventually winning  the second set 6-1 andsecuring Vanderbilt’s second singles victory of the day. 

“I’m extremely happy with Jeremie Casabon. He embodies what we’re looking for: always extremely positive, he’s loud, he’s enthusiastic, and we should all look to emulate him,” Duvenhage said of his freshman standout. 

Court One featured the most thrilling match of the day: a highly-competitive and vocal contest which ended in a victory for DePaul’s Vito Tonejc over George Harwell. Tonejc took an early 3-0 lead on the back of powerful returns in the first game and looked to have control of the match after winning the first set 6-1. However, Harwellentered the second set with a wave of energy, frequently sprinting across the court and forcing errors that allowed him to win the second set 6-2. At the end of a spirited third set, the pair found themselves tied at 5-5. They went on to split the next two games, and found themselves tied at 6-6 and heading into the decisive 13th game. Unsurprisingly, the game came down to the wire, eventually ending with Tonejc pulling through for the victory.

Following his doubles win, Marcus Ferreira took on DePaul’s Christopher Casati on Court Two. Ferreira came out strong to take a 2-1 lead. The sides traded games to push the score to 3-2 in the first set before Sisam used tight shots down the line to strengthen his lead, eventually moving on to win 6-3. After controlling the first set, Ferreira appeared a bit worn down in the second one, sending shots out of bounds on multiple occasions. 6-4. Casati came out strong again in the third set, but Ferreira came back to tie the set up at 5-5. After splitting the next two games, they also found themselves heading into the 13th game tied 6-6. Ferreira used powerful serves to end up clinching the tiebreaker, which he won 7-1.

Macsen Sisam faced Luuk Wassenaar on Court Four in a great matchup. Highlights included great services from both players and long volleys between the two. The sides reached the midway point of the first set tied 3-3 in a match that seemed destined for a tiebreak. Sisam, however, placed a few incredible dropshots late in the first set to win 6-4. The second set was extremely close and came down to a 13th game as the sides were tied 6-6. Sisam used a couple powerful serves to win the game and the set.Vanderbilt clinched a team victory with Sisam’s singles win.

To end the day, Vanderbilt freshman Connor Robb-Wilcox faced off against DePaul senior Tripp Tuff on Court Six. Tuff used wide shots to frequently stretch Robb-WIlcox’s range, going on to win the first set of the match 6-4. Robb-Wilcox came back strong in the second set, winning it6-2. In the third set, Robb-Wilcox used precise returns down the line to jump out to a 5-2 lead, eventually winning the set, 6-2, and the match. 

After a great performance that snapped a nine-game losing streak, the Commodores will look to keep their momentum going. 

Their next match is Friday, March 26 at noon at Tennessee. 

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About the Contributor
Anish Mago, Deputy Sports Editor
Anish Mago ('24) is from West Windsor, N.J., and is studying economics and political science in the College of Arts and Science. He previously served as a staff writer for the Sports section. When not writing for The Hustler, Anish enjoys playing basketball and rooting for all Philly sports. He can be reached at .
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