Men’s Tennis: Commodores pick up second SEC win, face critical point of the season ahead

The Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide, 4-3, on March 27 in a close match at home at the Currey Tennis Center.


Junior Siim Troost during the Commodores’ victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide on March 27, 2022. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Andy Carr, Assistant Sports Editor

The Vanderbilt Commodores (14-6, 2-5 SEC) narrowly defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide (6-14, 0-6), 4-3, in a highly contested match at the Currey Tennis Center on Sunday, March 27. The Commodores grabbed the doubles point to start, as well as three singles points throughout the match, to claim the victory. 

Junior Siim Troost and freshman Michael Ross led the way early on, winning their first doubles point in SEC play, and Troost continued to help his team by claiming the singles point as well. Senior Marcus Ferreira and junior Joubert Klopper finished it off for the Commodores, as they each won their respective singles points to put the match out of Alabama’s reach.   

“The Alabama team this year has a lot of talent but has also struggled,” head coach Ian Duvenhage said. “We came into this match knowing it was an opportunity for us to grab another conference win, and although it was a little closer than I would have liked, we came out on top.”

The Commodores have already made significant improvements compared to last year’s team, which finished 6-16 overall and 0-12 in conference play. 

“I don’t mean to minimize it for anyone else, but last year was definitely a challenge for us,” Duvenhage said. “It’s nice to have a bit of normalcy, so to say, this year. We’ve had some close losses and some strong wins.”

So far this season, Vanderbilt has conference wins over both Arkansas and Alabama, as well as a victory over the No. 25 Northwestern Wildcats. The Commodores have also shown that they have the potential to compete with some of the best teams in the nation with close, heartbreaking losses (both 4-3) to the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs and the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats.  

In this year’s competitive SEC—the top six teams in the conference are all ranked in the top 25 nationally—Vanderbilt is in ninth place out of 13 teams.  

The Commodores head into the most important part of their spring season with just five conference matches remaining before the SEC Tournament, which is held from April 20-24 in Athens, Georgia. 

“It’s definitely that time of year where we want everyone to be peaking and playing their best,” Duvenhage said. “We think we’re in a good spot right now and are excited to compete down the stretch.”

The final five games will include road trips to Columbia, South Carolina and Gainesville, Florida this weekend, followed by a home match against Tennessee on April 10. Then, the Commodores will round out the season with trips to Starkville and Oxford, Mississippi on April 15 and April 17. 

Up next, the Commodores face the South Carolina Gamecocks at 4 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 1 in Columbia.