The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

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 begins spring season, Duvenhage’s final at the helm

Vanderbilt Men’s Tennis team looks to capitalize on its solid fall season heading into team play.
Vanderbilt Athletics
The Vanderbilt men’s tennis team finished off its fall season at the Georgia Tech invitational this weekend, sporting a combined 7-2 record in doubles and a 9-12 record in singles. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Ian Duvenhage has been coaching college tennis for 40 of the past 45 years, the last 18 of which he spent right here in Nashville. He has become the winningest coach in Vanderbilt history, leading the team to 11 NCAA tournaments. This is his last year on the job, and the Commodores hope to give Coach Duvenhage the farewell season he deserves.

The ‘Dores have some momentum coming off a dominant last day at the MLK Invitational — taking 10 of 12 matches against Charlotte — and look to ride that wave into the upcoming dual match schedule. That momentum will be much needed to knock off No. 8 USC in Los Angeles this upcoming weekend.

Leading the Commodores is senior Joubert Klopper. The South African is coming off a fall season that saw him go 5-6 on the singles court and 6-4 in doubles. Klopper has a lot of experience, as he played the second singles position for the majority of the Spring 2022 season. 

Klopper will likely be splitting time in the higher lineup positions with Siim Troost, Jeremie Casabon or freshman Nathan Cox, depending on the match. Cox, a powerful lefty out of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was the crown jewel of a Vanderbilt recruiting class that received votes as a top 25 class. The class also included fellow freshmen Mitchell Deames and Paul Wang. The former blue chip is the highest rated player on paper — sporting a 12.87 UTR rating — but will likely spend more time lower in the lineup due to his youth and relative inexperience. He still projects to be a weapon for this team in the future.

Casabon, a junior from Flourtown, Pennsylvania, was ranked 83rd in the ITA singles rankings heading into the Fall 2021 season. The former Gold Ball winner competed mainly in the fifth singles spot last season and finished 7-10. However, he racked up an 8-5 record this fall and will be expected to do some heavy lifting for this team.

As for Troost, the senior out of Estonia has been a key piece for Vanderbilt since transferring out of Minnesota in 2021. He joined the Commodores after the Golden Gophers eliminated their program. Troost went 6-4 on the singles court and 4-6 on the doubles court in the fall. He may be the most accomplished player on this roster, as he reached an ITA doubles ranking of 4 in March 2021 with his former partner Vlad Lobak. 

Troost shared the court last year exclusively with sophomore Michael Ross. The former highly touted recruit is looking to build off of a solid freshman year that saw him compile a 21-16 doubles record. He and Troost are ranked at No. 38 in preseason doubles. 

Rounding out the expected base lineup are fifth-year seniors Marcus Ferriera and Macsen Sisam. Ferreria went 13-9 at the third singles spot last spring, and Sisam went 2-0 in SEC play last year. The pair should serve as veteran leaders for the Commodores  as they try to return to the NCAA tournament for their coach’s last hurrah.

Following a loss to Yale and a win over Charlotte in the last non-dual match play of the year, the men are going to Los Angeles for the ITA Kickoff where they face USC and then either Memphis or UCLA. Their first home match is February 4th against Princeton.

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About the Contributor
Noah Roslin, Former Staff Writer
Noah Roslin ('26) is planning to double major in human and organizational development and economics in Peabody College. When not writing for The Hustler, you can usually find Noah at the hockey rink, at the tennis courts or at home looking for new Soundcloud remixes.
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