Men’s Tennis team fights hard but comes up short in City of Angels

Men’s tennis loses tough battles to USC and Memphis in Los Angeles at the ITA Kickoff.


Vanderbilt Athletics

The Commodores competed at the ITA Kickoff in Los Angeles over the weekend. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Masatomo Shiiki , Contributor

The Vanderbilt Commodores spent the weekend in Los Angeles taking part in ITA Kickoff weekend. The ITA Kickoff brings together the top 60 men’s college teams in the US.  The Trojans fought hard against the Trojans and Tigers but eventually dropped both matches 4-2, 4-3.

The Trojans took a 1-0 lead after capturing victories in the doubles matches. First, USC’s Peter Makk and Lodewijk Weststrate beat Vanderbilt’s Nathan Cox and Michael Ross 6-3. Later on, No. 12 Stefan Dostanic and Bradley Frye beat Commodores Siim Troost and Jeremie Casabon 6-3. 

In regards to the singles matches, the Commodores finally earned a point when Troost beat Weststrate 6-3, 6-4. USC came right back with a 2-1 lead, however, after 65th-ranked Frye topped Ross 6-3, 6-3. The Trojans gained another point when Dostanic beat Joubert Klopper 6-4, 6-3 at Court 1.The Commodores refused to give up, with Casabon beating Wojtek Marek 6-4, 6-1. With the Trojans commanding a 3-2 lead, Vanderbilt was unable to equalize, as USC’s

No. 38 Makk beat Vanderbilt freshman Nathan Cox 7-6, 6-2 leading to a Trojans victory.

Coach Ian Duvenhage remained optimistic after the loss.

“If we find a way to convert on those chances in the singles matches, then we win four first sets against a top-10 team,” Duvenhage said. “We’re right there—we just have to capitalize on our opportunities.”

The Vanderbilt Commodores fell just short the next day, losing 4-3 to Memphis.

On court 1, the doubles pair Troost and Casabon defeated Oscar Cutting and David Stevenson of Memphis, 6-3. On court 2, Memphis’s Harry Rock and Conor Gannon defeated Vanderbilt’s Cox and Ross by a score of 6-2. On court 3, Dore duo Sisam and Klopper were locked in a tight contest,but were ultimately outlasted by Pau Alemany and Pablo Falo, giving Memphis a 1-0 lead.

On the singles side, Vanderbilt sophomore Ross won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, equalizing the match at 1-1. The Tigers came storming back, with Fanlo defeating Sisam in straight sets. Cox bounced back with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over No. 114 David Stephenson. On another court, Klopper fell just short of defeating No. 39 Alemany by a score of 7-6, 7-6. Troost grabbed a point with a three-set win over Jeremy Taylor by a score of 6-3, 4-6, 7-6. At court 4, Casabon lost a tough three-setter 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 leading to a Memphis win by a score of 4-3.

“I’m very proud of our team’s attitude and effort today,” Duvenhage said. “But we strive to be great, and great teams find ways to win matches like this. We simply have to get and be better.”

Vanderbilt will head back home with the hope of bouncing back. The Commodores will play two matches on Feb. 4, taking on Princeton at 11 A.M. and Tennessee State at 3 p.m. CST.