Men’s Tennis: Vanderbilt wins two of their first three matches on the weekend

The Commodores walked away with two big victories after a busy weekend.


Anseley Philippe

Siim Troost rallies in a match against Arkansas on Mar. 4, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Anseley Phillipe).

Jonah Barbin, Sports Copy Editor

It was a big weekend for the Commodores, as they kicked off their conference schedule with a match on Thursday and a doubleheader on Saturday. They beat No. 31 Arkansas, lost to No. 6 South Carolina and beat Alabama A&M. All the matches were at home for Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt came into the weekend sitting at 3-6, most recently falling to No. 13 Northwestern, 4-1. 

On Thursday, the Commodores took on No. 31 Arkansas, who came into the match sitting at an impressive 12-1. Under head coach Ian Duvenhage, Vanderbilt is nearly historically even against the Razorbacks, sitting at 10-9 before this match was played. 

Vanderbilt was able to pull off the upset over Arkansas, beating the Razorbacks 4-2. Victories by Michael Ross and Nathan Cox on Court 2 and Siim Troost and Jeremie Casabon on Court 1 secured the doubles point for the Commodores. The same four players either won or were winning their singles matches when play was stopped, propelling Vanderbilt to a convincing victory.

“I’m really happy because we’ve played a bunch of really good matches this year and came out on the wrong end of the result,” Duvenhage said. “I think we can still get a lot better, so the guys should feel good about this, and it should really help our confidence.”

Vanderbilt entered the weekend hoping to continue to build this confidence, starting with No. 6 South Carolina. The Gamecocks boast four nationally ranked singles players, including two in the top 10 (No. 6 Toby Samuel and No. 7 Connor Thomson). They also have two nationally ranked doubles pairs.

Facing an uphill battle, Vanderbilt lost 4-0 to South Carolina. The Gamecock combinations of Thomson and Samuel as well as Jake Beasley and James Story proved too much for the Commodores, as South Carolina easily cruised to the doubles point. The Gamecocks were equally fierce in the singles matches, ending things relatively quickly.

“We have to execute with more discipline,” Duvenhage said. “Our best is easily good enough to play and beat anybody but, in those situations, we have to be able to execute solidly. If we do, we’re going to be able to beat some really good teams.”

Later, the Commodores took on Alabama A&M, only the second time in history that the teams had matched up. Vanderbilt came out of the gates strong by winning the doubles point. The Commodore double pairings of Cox and Troost and Joubert Klopper and Macsen Sisam gave them an early lead over the Bulldogs. Things would only get better for Vanderbilt, as it conducted a clean sweep of Alabama A&M in singles matches. Vanderbilt went on to win the match, 7-0.

The results of the weekend were encouraging for the Commodores, and certainly gave them something to build off of going forward.

Vanderbilt will be in action next on Thursday, March 9 against No. 13 Tennessee.