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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 falls to Pepperdine 4-3, beats Lipscomb 7-0

After a disappointing loss, Scott Brown’s young team bounced back with a win over their Nashville rivals.
Vanderbilt+Mens+Tennis+fell+to+Pepperdine+in+the+first+of+two+matches+on+Feb.+23.+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt Men’s Tennis fell to Pepperdine in the first of two matches on Feb. 23. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Vanderbilt (9-3) split their final doubleheader of the nonconference slate with a loss to Pepperdine (2-5) and a win over Lipscomb (4-5). With SEC play impending, the Commodores recovered their momentum after a shaky start to the day.

Pepperdine 

The double-header began at noon as Vanderbilt fell to Pepperdine 4-3 in a four-hour slugfest that came down to the very last set.

“First off, credit to [Pepperdine],” head coach Scott Brown said. “The best this team can do is go back out there and try again and do better. Overall, I’m happy with how that team fought … Our fight is what gave us a chance to almost steal that match.”

The Commodores found themselves in a hole from the beginning, as the Waves got out to early leads in all three of the doubles matches. Nathan Cox and Jeremie Casaban were the first Commodores to fall, losing to Pepperdine’s Maxi Homberg and Chris Papa by a margin of 6-3. Despite contesting the matchup on court 2, Vanderbilt would quickly concede the doubles point as freshmen Danil Panarin and Hugo Coquelin trailed the entire match en route to a 6-2 loss.

Pepperdine claimed their next team point as No. 34 Edward Winter made quick work of Panarin, besting his fellow freshman in just eight and seven games. Vanderbilt got back in the match with a victory by Cox over Papa, but Pepperdine’s Linus Carlsson immediately extended the Waves’ lead to 3-1 with a win over Michael Ross.

It would be nearly half an hour before the next team point was decided, as Vanderbilt’s fifth-year senior Joubert Klopper went toe-to-toe with Pietro Fellin. Klopper took the first set 6-2 but struggled to establish a lead in the second. He took the lead, then it was tied, then he took the lead and then it was tied, and so it went until the score read 5-5. It was only then that the Klopper was able to string together two straight wins, clinching the set 7-5 and the match along with it.

Still facing a 3-2 deficit, the Commodores needed to win both of the remaining matches to complete the comeback. The first domino fell when Coquelin defeated freshman Zach Stephens in two sets. As Coquelin wrapped up, Pepperdine’s Maxi Homberg forced a third set against Jeremie Casabon, leaving the entire match on the line in the final set.

From start to finish, the third set was a cinch for the Waves. It took only eight games for Homberg to defeat the fifth-year senior Casabon, securing the match with his victory. As his teammates stormed the court, Vanderbilt fell to 8-3 on the season, and Pepperdine picked up only its second win.

“Credit to Jeremy,” Brown said. “He’s our captain and he hung in there. He didn’t give up.”

Singles Results:

Winter def. Panarin 6-2, 6-1

Klopper def. Fellin 6-2, 7-5

Cox def. Papa 6-4, 6-3

Carlsson def. Ross 6-1, 6-3

Homberg def. Casabon 2-6, 6-3, 6-2

Coquelin def. Stephens 6-3, 6-2

Doubles Results:

Homberg/Papa def. Cox/Casabon 6-3

Carlsson/Davis vs. Klopper/Ross 4-4 (unfinished)

Fellin/Winter def. Panarin/Coquelin 6-2

Lipscomb

Vanderbilt got off to a hot start against Lipscomb with Panarin and Connor Robb-Wilcox taking Lipscomb’s Matheus Lima and Henrique Ushizima (6-4) down on court 2. What had begun as a nail-bitingly close game on all courts shortly evolved into a victory sequence for the Commodores.

Casabon and Ross continued the momentum by edging out Krzysztof Wetoszka and Sebastian Dominguez with a score of 7-5. The doubles concluded with a tense match between Commodores Klopper and Ross facing off against Lipscomb Bisons’ Salas Tulla and Perlov. After a neck-and-neck battle on the court, the match ended in a tie.

The same energy was maintained at the start of the singles as Vanderbilt’s Cox, Klopper and Ross took the lead against Lipscomb Bisons’ Dominguez, Ushizima and Lima, respectively, during their first sets. In the subsequent sets, the cadence of the game became definitive as Casabon padded the gap by defeating Lipscomb’s Ushizima 6-0, 6-0.

Following suit, freshman Panarin replicated Casabon’s performance, winning out Wetoszka with a scoreline of 6-1, 6-2. Cox and Coquelin would swiftly join the leading contenders as they came out on top of Dominguez and Lima with respective scores of 6-0, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-1. 

The singles match between Salas Tulla and Robb-Wilcox was an intense and protracted affair, stretching out to three sets. In the first set, Robb-Wilcox won by 7 games to Salas Tulla’s 6, narrowly winning the tiebreaker 7-4. The second set saw a determined effort from Salas Tulla, who came away with a 6-4 win. However, the match was far from over as they headed into a decisive third set tiebreaker. The prolonged battle notwithstanding, Robb-Wilcox ultimately bested Salas Tulla by taking his opponent down with a score of 1-0 and sealing the win with a hard-fought tiebreaker score of 12-10.

“We’re really happy [about] how our guys stayed the course, never gave up and kept fighting,” Brown said. 

The Commodores will play host to the University of Kentucky this upcoming Friday at 1 p.m. CST in the first SEC match for both schools.

Singles Results:

Casabon def. Ushizima 6-0, 6-0

Panrin def. Wetoszka 6-1, 6-2

Cox def. Dominguez 6-0, 6-2

Coquelin def. Lima 6-2, 6-1

Hillhouse def. Perlov 6-2, 6(8)-7(10), 1(10)-0(5)

Rob-Wilcox def. Salas Tulla 7(7)-6(4), 4-6, 1(12)-0(10)

Doubles Results:

Panarin/Robb-Wilcox def. Lima/Ushizima 6-4

Casabon/Ross def. Wetoszka/Dominguez 7-5

Klopper/Ross vs. Salas Tulla/Perlov 6-6 (unfinished)

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About the Contributors
Jayce Pollard
Jayce Pollard, Non-revenue Sports Specialist
Jayce Pollard (‘25) is a student in the College of Arts and Science majoring in public policy and economics and minoring in data science and Spanish. Outside of writing for The Hustler, you can catch Jayce trying to learn the rules of soccer, hating on the Arkansas Razorbacks and being chronically on Twitter. He can be reached at [email protected]
Anseley Philippe
Anseley Philippe, Staff Writer and Photographer
Anseley Philippe ('25) is a potential biomedical engineering and Spanish double-major who aspires to be an immunologist. Outside of The Hustler, he can be found queuing up at 2301, wandering around campus during his evening promenades or trying to keep up with his Spanish. He can be reached at [email protected].
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