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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 loses to No. 7 Kentucky in SEC home opener

The Commodores struggled in both singles and doubles, earning just a single point for the match.
Two Vanderbilt players celebrating after a point. (Vanderbilt Athletics)
Vanderbilt Athletics
Two Vanderbilt players celebrating after a point. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Vanderbilt (9-4) began its conference schedule with a 6-1 loss to No. 7 Kentucky (10-4) on Friday, March 1. The Commodores were unable to find any rhythm in both the singles and doubles, winning just two of the nine total matches. 

Kentucky started the match on the right foot, securing the doubles point. Kentucky’s Jack Loutit and Matt Rankin defeated Vanderbilt’s Hugo Coquelin and Danil Panarin 6-3 to jump out to an early lead in the doubles. Vanderbilt was able to come back in the second match as Joubert Klopper and Michael Ross earned a win against Kentucky’s Eli Stephenson and Jaden Weekes, 6-3. With the doubles point hanging in the balance, it came down to Jeremie Casabon and Nathan Cox to secure the doubles point. However, a strong duo of No. 23 Joshua Lapadat and JJ Mercer defeated Vanderbilt’s pair 6-2.

The Commodores had a lot of ground to make up in the singles portion if they were to come back and earn a top-10 victory. However, Vanderbilt was unable to gain any momentum in the singles, losing five of the six matches. 

Ladapat defeated Cox 6-2, 6-3 to get things started for the Wildcats. Charlelie Cosnet won in straight sets over Casabon, further putting the Commodores at a disadvantage. Vanderbilt’s lone singles victory came shortly after, as Panarin defeated No. 24 Taha Baadi 6-2, 7-5 in a thrilling match. It was a wonderful performance by Panarin as he was able to knock off a top-25 player. 

After this lone singles victory for Vanderbilt, things only got worse for the Commodores. Ross pushed his match to three sets, winning the first set 6-2 but ultimately losing 6-0 and 6-1 in the following two sets. Similarly, Klopper won his first set in a tiebreak but eventually lost the last two sets. Finally, Coquelin fell to Stephenson in straight sets to secure the Wildcats a convincing win. 

It was a tough day for Vanderbilt as they were behind the eight ball for the entire match. The Commodores will look to regroup as they take on Arkansas on Friday, March 8. 

Singles
1. Panarin (Vanderbilt) def. No. 24 Baadi 6-2, 7-5
2. Lapadat (Kentucky) def. Cox 6-2, 6-3
3. Weekes (Kentucky) def. Klopper 6-7 (3-7), 6-0, 6-2
4. Charlelie Cosnet (Kentucky) def. Casabon 6-3, 6-4
5. Loutit (Kentucky) def. Ross 2-6, 6-0, 6-1
6. Stephenson (Kentucky) def. Coquelin 6-3, 6-3

Doubles
1. No. 23 Lapadat/Mercer (Kentucky) def. Cox/Casabon 6-2
2. Klopper/Ross (Vanderbilt) def. Stephenson/Weekes 6-3
3. Loutit/Rankin (Kentucky) def. Panarin/Coquelin 6-3

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About the Contributor
Henry Oelhafen
Henry Oelhafen, Deputy Sports Editor
Henry Oelhafen (‘26) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in business. Henry grew up as a Vanderbilt sports fan and loves to talk about both professional and amateur golf. In addition to writing, he loves to play golf with friends, hike and try new restaurants. He can be reached at [email protected].
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