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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’s season ends with NCAA Regional loss to Oklahoma State

A successful first season for head coach Scott Brown ended at the hands of the Cowboys on Friday, May 3.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt Men’s Tennis huddles up before its NCAA Regional matchup with Oklahoma State, as photographed on May 3, 2024. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Vanderbilt Men’s Tennis lost its first-round NCAA Regional matchup to Oklahoma State on May 3. Despite dropping the match by a score of four points to one, there’s plenty for the Commodores to hang their hats on when looking back at their first season under head coach Scott Brown.

The 2023-24 season marked the first time Vanderbilt Men’s Tennis qualified for the NCAA Regionals since the 2018-19 season when the Commodores advanced to the Super Regionals before losing to Ohio State. 

Brown returned to the Commodores after a multi-year stint with Virginia, where he helped lead the Cavaliers to back-to-back NCAA Championships. Last summer, Vanderbilt Athletics announced that he’d come back to Nashville, where he played his college tennis. The former three-time All-SEC student athlete guided Vanderbilt to its best season in half a decade, earning the team its first NCAA Tournament berth in five years. 

The season began with Vanderbilt ripping off four straight wins, all at home, against ETSU, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and Alabama A&M. At the ITA Kickoff Weekend, the Commodores split their matches, dropping to Ohio State but handling Oregon the next day. Brown and Co. swept their next weekend doubleheader, winning 13 of a possible 14 matches, which marked a high point in the Commodores’ season, boasting seven wins to just one loss. 

The competition heated up as the Commodores went 2-2 through its final four games preceding SEC play. A win-loss split, respectively, against Northwestern and Michigan State followed by another split against Pepperdine (loss) and Lipscomb (win) left Vanderbilt at 9-3 before conference play began. 

SEC opponents proved tougher on the Commodores, who started 0-4 with losses to Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi State. Vanderbilt righted the ship momentarily with wins against Ole Miss and Auburn in back-to-back matches. From there, the team lost three straight to Tennessee, Texas A&M and Florida before two big wins in South Carolina and at home against LSU. The Commodores ended the regular season with a tight loss to Georgia before bowing out of the SEC Tournament after a first-round loss to Florida

A largely successful season under first-year head coach Brown ended this Friday, as Vanderbilt fell 4-1 against No. 34 Oklahoma State. 

The Commodores were outmatched in both singles and doubles against Oklahoma State. The No. 70 ranked doubles duo of Nathan Cox and Jeremie Casabon fell to No. 10 Tyler Zink and Isaac Becroft. The Cowboys’ third doubles team, Alessio Basile and Leighton Allen, defeated Danil Panarin and Leighton Allen 6-3 to clinch the doubles point.

Zink defeated Panarin in a clash of the team’s top singles players, along with Erik Schiessl, who took down Casabon in straight sets. Hugo Coquelin’s come-from-behind win was negated by the match-clinching victory from Basile, who took down Michael Ross in a three-set thriller.

Brown expressed the pride he felt with his team once the match concluded. 

“I could not be more proud of this team, not just today but over the whole season and past nine months,” Brown said. “From where we started back in August to now has been a night and day difference.”

While most of the team’s season has concluded, Panarin, the No. 45-ranked singles player in the country, will compete in the NCAA Men’s Singles Championships at the end of the month.

The Commodores ended the season ranked as the No. 42 team in the nation. It’ll be a new look for Vanderbilt Men’s Tennis in the fall, who will lose fifth-years Juan Lopez, Joubert Klopper, Callum Rendle and Alexandre Hillhouse. The future of seniors Connor Robb-Wilcox and Casabon, who could both take fifth-years and stay with the team, remains up in the air as well.

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About the Contributor
Aiden Rutman
Aiden Rutman, Sports Editor
Aiden Rutman (‘25) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in communication studies. He formerly produced The Hustler’s sports podcast, Live from West End. In addition to writing and podcasting, Aiden is an avid New York sports fan, and he loves playing sports, spending time outdoors and trying new foods. You can reach him at [email protected].
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