Sept. 17, 2009
ATHENS, Ga. - Vanderbilt's men's tennis team will open its 2009-10 season on Friday when the Commodores travel to the University of Georgia to play in the Southern Intercollegiate Championships.
Having lost just one player to graduation from the 2009 squad, Vanderbilt returns an experienced team that features seven upperclassmen. That experience should bode well for a Commodore team that is looking to take a step forward after missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons last year.
The fall season will not determine whether the Commodores will make it back to the postseason, but it will provide a good tune-up for the spring season, as Vanderbilt will compete in five tournaments in the next month and a half.
The first test will come this weekend at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships, where Vanderbilt will be one of 28 schools fielding participants in the tournament. SEC teams competing in the event are Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
The tournament will be divided into three singles division and two doubles divisions. There will be a maximum of two rounds of singles consolation for first round losers, but no doubles consolation.
Vanderbilt will take eight players to Georgia. Among those going are senior Vijay Paul, juniors Adam Baker, Andy Pulido, Bryant Salcedo and Alex Zotov, sophomores Alex DiValerio, Charlie Jones and freshman Ryan Lipman.
The Commodores enter the season with a few players dotting the presason ITA rankings. Salcedo is ranked No. 63 in singles, while Vanderbilt's doubles team of Zotov and Baker is ranked No. 12 and the duo of Salcedo and Paul is ranked No. 50.