It wasn't the conclusion that the Tennessee men's tennis team was hoping for, but it isn't the end of the road.
The No. 21-ranked Vols hosted the No. 22 Vanderbilt Commodores in their regular season finale on Sunday at the Goodfriend Tennis Center.
The action kicked off at 1 p.m. with doubles. The Tennessee duo of Timo Stodder and Adam Walton soundly defeated the 80th-ranked team of McPhee and Virtanen on Court 2 by a score of 6-2.
On Court 1, the experienced doubles team of Preston Touliatos and Luis Valero fell to an arguably equally-talented team in Klinger and Rowe, 6-4.
Tied at one, it all came down to the matchup on Court 3 that would determine which team would claim the doubles point. After falling behind by a score of 3-1, the freshman duo of Andrew Rogers and Nicaise Muamba put on a gutsy performance as they came back to take the win by a final score of 6-4.
In singles action, sophomore Scott Jones easily picked up the second point for the Vols, winning by a score of 6-3, 6-2. But the remainder of the matches would unfold in dramatic fashion.
On Court 1, 22nd-ranked Timo Stodder took on 39th-ranked Valent. After a second set filled with controversy, Stodder took the loss, 6-4, 6-4. Freshman Adam Walton competed in a tightly contested match against Newman, but ultimately fell 6-4, 6-4.
In his final regular season match as a Vol, Luis Valero put up a strong effort in a close loss to 21st-ranked Klinger by a score of 7-5, 6-4. On Court 6, Nicaise Muamba took his opponent to three sets, defeating him 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.
Preston Touliatos was locked in a tight battle on Court 5. His match would end in heartbreaking fashion after a second set tiebreaker. He took the loss by a score of 6-2, 7-6. The win was the victory-clinching match for Vanderbilt.
The Vols finish the regular season with a record of 19-7 and a conference record of 8-4 in head coach Chris Woodruff’s first campaign.
“So far, so good. We have a lot to play for with the tournament coming up,” Woodruff said. “We’ll learn from this loss. I think there’s a couple of things we need to change, but we’re fine we’ll continue to get better.”
The Vols will be in action next in the SEC Tournament, which begins on April 25.
“Still have the SEC Tournament,” Valero said. “(And) NCAA's, as a team and hopefully in doubles as well ... from a tennis perspective, I'm a little bummed from the loss today, but it's okay.”