Jan. 17, 2003
NORCROSS, Ga. -- The Tennessee men's tennis team began play Thursday at
the 2003 SEC Coaches Men's Indoor Championships at the Racquet Club of the
South. The Vol netters struggled through a tough day of competition in which only
one player, freshman Rawl Martin, was able to manage a victory.
Martin earned a spot in the main singles draw by defeating Georgia's Jason Varela in Thursday morning qualifying action. He then lost in the round of 64 to experienced Ole Miss junior Claes Lindholm, who is currently ranked No. 108 in the nation.
Mark Dietrich entered the event with a new ITA national ranking of No. 56. In his round of 64 contest, the Vol sophomore fell victim to a first round upset, losing to Georgia's Raian Luchici in three sets.
The Tigers of LSU made things difficult for two other Tennessee netters in singles competition, as Wade Orr dropped a three-set contest to Paul White and Vincent Perna was defeated by Jason Hazley. Hazley, a sophomore with the Tigers, currently holds an ITA singles ranking of No. 124.
An abundance of three-set matches forced some contests originally scheduled for Thursday to be postponed, including Tennessee's first round doubles match. The Vol tandem of Orr and Dietrich will face Vanderbilt's Scott Brown and Chad Harris in first round doubles action Friday.
Simon Rea, who is the Vols' top-ranked singles player at No. 27, is not competing in the event.
The SEC Indoor Championships will run through Sunday, Jan. 19.
Singles Qualifying Round - Jan. 16
Rawl Martin (UT) def. Jason Varela (UGA), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
Singles Main Draw - Round of 64 - Jan 16
Raian Luchici (UGA) def. Mark Dietrich (UT), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Claes Lindholm (UM) def. Rawl Martin (UT), 6-3, 6-4
Paul White (LSU) def. Wade Orr (UT), 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
Jason Hazley (LSU) def. Vincent Perna (UT), 6-1, 7-6 (2)