Jan. 16, 2004
ATHENS, Ga. - Tennessee tennis players Wade Orr and Damien Spizzo each won two matches Friday at the SEC Men's Coaches' Indoor Championships at the University of Georgia's Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Facility. Both players battle seeded and nationally ranked opponents Saturday in the round of 16.
Spizzo, a junior, was eager to officially begin his career as a Volunteer after sitting out last season after transferring from the University of Southern California. Spizzo put his powerful forehand to good use, dispatching LSU's Jason Hazley 6-4, 6-3. The Australian Vol then ousted No. 8-seeded Gabor Zoltan Pelva of Auburn in the round of 32 by a score of 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Zoltan-Pelva boasts an ITA singles ranking of No. 40, but was ultimately overcome by Spizzo's shot-making ability.
"It's great to see Damien Spizzo finally getting to play after sitting out a year," head coach Michael Fancutt said. "He's proving to be an impact player for us on the national scene, as we expected."
Orr saw Kentucky freshman Matt Allinder steal the first set of their opening-round contest 6-4. But Orr quickly turned the tables on his Wildcat foe, going on to win the match in three sets and advance to play Ole Miss junior Catalin Gard, the event's No. 4 seed and the nation's No. 20-ranked singles player. Not to be outdone by the success of his new teammate, Orr posted a convincing 6-1, 6-4 victory to earn a berth in the round of 16.
"Wade Orr had probably the best win of his college career (vs. Gard)," Fancutt said. "It's a great start to his final season."
After an impressive opening day Thursday, freshman Kiril Tcherveniachki fell to Vanderbilt veteran and No. 13 seed Chad Harris. Ranked No. 55 in the nation in singles, Harris handed Tcherveniachki his first career loss, 6-2, 6-1.
Kingsport native Ben Rogers also played his first career match as a Vol Friday. The 17-year-old freshman's debut was a loss at the hands of Auburn's Alex Schweizer, 7-6(5), 6-4.
Spizzo plays No. 16-seeded Paul Ciorascu of Ole Miss Saturday, and Orr faces Georgia's Matias Ormaza.
Doubles action also gets underway Saturday with two Tennessee tandems scheduled to compete. Orr and Rogers square off against South Carolina's Ben Atkinson and Carl Wermee, while Vol freshmen Tcherveniachki and Matt Berry challenge the nation's No. 35-ranked team of Hazley and Bryan Fisher of LSU.
2004 SEC Men's Coaches' Indoor Championships - Jan. 16
Singles Main Draw - Round of 64
Orr (UT) def. Allinder (UK), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Spizzo (UT) def. Hazley (LSU), 6-4, 6-3
Schweizer (AU) def. Rogers (UT), 7-6(5), 6-4
No. 55 Harris (VU) def. Tcherveniachki (UT), 6-2, 6-1
Singles Main Draw - Round of 32
Orr (UT) def. No. 20 Gard (UM), 6-1, 6-4
Spizzo (UT) def. Zoltan Pelva (AU), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1