Jan. 23, 2010
The Tennessee Volunteers started the season the best way possible Saturday: earning a pair of shutouts.
After shutting down East Tennessee State early in the afternoon, the fifth-ranked Volunteers won their second match of 2010 in the same way with a 7-0 victory over Chattanooga at Goodfriend Tennis Center.
Senior Matt Brewer led the way for the Vols against Chattanooga, picking up a 6-2, 6-3 victory in the No. 1 position over Roberto Vieira. Brewer, ranked No. 52, also earned an 8-4 in doubles with teammate Bryan Swartz as they defeated William Disterdick and Chris Smith.
Head coach Sam Winterbotham said Saturday was a day of firsts for his team, and not just the first win of the season. Four freshmen played in the singles lineup, and for three of them, it was their debut college dual match.
"To win that first dual match, it's not easy," Winterbotham said. "The level in college tennis, the passion that's involved in it, it's a new experience for them. Competing with their team and the way they handled their emotions, I thought it was most impressive. All the firsts that happened today was the highlight for sure."
Freshman Tennys Sandgren, who joined the team a few weeks ago, grinded out a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Ryan Pool in No. 2 singles. He was down 5-6 in the first set before rallying back to win in a tiebreak. The second set also required a comeback as he started out down 0-3.
Sandgren was the only freshman in the lineup against Chattanooga and ETSU.
Senior Davey Sandgren also pitched in against Chattanooga, winning 6-4, 6-2 over Rick vande Bovenkamp in the No. 3 position. He also picked up a win against ETSU to give him 76 wins for his career.
Freshman Edward Jones earned a tough, straight-set win in the No. 4 position 6-4, 7-6. He trailed for most of the second set, but rallied back to force a tiebreaker.
Even after the match was clinched with Jones' win, the Vols stayed on to support redshirt freshmen Max Stevens and Taylor Patrick. Stevens started the match off down 0-3 but came back 7-5 in the first set before cruising 6-3 in the second set against Stephen Crofford.
Patrick, a Knoxville native, won his match in a 10-game tiebreaker over Jackson Tresnan 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (5).
"Hands down, the most important thing of the day was how they were committed to each other," Winterbotham said. "The closeness of this group just showed. If we can start there and improve on there, it's going to be a fun year."
Earlier in the day, the Vols swept No. 62 ETSU and have now won 23 matches in the all-time series. Most of UT's heavy hitters played in the first match Saturday, including second-ranked junior John-Patrick Smith, No. 22-ranked freshman Rhyne Williams and No. 68 junior Boris Conkic, who was just coming off a championship run Monday at the SEC Indoors.
"Tennessee is better than I'd say 99 percent of the entire country. I really think after playing them today that UT has a chance later this spring to win it all," ETSU head coach Yaser Zaatini said.
No. 5 Tennessee 7, Chattanooga 0
1. Matt Brewer (UT) def. Roberto Vieira (UTC) 6-2, 6-3
2. Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Ryan Pool (UTC) 7-6, 6-4
3. Davey Sandgren (UT) def. Rick vande Bovenkamp (UTC) 6-4, 6-2
4. Edward Jones (UT) def. Chris Smith (UTC) 6-4, 7-6
5. Max Stevens (UT) def. Stephen Crofford (UTC) 7-5, 6-3
6. Taylor Patrick (UT) def. Jackson Tresnan (UTC) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5)
1. Edward Jones/Max Stevens (UT) def. Ryan Pool/Sam Parfitt (UTC) 8-6
2. Matteo Fago/Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Jackson Tresnan/Roberto Vieira (UTC) 8-4
3. Bryan Swartz/Matt Brewer (UT) def. William Disterdick/Chris Smith (UTC) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,3,4,2,5,6)