Jan. 25, 2003
Tennessee got its 2003 dual match season off to a winning start Saturday with a 7-0 sweep over Tennessee Tech at UT's Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center. The match was the first half of a Vol doubleheader that also features a 5 p.m. match against The Citadel.
"This is a young team that has a lot of work to do," Tennessee head coach Michael Fancutt said. "I'm happy with today's results but I'm even happier with the great work ethic that the team has shown over the last two weeks since school started."
The 14th-ranked Vols were led by the top of their lineup, as Simon Rea and Mark Dietrich won convincingly at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively.
The highest-ranked Vol netter at No. 27, Rea displayed a solid all-around game, controlling his match throughout. With the win over Gernot Fischer, Rea improved his overall season singles record to a team-best 11-3. The match marked Rea's first competition of the spring. He was held out of the SEC Indoor Championships with a sore arm.
"I felt 100 percent health-wise today and I guess my opponent didn't play his best," Rea said. "I was lucky enough to take advantage of the opportunities. It's a good start for the team. It's a small step along the road, but a sweep is what we were looking for."
Dietrich, currently ranked No. 56 in the ITA singles rankings, built a 5-2 first-set lead before a tight lower back forced him to request treatment from the trainer during the changeover. The sophomore continued to play strong, however, and after winning a very long game to take a 2-1 lead in the second set, he regained his momentum and never looked back.
At the No. 3 singles spot, junior Wade Orr was taken to three sets by Tennessee Tech's Luis Aguerrevere. With his teammates gathered at courtside cheering him on, Orr battled his way to victory to preserve the Tennessee sweep.
Sophomore Mark Henderson made quick work of Will Chappell at the No. 4 singles spot.
The sweep over Tennessee Tech marked the first collegiate dual match experience for freshmen Rawl Martin and Vincent Perna, each of whom won their singles matches in straight sets. The pair started the day with a doubles win, and both players acknowledged the increased intensity that a dual match situation presents.
"This is a just different feeling," Martin said. "When I woke up this morning I could just feel it. It was time for a dual match and you just knew it."
"I just enjoyed the camaraderie of the team and everyone feeding off one another," Perna said. "It motivated me and got me more into the match. I was definitely really nervous at first, but seeing the other guys and how they reacted really helped me get through it."
With Saturday's victory, Tennessee now holds a 9-0 advantage in the all-time series versus Tennessee Tech dating back to 1963.
|Tennessee 7, Tennessee Tech 0|
|1) No. 27 Simon Rea (UT) def. Gernot Fischer (TT), 6-2, 6-1|
|2) No. 56 Mark Dietrich (UT) def. Razvan Ilie (TT), 6-3, 6-1|
|3) Wade Orr (UT) def. Luis Aguerrevere (TT), 6-3, 6-7, 6-4|
|4) Mark Henderson (UT) def. Will Chappell (TT), 6-3, 6-4|
|5) Vincent Perna (UT) def. Michele Pauzeri (TT), 6-2, 6-3|
|6) Rawl Martin (UT) def. Rodrigo Cuesta (TT), 6-2, 6-1|
|1) Henderson/Rea (UT) def. Aguerrevere/Fischer (TT), 8-3|
|2) Dietrich/Orr (UT) def. Chappell/Ilie (TT), 8-3|
|3) Martin/Perna (UT) def. Cuesta/Pauzeri, 8-2|