Feb. 1, 2010
The fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers came out firing once again Monday, shutting out South Carolina 4-0 in the finals of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Goodfriend Tennis Center.
The Vols (4-0) have shut out all four opponents they've faced this season, which includes a 7-0 victory over Utah on Sunday night to open the tournament. Monday's sweep of South Carolina marks the fifth time in school history that the Vols have recorded four consecutive shutouts. The school record is five, set in 1964.
Junior John-Patrick Smith clinched the Tennessee victory by recording his 90th career win.
Head coach Sam Winterbotham said even in a tournament situation, any win against a Southeastern Conference opponent is important.
"The SEC is so competitive," Winterbotham said. "I've said this many times, everybody in the SEC has a rivalry that's so strong that everybody hates everybody. Regardless of whether they're ranked 110 in the country or 10 in the country, it's a competitive event, and you've got to be ready."
With the victory, Tennessee earns a bid to the 16-team ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va., from Feb. 12-15. At least five fellow teams from the SEC will be in the tournament field as well.
"Now that you have to qualify for it, it's like the NCAA Tournament, only in February," Winterbotham said. "The top 15 teams get to host, just like in the NCAA Tournament, and you have to win your way in. We're in now and we're looking around, and it's all the same faces. You've got all the top teams.
"It's a great opportunity early in the year to find out where you are."
Junior Boris Conkic and freshman Rhyne Williams started doubles in dominant fashion, blanking Ivan Cressoni and Pedro Campos 8-0 from the No. 2 position. Conkic and Williams, the 12th ranked pairing in the country, have an 11-2 record this year and three of those wins have come via an 8-0 score.
Smith and senior Davey Sandgren, ranked seventh, clinched the doubles point in an 8-5 victory over 27th-ranked Ivan Machado and Diego Cubas. They improved to 16-3 this season, but Monday's win was their first against a ranked opponent this year.
The singles victories came quickly as well. South Carolina had just come off a long, five-hour match against Virginia Commonwealth the day before.
Williams was the first to finish for the Vols, taking out Ivan Machado in straight sets at the No. 3 position. He won the first set 6-4 before shutting down Machado to win the second set 6-0. Williams is second on the team with an 18-4 record and ranked 22nd nationally.
Freshman Tennys Sandgren finished second with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Johannes Pulsfort from the No. 4 position.
Smith then sealed it for UT when he recorded his 11th win against a ranked opponent this year by defeating No. 48 Diego Cubas 6-3, 6-0. It was Smith 90th career win, which moved him into a tie with Chris Mahony for 10th on the career wins list.
The Vols host Middle Tennessee State and The Citadel on Wednesday, beginning at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively.
1. #2 John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. #48 Diego Cubas (USC) 6-3, 6-0
2. #68 Boris Conkic (UT) vs. Pedro Campos (USC) 6-1, 4-4 unfinished
3. #22 Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Ivan Machado (USC) 6-4, 6-0
4. Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Johannes Pulsfort (USC) 6-1, 6-1
5. Alexander Kostanov (USC) vs. #52 Matt Brewer (UT) no result
6. Ivan Cressoni (USC) vs. Matteo Fago (UT) no result
1. #7 John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren (UT) def. #27 Ivan Machado/Diego Cubas (USC) 8-5
2. #12 Rhyne Williams/Boris Conkic (UT) def. Ivan Cressoni/Pedro Campos (USC) 8-0
3. Alexander Kostanov/Johannes Pulsfort (USC) vs. Edward Jones/Max Stevens (UT) 5-4 unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (3,4,1)
Virginia Commonwealth 6, Utah 1
1. Thibaut Charron (VCU) def. Phillip Eilers (UTAH) 6-4, 6-2
2. Krisztin Krocsko (VCU) def. Benito Suriano (UTAH) 6-4, 6-2
3. Tim Johannsen (VCU) def. Alex Golding (UTAH) 6-4, 6-4
4. Filip Svensson (VCU) def. Jason Smits (UTAH) 6-4, 6-4
5. Max Wennakoski (VCU) def. Timmy Allin (UTAH) 6-4, 6-2
6. Stephen Jacobs (UTAH) def. Camill Salomon (VCU) 5-5, retired
1. Thibaut Charron/Tim Johannsen (VCU) def. Phillip Eilers/Alex Golding (UTAH) 8-5
2. Krisztin Krocsko/Camill Salomon (VCU) vs. Jason Smits/Timmy Allin (UTAH) 7-4, unfinished
3. C.J. Williams/Filip Svensson (VCU) def. Stephen Jacobs/Benito Suriano (UTAH) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,1,4,3,6,5)