Feb. 8, 2003
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee defeated No. 74 ETSU 6-1 Saturday at UT's
Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center. The victory improved the Volunteers'
record to 5-0 this season, and marked the team's first win over a ranked
opponent in 2003.
"The team is continuing to show improvement and progression as the season continues," Tennessee head coach Michael Fancutt said. "To beat a ranked team today is a first for this young team and we look forward to what will be a very tough match for us tomorrow against Louisville."
The Vols (5-0) began the match by sweeping all three doubles contests, which Tennessee has managed to do in each of its five dual matches thus far in 2003. The No. 1 tandem of Mark Henderson and Simon Rea led the way by defeating the nation's No. 45-ranked doubles team of Diego Iglesias and Alejandro Salazar.
"Mark and I played well today," Rea said. "Coach Fancutt made a big point with his pre-match talk that he wanted us to come out with intensity and fire, and play like Tennessee should play. I felt like all three doubles teams played well."
That intensity was matched by the Buccaneers in singles competition. ETSU managed to make things interesting by stealing the first set in Nos. 2 and 5 singles, and capturing a win at the No. 3 spot.
Simon Rea, the nation's No. 27-ranked singles player, struggled early against Marcos Pavlovich, but outplayed the Argentina native in the decisive third set. His win clinched the victory for Tennessee, and improved his overall season singles mark to a team-best 15-3.
Tennessee freshmen Rawl Martin and Vincent Perna have yet to lose in dual match play in either singles or doubles. Against the Bucs, Perna orchestrated a solid come-from-behind victory in his No. 5 singles contest, and Martin continued to dominate at the No. 6 slot.
Perna and Henderson arrived at the tennis center Saturday sporting new hairstyles, or lack thereof. Both netters followed the lead of the Tennessee freshmen baseball players and shaved their heads prior to the match.
"Mark Henderson and I were kind of bored last night, and we were kind of inspired by some of the baseball players," Perna said. "But, I didn't feel any faster today on the court."
Rea declined to follow suit on his teammates' new look, and found it difficult to find the words to describe them.
"Interesting," Rea said with a chuckle. "It's not my style, but if it works for them..."
Fancutt's squad will be back in action Sunday when No. 37 Louisville (5-1) visits the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center for a 3 p.m. dual match. The Cardinals enter Sunday's contest undefeated and feature the nation's 22nd-ranked doubles team of Cody Conley and Octavian Nicodim.
|Tennessee 6, ETSU 1|
|1) No. 56 Mark Dietrich (UT) def. Diego Iglesias (ETSU), 6-3, 6-4|
|2) No. 27 Simon Rea (UT) def. Marcos Pavlovich (ETSU), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4|
|3) Francisco Diaz (ETSU) def. Mark Henderson (UT), 7-5, 7-6(5)|
|4) Wade Orr (UT) def. Alejandro Salazar (ETSU), 6-3, 6-2|
|5) Vincent Perna (UT) def. Moises Serrano (ETSU), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2|
|6) Rawl Martin (UT) def. Fernando Fiuri (ETSU), 7-6(3), 6-1|
|1) Henderson/Rea (UT) def. No. 45 Iglesias/Salazar (ETSU), 8-5|
|2) Dietrich/Orr (UT) def. Diaz/Serrano (ETSU), 8-2|
|3) Martin/Perna (UT) def. Fiuri/Pavlovich (ETSU), 8-5|