Feb. 11, 2012
The Tennessee Volunteers lost to No. 10 Duke 6-1 in their final match Saturday before the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The 20th-ranked Vols (4-3) lost the doubles point for the first time this season and could not make up the difference in singles. Duke (7-0) took five of the six first sets and clinched the match at 4-0 when Torsten Wietoska defeated Jarryd Chaplin 6-2, 6-4 on court 3.
After winning a close doubles point on all three courts, Duke went ahead 2-0 when No. 17 Chris Mengel beat Brandon Fickey 6-3, 6-1 on court 2. A few minutes later, Jason Tahir beat Peter Nagovnak 6-2, 6-1 on court 6 in the Vol freshman's return to the singles lineup.
"Duke did a really good job of making it tough," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "Going in after losing the doubles point, we come out and there's a little bit of positive energy on the courts. But then on a couple courts we get blown out, and it's a momentum killer when you really need to get the momentum. Guys have got to do a better job. We've got to do a better job as coaches of getting the momentum and seizing it."
Tennessee's lone singles point of the day came from redshirt freshman Hunter Reese, who was playing on court 4 for the first time in his career. Reese defeated No. 110 Fred Saba 6-2, 3-6, [10-2] after the match had been clinched.
Reese is now on a three-match winning streak with two ranked wins.
Now Tennessee prepares for the ITA National Indoors, an event UT has appeared in each of the last four seasons. The Vols were finalists in 2010 and 2011 but have a tough draw to start the 2012 tournament: they face top-ranked Southern California on Friday. The two teams have not played each other since the 2010 NCAA final, a match the Trojans won 4-2.
The match begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. A live blog will be available at utsports.com.
"We've got to take away what we need from this match," Winterbotham said. "We've got three matches at the National Indoors that are guaranteed. If we can get out to a great start there, we want to go try to win that tournament. We've got to play a lot better to do that."
Duke 6, Tennessee 1
1. #7 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. #125 Mikelis Libietis (UT) 6-0, 7-5
2. #17 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-3, 6-1
3. Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. #119 Jarryd Chaplin (UT) 6-2, 6-4
4. Hunter Reese (UT) def. #110 Fred Saba (DU) 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-2)
5. #120 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Edward Jones (UT) 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
6. Jason Tahir (DU) def. Peter Nagovnak (UT) 6-2, 6-1
1. Henrique Cunha/Fred Saba (DU) def. #33 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) 8-6
2. David Holland/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Edward Jones/Brandon Fickey (UT) 8-6
3. Raphael Hemmeler/Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. Jarryd Chaplin/Peter Nagovnak (UT) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,6,3,1,4,5)