Feb. 14, 2004
Tennessee's men's tennis team won the second half of its Valentine's Day doubleheader, defeating ETSU 4-3 Saturday night at UT's Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center. The win snapped a two-match losing streak for No. 54-ranked Tennessee (4-2, 0-0 SEC), which included a 4-3 loss to No. 41-ranked William & Mary earlier in the day.
Though they have yet to be tested by SEC-caliber competition, the Vols' doubles pairings have looked impressive this season. Their doubles prowess continued against ETSU, as the Tennessee teams of Wade Orr and Mark Dietrich and Ockie Oosthuizen and Damien Spizzo both claimed wins to earn UT the doubles point for the sixth time in as many matches this season.
In singles action, ETSU freshman Oscar Posada defeated Spizzo in straight sets to tie the team score at 1-1. The deadlock was short-lived, however, as Kingsport native Rogers put together a 6-2, 6-2 ousting of Buccaneer junior Moises Serrano to give the Vols a 2-1 advantage.
ETSU senior Diego Iglesias outlasted Oosthuizen in three sets, resulting in another team-score tie at 2-2. But moments later, Tcherveniachki netted his seventh singles win of the season to tip the scales in UT's favor once again.
All eyes then turned to the battle in progress at the No. 1 position, where No. 64-ranked Rea had split sets with Buccaneer senior Alejandro Salazar. The two veterans played themselves into a dramatic third-set tiebreaker, in which Rea was able to raise his game and post a 2-6, 6-0, 7-6(5) match-clinching victory.
"This was a good fight-back for our team after losing the morning match (to William & Mary 4-3)," Tennessee head coach Michael Fancutt said. "Simon Rea has continued to be a leader of this team, both on the court and off of it."
The Volunteers own a perfect 15-0 record in the all-time series against ETSU, dating to 1963.
Tennessee faces its biggest test of the season thus far when it plays host to No. 6-ranked Duke (5-1, 0-0 ACC) Friday.