Feb. 15, 2014
HOUSTON -- The 14th-ranked Vols tried to rally from the brink of defeat Saturday but could not complete the comeback in a 4-1 loss to eighth-ranked Texas A&M at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The Vols (9-3) trailed 3-0 after losing the doubles point and straight-set matches on courts 3 and 5 but started to turn the momentum across the courts.
Junior Mikelis Libietis wrapped up a 6-5, 6-5 victory on court 1 over No. 22 Harrison Adams to make it 3-1 and the three remaining matches were in the third sets.
Freshman Markus Kerner had a chance to serve out his match against Max Lunkin on court 6 at 5-3 but had his serve broken. Lunkin rallied to beat Kerner in a tiebreaker and clinch the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-5 (4).
Junior Hunter Reese and senior Jarryd Chaplin were both deep in the third sets when the match was decided. Chaplin was in a deciding tiebreaker on court 4 and Reese was down a break at 2-4 in the third to Shane Vinsant on court 2.
The Vols and Aggies had faced off in two thrillers last season, including at the ITA National Indoors in Seattle. Tennessee won both of those meetings 4-3.
The Vols play Pepperdine on Sunday in consolation at 6 p.m. Eastern. A live blog will be on utsports.com.
From the Vols Postmatch
Mikelis Libietis: "I played well on his serve and had some struggles to hold on my own. I played well at the right moments and got my chances to even up the match. I finally played good tiebreakers and Coach Woody (Woodruff) helped me out a lot. It was a disappointing day for the team overall."
Hunter Reese: "It's embarrassing. We're playing like we don't belong here."
Brandon Fickey: "It's a disappointing loss in myself and for the team. I think you learn something from every win or loss, and we need to keep working and improving as a team on and off the court in order to achieve our goals."
Jarryd Chaplin: "It's a disappointing night for us. More disappointing in the way we rebounded after a loss yesterday. It's not a good feeling."
Andrew Dromsky: "Today was an unacceptable day. We will learn from it and be a better team for it."
Markus Kerner: "I was not stepping up on the big moments. We had terrible energy in doubles. It was an absolutely frustrating performance."
Colton Norton: "We seemed deflated from the start. We showed a little life on a few singles courts, but ultimately we weren't able to turn it around."
Sunay Bhat: "We had a couple tough losses, but all we can do is get our mindset right for tomorrow and the season going forward."
Bartosz Sawicki: "I don't think we had the right mindset for this match. Fromt he beginning, in doubles we started with low energy and after losing the doubles point I didn't feel like we tried to change it. After a bad performance yesterday, I though we would do everything we could to win the match, but we performed even worse."
Texas A&M 4, Tennessee 1
1. #45 Mikelis Libietis (TENN) def. #22 Harrison Adams (TAMU) 6-5 (8-6), 6-5 (7-1)
2. #17 Hunter Reese (TENN) vs. #43 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 4-6, 6-2, 2-4, unfinished
3. #25 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) def. Brandon Fickey (TENN) 6-1, 6-3
4. Jarryd Chaplin (TENN) vs. Junior Ore (TAMU) 6-3, 4-6, 5-5 (3-3), unfinished
5. Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Andrew Dromsky (TENN) 6-3, 6-3
6. Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Markus Kerner (TENN) 4-6, 6-3, 6-5 (7-4)
1. #1 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (TENN) vs. #3 Jackson Withrow/Junior Ore (TAMU) 4-5, unfinished
2. Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. Jarryd Chaplin/Brandon Fickey (TENN) 6-2
3. #29 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Andrew Dromsky/Markus Kerner (TENN) 6-2
Order of Finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,3,1,6)