March 7, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The 13th-ranked Vols dug themselves a hole too deep to dig out of Friday in a 4-1 loss to Mississippi at Barksdale Stadium.
The Vols (11-5, 0-2 SEC) won the doubles point but then lost first sets on all six courts, two of them in tiebreakers. Mississippi (3-5, 1-2) grabbed the momentum and did not let go.
Tennessee fell behind quickly 3-1 in straight-set losses by Jarryd Chaplin on court 4, Markus Kerner on court 6 and Andrew Dromsky on court 5. At that point, the Vols needed to win matches in the entire top-half of the lineup.
At that point, the Vols tried to turn the tide. Junior Hunter Reese lost six games in a row to trail William Kallberg 6-4, 4-0 but rallied to win four of the next five games to get back on serve at 4-5 in the second set. Serve to stay in the match, Reese double faulted on match point to give Kallberg the 6-4, 6-4 victory.
It was Reese's first loss of the spring season, having entered the match with a 9-0 record in the spring, 21-6 overall.
"Ole Miss did a great job today," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "They lost the doubles point and came out and played really well on every court. Hats off to them on that."
At the time Reese lost, fellow junior Mikelis Libietis was locked deep in the second set at 7-6, 4-4 with Nik Scholtz in the fifth collegiate meeting between the pair. Junior Brandon Fickey, playing his first match since Feb. 16, split sets with Johan Backstrom but was broken early to start the third set.
The Vols controlled the doubles point to start the match. Dromsky and Kerner won their first SEC match at the No. 2 position 8-4, Libietis and Reese won their 19th SEC match together with an 8-5 win on court 1. They are now 23-3 this season.
The Vols this weekend host No. 17 Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Ole Miss 4, Tennessee 1
1. #32 Mikelis Libietis (UT) vs. #36 Nik Scholtz (OM) 6-7 (5-7), 4-4, unfinished
2. William Kallberg (OM) def. #21 Hunter Reese (UT) 6-4, 6-4
3. Brandon Fickey (UT) vs. Johan Backstrom (OM) 2-6, 6-3, 0-3, unfinished
4. Stefan Lindmark (OM) def. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) 6-2, 6-1
5. Ricardo Jorge (OM) def. Andrew Dromsky (UT) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
6. Vinod Gowda (OM) def. Markus Kerner (UT) 6-2, 6-3
1. #2 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) def. Stefan Lindmark/William Kallberg (OM) 8-5
2. Andrew Dromsky/Markus Kerner (UT) def. Nik Scholtz/Ricardo Jorge (OM) 8-4
3. Johan Backstrom/Joe Rogers (OM) def. Bartosz Sawicki/Jarryd Chaplin (UT) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,6,5,2)