March 13, 2004
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The No. 28-ranked Tennessee men's tennis team defeated The Citadel 5-2 Saturday afternoon at the Earle Tennis Center. Tennessee (7-3, 1-1 SEC) claimed the doubles point and also posted four singles wins against the Bulldogs.
"Today was a good match for us inasmuch as we got a match in for some of the guys who haven't gotten to play a lot of singles recently," Tennessee associate head coach Chris Mahony said in reference to Vols underclassmen Matt Berry, Johnny Thornton and Rawl Martin. "It was a good effort by Ockie Oosthuizen to get off the court as quickly as he did, and Simon Rea, Rawl Martin and Mark Dietrich followed with some hard-fought three-set wins.
"You have to give a lot of credit to The Citadel. They fought hard on every court right to the last point. For us as a team, however, there is definitely a lot of improvement required before we head into the conference matches next weekend."
The Citadel (8-6, 4-0 SoCon) entered Saturday's contest having won the doubles point in seven of its last eight dual matches, but the Volunteers' doubles lineup proved too strong for the unranked Bulldogs. Tennessee used wins from Simon Rea and Damien Spizzo at the No. 1 position and the No. 47-ranked team of Mark Dietrich and Wade Orr at the No. 3 spot to clinch UT's eighth doubles point of the year.
Shortly after singles play began, UT freshman Ockie Oosthuizen put the Vols up 2-0 by posting a quick, dominating win over The Citadel's Carl Hocker at the No. 3 position.
Four of the remaining five singles matches went to three sets, with the Vols posting wins in three of them. Tennessee sophomore Martin recorded his ninth singles victory of the season when he rallied to beat Bulldog sophomore David Lara at No. 4 singles. Vols veteran Rea, the No. 42-ranked singles player in the nation, then edged Citadel senior Matt Stubbs 6-2, 6-7(7), 6-1 at the No. 1 slot.
Dietrich closed out UT's scoring by outlasting Warren Woolfolk at No. 4 singles.
Tennessee freshman Berry lost a three-set contest at the No. 2 position, and fellow freshman Thornton dropped a 7-5, 6-2 decision to The Citadel's Robert Haynie at the No. 6 spot.
Bulldog assistant coach Adam Carey -- a Tennessee graduate who starred for the Vols from 1999-2002 -- was encouraged by The Citadel's performance Saturday.
"The whole team put forth an outstanding effort," Carey said. "They played hard against one of the best tennis schools of the last five years."
The Volunteers take on the College of Charleston (8-4, 4-0 SoCon) at the Cougars' newly opened home courts, the Tennis Center at Patriots Point, Sunday at 10 a.m.
"[Sunday will be] another great challenge for us," Mahony said. "We're playing a good team on their home courts."
No. 28 Tennessee 5, The Citadel 2
1) Rea/Damien Spizzo (UT) def. Lara/Woolfolk (Citadel), 8-3
2) Hocker/Stubbs (Citadel) def. Oosthuizen/Ben Rogers (UT), 8-3
3) No. 47 Dietrich/Wade Orr (UT) def. Haynie/Williams (Citadel), 8-4
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
1) No. 42 Simon Rea (UT) def. Matt Stubbs (Citadel), 6-2, 6-7(7), 6-1*
2) John Williams (Citadel) def. Matt Berry (UT), 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4
3) Ockie Oosthuizen (UT) def. Carl Hocker (Citadel), 6-0, 6-0
4) Mark Dietrich (UT) def. Warren Woolfolk (Citadel), 7-6, 6-7(6), 7-5
5) Rawl Martin (UT) def. David Lara (Citadel), 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
6) Robert Haynie (Citadel) def. Johnny Thornton (UT), 7-5, 6-2
Order of finish: 3, 6, 5, 1*, 4, 2
* Clinching point