March 14, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The 14th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers could not swing the momentum in singles Friday in a 4-0 loss to 17th-ranked Florida at Ring Linder Tennis Stadium.
After dropping a close doubles point that came down to court 2, the Vols (12-6, 1-3 SEC) won just one of six first sets with opportunities to win others in their first road conference match of the season.
When the Vols tried to seize momentum midway through singles play, Florida won on the three courts they needed to secure victory.
Mike Alford beat Andrew Dromsky 6-3, 6-4 on court 5 to give Florida a 2-0 lead. Senior Jarryd Chaplin broke Maxx Lipman's serve twice in the second set but could not do it a third time in a 6-3, 6-4 loss on court 4. After fighting off a half dozen match points on his own serve, junior Mikelis Libietis could not complete a second-set rally in a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Florent Diep on court 2.
Junior Hunter Reese was just one game away from his first SEC win at the top of the lineup. He led Gordon Watson 7-5, 5-4 when the match was clinched. Fellow junior Brandon Fickey lost a close first set to Diego Hidalgo and was serving at 6-7, 1-1. After getting shut out in the first set 6-0, freshman Markus Kerner finally found his footing on the indoor courts. He was serving at 0-6, 6-2, 3-4.
Libietis and Reese collected the Vols' only win on the court in doubles. The second-ranked pair improved to 25-3 this season with an 8-4 win over 11th-ranked Orkin and Watson at the top of the doubles lineup.
After Libietis and Reese's quick win, Florida assumed control on the remaining doubles courts, winning 8-5 on courts 2 and 3 for the doubles point.
Tennessee returns to action Sunday at South Carolina at 1 p.m. A live audio stream will be available at utsports.com.
FLORIDA 4, TENNESSEE 0
1. #22 Hunter Reese, UT, vs. #106 Gordon Watson, UF, 7-5, 5-4
2. Florent Diep, UF, def. #34 Mikelis Libietis, UT, 6-3, 6-4
3. Brandon Fickey, UT, vs. Diego Hidalgo, UF, 6-7, 1-1
4. Maxx Lipman, UF, def. Jarryd Chaplin, UT, 6-3, 6-4
5. Mike Alford, UF, def. Andrew Dromsky, UT, 6-3, 6-4
6. Markus Kerner, UT, vs. Elliot Orkin, UF, 0-6, 6-2, 3-4
1. #2 Libietis/Reese, UT, def. #11 Orkin/Watson, UF, 8-4
2. Alford/Diep, UF, def. Dromsky/Kerner, UT, 8-5
3. Hidalgo/Lipman, UF, def. Chaplin/Fickey, UT, 8-5
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3.2); Singles (5,4,2).