March 15, 2009
The sixth-ranked Tennessee men's tennis team got off to a fast start and never backed off, dominating the eighth-ranked Florida Gators, 6-1 inside the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center. The Vols (10-3, 3-1 SEC) are now tied for the SEC Eastern Division lead with Georgia.
"It was a great win today against a very good team," head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "This weekend it was important to go home and take care of our home court. In the SEC, you have to protect your home court and we did that this weekend in beating two good teams. (Associate head coach) Chris (Woodruff) and I are very proud of the effort we got from the players this entire week in preparing for this crucial weekend.
"I'm looking forward to a tremendous week ahead with a Blue-Gray Intercollegiate tournament that will be a real challenge for us."
Florida has all three doubles teams ranked but the Vols used victories at the top two doubles position to take a 1-0 lead. UT's ninth-ranked duo of Davey Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith defeated Florida's 18th-ranked tandem of Antoine Benneteau and Antoine Burkhardt, 8-5. The Vols clinched the point when Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago defeated 61st-ranked Jeff Dadamo and Johnny Hamui, 8-6 at the No. 2 position.
It is UT's second consecutive match winning the doubles point after the Vols had dropped the previous five doubles points.
"As a team we know how important doubles is and Tennessee has a tradition of playing very good doubles," Winterbotham said. "We got better this weekend and we will continue to get better as the season goes along to get where we need to be."
In singles, the Gators (11-5, 2-2 SEC) scored their lone point with a win at the No. 4 position but it was all Vols after that.
Conkic defeated, reining SEC Player of the Week, Lacroix at the No. 2 position, 6-3, 6-2 to give UT a 2-1 lead. Conkic now has a career record of 11-3 in the SEC and is 9-2 this season in dual-match play.
Fago continued to dominate in SEC play as he improved his career record to 14-0 in regular season SEC dual-match play with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Benneteau at the No. 3 position.
Smith, ranked 10th in the nation, clinched the win for UT with a three-set win over 19th-ranked Carlos Cueto at the No. 1 position. Smith had defeated Cueto earlier this season for the SEC Indoor singles title.
Christian Hansen defeated Erik Corace, 6-2, 6-0 at the No. 6 position for his second career SEC victory.
Matt Brewer completed the UT win with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Dadamo at the No. 5 slot. The Knoxville native won both of his matches this weekend and is now 3-1 this season in SEC play.
The Vols return to action next weekend in the Blue-Gray Intercollegiate played in Montgomery, Ala.
|No. 6 Tennessee 6, No. 8 Florida 1|
|1.||No. 10 John-Patrick Smith (UT)||def.||No. 19 Carlos Cueto (UF)||6-1, 3-6, 7-5*|
|2.||No. 38 Boris Conkic (UT)||def.||No. 34 Alex Lacroix (UF)||6-3, 6-2|
|3.||Matteo Fago (UT)||def.||Antoine Benneteau (UF)||7-5, 6-4|
|4.||Joseph Burkhardt (UF)||def.||Davey Sandgren (UT)||6-3, 6-4|
|5.||Matt Brewer (UT)||def.||Jeff Dadamo (UF)||7-6, 6-4|
|6.||Christian Hansen (UT)||def.||Erik Corace (UF)||6-2, 6-0|
|Order of Finish: 4,2,3,1,6,5|
|1.||No. 9 Sandgren/Smith (UT)||def.||No. 18 Benneteau/Burkhardt (UF)||8-5|
|2.||Conkic/Fago (UT)||def.||No. 61 Dadamo/Hamui (UF)||8-6|
|3.||No. 80 Cueto/Lacroix (UF)||def.||Hansen/Tweedt (UT)||8-4|
|Order of Finish: 3,1,2|