March 18, 2003
As if spending spring break under the sunny Florida sky wasn't enough, Tennessee's men's tennis team made their week in the Sunshine State even more enjoyable Tuesday with a 4-3 win over Georgia Southern in Boca Raton, Fla. The match was played under an altered format consisting of two doubles matches worth one point each, and five singles contests also worth one point each.
The teams began the day with doubles competition. Given the altered format of the match, each doubles contest took on added importance. The Volunteers captured wins in both matches and took a 2-0 lead into the singles portion of competition.
The Vol netters proceeded to win two straight singles contests to take a 4-0 lead and ensure victory, but in the Eagles' case, there was something to be said about playing for pride. Much to the dismay of Tennessee head coach Michael Fancutt, the Eagles stole wins at the Nos. 1, 3 and 4 positions to make the final score a respectable 4-3.
Highlights for Tennessee on the day included another win for Simon Rea. The Vol junior continued to look untouchable in his match at the No. 2 position, surrendering only two games in his thrashing of GSU's Danie Van Den Heever. Rea has only lost a combined total of 10 games in his last three singles matches and has given up no more than three games in any set during that span. The New Zealand native's overall season singles record stands at a team-best 22-6.
"Today was another fine performance by Simon Rea," Fancutt said. "He is doing a good job of leading the team both on and off the court."
Sophomore Mark Henderson, who has struggled to get his singles game on track as of late, broke a three-match singles losing streak with a straight-set victory over GSU's Stephen Dubienski. The win pushed the Australia native's singles record over the .500 mark.
Tennessee was without the services of freshman Rawl Martin Tuesday. Martin was with his family in Memphis mourning the loss of his grandmother.
The Vol netters will now face-off against the No. 39-ranked Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes Sunday, March 23, in Coral Gables, Fla., before returning home to Knoxville. The Hurricanes feature the nation's No. 18-ranked collegiate singles player in sophomore Todd Widom.