March 19, 2011
After a close loss at Baylor earlier in the week, the Tennessee Volunteers returned to the winning routine at home Saturday afternoon.
The top-ranked Volunteers won all three doubles matches then swept the six singles matches in straight sets in a 7-0 shutout over No. 65 Arkansas at Barksdale Stadium.
Quick wins by senior John-Patrick Smith on court 1 and freshman Jarryd Chaplin on court 6 put the Vols ahead 3-0, and senior Matteo Fago rallied for the final five games on court 4 to beat Matt Walters 6-0, 7-5 to clinch the match at 4-0.
The Vols (15-2, 5-0 SEC) and Georgia (13-3, 5-0) are the only undefeated teams remaining in the SEC with six matches left on the schedule.
Saturday's match against Arkansas (4-10, 0-5) came just two days after returning from a three-match, three-state road trip that took the Vols from Kentucky to Vanderbilt then on to Baylor for a final non-conference match during Tennessee's spring break. Despite all the travel, the Vols were ready to face the Razorbacks.
"A week on the road wears on you a little bit," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "It's always good to be in familiar surroundings, to sleep in your own bed and be in front of your home crowd.
"I think we're ready to move forward. This is a funny thing to say, but they're ready for spring break to be over. They want to get back in the normal routine. Everyone's a little lost out of the routine. By now, they're into the schedule. They've got the routine down."
Tennessee had dropped the doubles point twice on the three-match road trip but took control early in doubles Saturday. Smith and Chaplin, who have played the last three matches together on court 2, won decisively 8-2. Sophomores Tennys Sandgren and Rhyne Williams clinched the point at the top of the lineup with an 8-4 win over Matt Hogan and Hall Fess.
Smith and Chaplin paced the Vols in doubles and they did the same in singles. Smith ran his home winning streak to 30 matches with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Hogan, which was his second career shutout. A few minutes later, Chaplin won his second conference match, beating Michael Nott 6-3, 6-1.
After Fago clinched the match, the remaining three singles matches were played out. Sandgren secured his team-leading 13th consecutive victory with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Nikolas Zogaj on court 3, and Williams beat Chris Nott 6-4, 6-1 on court 2.
Sophomore Edward Jones snapped a three-match losing streak by rallying in the second set to beat Mike Ward 6-2, 7-6 (1) on court 5.
The Vols hit the road again this weekend for a Saturday match at LSU, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Tennessee 7, Arkansas 0
1. #12 John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. Matt Hogan (ARK) 6-0, 6-0
2. #3 Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Chris Nott (ARK) 6-4, 6-1
3. #44 Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Nikolas Zogaj (ARK) 6-3, 6-2
4. #51 Matteo Fago (UT) def. Matt Walters (ARK) 6-0, 7-5
5. Edward Jones (UT) def. Mike Ward (ARK) 6-2, 7-6 (1)
6. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Michael Nott (ARK) 6-3, 6-1
1. #38 Tennys Sandgren/Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Hall Fess/Matt Hogan (ARK) 8-4
2. Jarryd Chaplin/John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. Michael Nott/Chris Nott (ARK) 8-2
3. Matteo Fago/Edward Jones (UT) def. Nikolas Zogaj/Mike Ward (ARK) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,6,4,3,2,5)