March 23, 2012
Jarryd Chaplin has faced his fair share of tight matches in his young career. Now those experiences are paying off.
Chaplin held his nerve late to defeat Stefan Szacinski in three sets to clinch the Vols' 4-3 victory over LSU on Friday at Goodfriend Tennis Center.
"This is what we're telling the team," said head coach Sam Winterbotham. "We've got to be tough. We've got to be tougher than everybody else because that's the difference in these matches. I thought Jarryd was a perfect example of that."
After Chaplin took the first set 6-2, Szacinski broke Chaplin midway through the second set 6-4 to force a third set.
Chaplin found himself in a familiar situation with Szacinski on serve at 4-3. Two weeks ago, Chaplin served--and won--an unusually long game against Mississippi State that he estimates went to 20 deuces. When it came to another long game, he was mentally prepared.
Szacinski had multiple opportunity to end the game, but double-faulted twice on game point. He also missed an overhead, giving Chaplin his fourth--and final--break point of the game. Chaplin capitalized on the next point to take the 5-3 lead.
"I drew alot on that game that I played two weeks ago against Mississippi State," Chaplin said. "It was really, really important to win that game because it gave me the opportunity to close it out."
Chaplin was down 0-30 on his last service game, but was able to hold on and win the match 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
The Vols travel to Arkansas to face the Razorbacks on Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Rain forced the match indoors at Goodfriend Tennis Center, the first time Tennessee has played indoors in over a month.
The doubles point came down to the final court where Jones and Chaplin teamed up for the thrilling 9-8 (1) victory on court 2.
Freshmen Libietis and Hunter Reese extended their winning streak to nine with a 8-5 victory over Olivier Borsos and Chris Simpson. Libietis and Reese are now 14-2 in dual match play together.
Tennessee found itself in a 3-1 hole after straight-set loses by Peter Nagovnak on court 6, Reese and Fickey. Reese was defeated by Neal Skupski 6-4 6-4 on court 2 and Fickey lost to Simpson 6-3 6-3 on court 3.
The Vols' comeback started when Libietis closed out his match against Borsos 6-2, 6-4 on court 1. Borsos was ranked No. 71 and marked the 10th straight ranked opponent the Latvian has faced.
Jones defeated James Turbervill on court 5, 6-4; 6-4. Jones is now 8-1 in his past nine matches, and his victory set up Chaplin's decisive victory at 3-3.
"I was really proud of myself out there," Chaplin said. "A lot of the time, I'm just happy when I can get the win, but today was really proud of the way I handled the situation. It all happened very quickly that it all came down to me. I played well and I'm so happy that we won today as a team."
Tennessee 4, LSU 3
1. #51 Mikelis Libietis (UT) def. #71 Olivier Borsos (LSU) 6-2, 6-4
2. #85 Neal Skupski (LSU) def. Hunter Reese (UT) 6-4, 6-4
3. Chris Simpson (LSU) def. Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-3, 6-3
4. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
5. Edward Jones (UT) def. James Turbervill (LSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Tom Knights (LSU) def. Peter Nagovnak (UT) 6-2, 6-0
1. #7 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) def. #51 Chris Simpson/Olivier Borsos (LSU) 8-5
2. Jarryd Chaplin/Edward Jones (UT) def. Neal Skupski/James Turbervill (LSU) 9-8 (7-1)
3. Tom Knights/Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Bryan Swartz/Brandon Fickey (UT) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,2,3,1,5,4)