March 26, 2010
The second-ranked Tennessee Volunteers took a break from their Southeastern Conference schedule Friday to earn their fourth win over a top-10 team this year.
The Vols defeated No. 10 Louisville 7-0 at Goodfriend Tennis Center to draw one match closer to the Tennessee season record for shutouts.
For the 18th time this season, the Vols (17-1) won the doubles point. Freshman Rhyne Williams and juniors John-Patrick Smith and Boris Conkic later earned straight-set victories to clinch the team win from the top three singles positions, while the rest of the lineup preserved the shutout.
"The thing I'm proud about when it comes to shutouts is that it shows great concentration from the guys," said Sam Winterbotham, who wrapped up his 100th match as head coach of the Vols on Friday. "It really shows the whole team is focused and they're all on the same page. As a college coach, I can really tell you, they stop counting after four. They're all trying to figure out how to get to four.
"It's impressive to see guys remain focused, and we're extremely proud of that."
The Vols have shut out opponents nine times this season, including five consecutive to start the dual match schedule. The school record for shutouts is 10, set in 1965.
Smith and senior Davey Sandgren, the top-ranked doubles team nationally, earned their 27th win of the season together in an 8-3 victory over No. 35 Simon Childs and Alejandro Calligari. Smith and Sandgren improved to 6-1 against ranked opponents since January.
Senior Matt Brewer and junior Matteo Fago, playing together for the first time in a dual match, secured the doubles point with an 8-4 victory at the No. 3 position. Conkic and Williams, ranked fifth, won 8-5 at No. 2 to extend their winning streak to 15 matches.
Williams, a Knoxville native, was also the first Vol to finish his singles match, defeating No. 122 Viktor Maksimcuk 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 3 position to improve to 27-6.
A few minutes later, Smith drew closer to a major career milestone, picking up win No. 99 at the first singles position. After picking up a late break to win the first set 7-5, Smith blanked No. 31 Austen Childs 6-0 in the second set to put the Vols ahead 3-0. Smith improved to 30-5, marking the third time in his career he has collected at least 30 wins in both singles and doubles.
Conkic provided the clinching point, defeating No. 66 Simon Childs 6-3, 7-6 (4). Brewer, Fago and freshman Tennys Sandgren also won in singles for the Vols.
On Monday, Louisville (14-5) was swept 7-0 by Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. Prior to this week, the Cardinals had gone three seasons without being shut out once.
Tennessee returns to SEC play Sunday, hitting the road to face Arkansas (7-8, 1-4 SEC). The match begins at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled. A live, interactive blog will be available at UTSports.com.
1. #2 John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. #31 Austen Childs (UL) 7-5, 6-0
2. #32 Boris Conkic (UT) def. #66 Simon Childs (UL) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
3. #44 Rhyne Williams (UT) def. #122 Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) 6-3, 6-3
4. Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Alejandro Calligari (UL) 6-1, 6-7 (7-1), 6-3
5. #95 Matt Brewer (UT) def. Robert Hall (UL) 6-2, 6-4
6. Matteo Fago (UT) def. Andrew Carter (UL) 6-4, 6-4
1. #1 John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren (UT) def. #35 Simon Childs/Alejandro Calligari (UL) 8-3
2. #5 Boris Conkic/Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Austen Childs/Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) 8-5
3. Matteo Fago/Matt Brewer (UT) def. Robert Hall/Sumit-Prakash Gupta (UL) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,1,2,4,5,6)