April 1, 2005
The Tennessee men's tennis team dropped only its second SEC match of the season Friday, losing to South Carolina 6-1 on a rainy afternoon at the USC Indoor Tennis Facility.
"South Carolina played great today," acting head coach Chris Mahony said. "We have got to turn around, put this one behind us and get ready for Florida."
The match got off to an ominous start as the Vols lost the doubles point for the first time in the SEC season. Sophomores Ockie Oosthuizen and Ben Rogers who had won their previous 11 doubles matches, lost for the first time in 2005, 9-7 to USC's Pedro Rodrigues and Geraldo Knorr 9-7. That win at No. 1 doubles clinched the doubles point for the Gamecocks. Freshmen Bobby Cameron and Kaden Hensel won their sixth straight doubles match over South Carolina's Ben Atkinson and Dmitry Babenko 8-4 for the Vols only doubles victory.
Kiril Tcherveniachki was UT's lone bright spot in singles. The New Zealand native won at No. 5 singles in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 over Knorr to score UT's only point of the match.
Mark Dietrich and Kaden Hensel both forced third sets in their singles matches but both ultimately fell victim to the Gamecocks. Dietrich won the first set of his match against USC's Tom Eklund but dropped the next two sets to lose for only the second time in the SEC season. Hensel battled back after losing the first set but lost in a third-set tiebreaker to Atkinson at No. 6 singles. Hensel is also now 5-2 in SEC play this season.
UT (10-4, 5-2 SEC) travels to Gainesville, Fla. to take on the ninth ranked Gators on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Volunteers hope to get a repeat of last season when they defeated Florida 5-2 coming off a disappointing loss to South Carolina.
No. 34 South Carolina 6 No. 17 Tennessee 1
1. No. 55 Tom Eklund (SC) def. No. 53 Mark Dietrich (UT) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. Pedro Rodrigues (SC) def. Bobby Cameron (UT) 6-3, 6-4
3. Jaime Cuellar (SC) def. Morgan Wilson (UT) 7-5, 6-1
4. Dmitry Babenko (SC) def. Ockie Oosthuizen (UT) 7-6(7), 6-4
5. Kiril Tcherveniachki (UT) def. Geraldo Knorr (SC) 6-1, 6-4
6. Ben Atkinson (SC) def. Kaden Hensel (UT) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0(5)
Order of Finish: 3,2,1*,4,5,6
1. Rodrigues/Knorr (SC) def. No. 7 Oosthuizen/Rogers (UT) 9-7
2. Eklund/Cuellar (SC) def. Dietrich/Wilson (UT) 8-5
3. Cameron/Hensel (UT) def. Atkinson/Babenko (SC) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2,3,1