April 5, 2002
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-- The No. 15-ranked Tennessee tennis team returned home for the first time in eight matches Friday, and made quick work of No. 10 Florida 6-1 on a surprisingly chilly day at the Varsity Tennis Center. The win raised the Vols' record on the season to 13-5 overall and 6-3 in Southeastern Conference action, which puts them in a three-way tie for second place in the conference.
"Coming back home for the first time in eight matches and beating your school's arch-rival is great," UT head coach Michael Fancutt said. "The crowd was great. When you go on the road and play all of those matches against top 20 teams you don't have anyone cheering for you, that is really tough. So it was good to get back here and start preparing ourselves for the SEC tournament."
The match began as a true battle, not unlike most Vols-Gators encounters, with both teams scrapping for that all important doubles point. The Vols would strike first, with an impressive 8-1 victory by the No. 20-ranked duo of Simon Rea and Mario Toledo in the No. 1 match over Florida's No. 29-ranked pair of Chris McDonald and Hamid Mirzadeh. Florida (13-4, 6-3 SEC) would come right back, with a 9-8 win by Matt Behrmann and Troy Hahn at No. 3 over Tennessee's Andy Crews and Mark Dietrich. The Vols would then clinch the doubles tally, when the senior duo of Adam Carey and Peter Handoyo came back from down two breaks to capture an exciting 9-8 victory at No. 2 over Florida's Olivier Levant and Eleazar Magallan.
Tennessee carried a lot of momentum into the singles segment, which the Big Orange turned into five wins over the visiting Gators. Freshman Mark Dietrich, ranked No. 99 nationally, made the score 2-0 Tennessee, with his win at No. 4. Senior Adam Carey then ended a two-match skid, with a win over Troy Hahn at No. 3. Clarksville native Wade Orr then clinched the match for the Vols, with a solid 6-1, 6-3 win over Trey Johnson in the No. 6 match. Seniors Peter Handoyo and Mario Toledo then added two more wins to give Tennessee their final tally. Handoyo, who is ranked No. 9 nationally, raised his record to 17-2 on the season in his win over No. 74 Magallan at No. 1. Toledo's win was his 30th on the season, which leads the Vols, and was also his 20th win in his last 22 matches. The lone point for the Gators came in Behrmann's win at No. 5 over Tennessee's Rea, which was his first loss in his last six matches.
"Pete (Handoyo) and Mario (Toledo) have been rocks at (positions) one and two this season," Fancutt said. "They have simply dominated their positions, and that is really difficult to do. They have been putting in lots of hard work and it is paying off on the court, which is a great example for our younger guys. I am very happy to have those guys."
"We believed coming into today that we were a better team than Florida," Handoyo said. "We needed this win and everybody stepped up and got it done. With the SEC tournament coming up, this is a good time to be improving, which I think we did today."
The Vols will be back in action Sunday, as they take on No. 24 South Carolina at 1 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center on the UT campus. Admission will be free.
#15 Tennessee 6, #10 Florida 1
|#1 (9) Peter Handoyo (UT) def. (74) Eleazar Magallan (UF) 7-6 (4), 6-3|
|#2 (20) Mario Toledo (UT) def. Olivier Levant (UF) 6-4, 6-3|
|#3 Adam Carey (UT) def. Troy Hahn (UF) 6-2, 6-1|
|#4 (99) Mark Dietrich (UT) def. Ross Greenstein (UF) 6-3, 6-4|
|#5 Matt Behrmann (UF) def. Simon Rea (UT) 6-2, 6-3|
|#6 Wade Orr (UT) def. Trey Johnson (UF) 6-1, 6-3*|
|#1 (20) Toledo/Rea (UT) def. (29) Chris McDonald/Mirzadeh (UF) 8-1|
|#2 Handoyo/Carey (UT) def. Levant/Magallan (UF) 9-8 (4)*|
|#3 Behrmann/Hahn (UF) def. Andy Crews/Dietrich(UT) 9-8 (6)|