April 6, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. -- With a team effort across lineup, the Tennessee Volunteers got the points they needed to deal 16th-ranked Auburn its first home loss of the season Friday.
The Vols lost four of six opening sets in singles but regained momentum midway through the match in a 5-2 victory at Yarbrough Tennis Center to start the team's final road trip of the year.
Sophomore Jarryd Chaplin clinched the Vols' win at 4-2 by holding off Dennis Lengsfeld 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in an up and down third set in which Chaplin won five games in a row, lost four and then served for the match a final time at 5-4 on court 4.
"I'm very proud of the team and how much they competed for each other tonight," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "That was probably the most impressive part of the evening for me."
Tennessee started the match by winning the doubles point for the first time in four matches.
Jones and Chaplin won their sixth consecutive match together on court 2 with an 8-4 win against Lengsfeld and Lucas Lopasso, but Auburn evened up the competition when Fickey and junior Taylor Patrick lost 8-5 to Daniel Cochrane and Lucas Ollert on court 3.
Reese and fellow freshman Mikelis Libietis snapped their three-match losing streak by rallying from down a break to beat 16th-ranked Andreas Mies and Alex Stamchev 8-6 to clinch the doubles point.
Auburn took command early in singles by taking four of six first sets with Fickey and Jones the only Vols to win the opening frame.
The Tigers tied the match 1-1 when Lopasso defeated senior Bryan Swartz 6-2, 6-1 on court 6. Tennessee regained the lead with a 6-3, 6-3 win by Fickey against Cochrane on court 2, snapping a two-match losing streak.
The score was tied again at 2-2 after Libietis was broken in his final service game to fall 6-2, 7-5 to No. 27 Mies at the top of the lineup.
Jones gave the Vols the lead for good when he broke Ollert in the last game to earn the 6-2, 7-5 on court 5 to improve to 7-2 in SEC play. With Reese still early in his third set, all attention moved to court 4, where Chaplin was trying to regain momentum.
Chaplin rolled to a 5-0 lead in the third set and served for the match against Lengsfeld, but the contest was far from over. Lengsfeld broke Chaplin twice and rattled off four games in a row to make it 5-4.
Serving for the match a final time, Chaplin did not convert his first two match points but made good on the third, winning a battle at the net with Lengsfeld rocketing a volley long to end it.
"A lot of the strategy goes out the window in that situation; it's very emotion based," Chaplin said. "You just have to stay focused. The way I came back there and won the match, I played to win and that's what the coaches ask of us. I think our team as a whole did a very good job of playing to win tonight."
After Tennessee had secured the win, Reese defeated No. 77 Stamchev 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 on court 2.
The Vols finish the weekend road trip at Alabama on Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern. There are only two regular-season matches left: at Alabama and at home next week against fourth-ranked Georgia.
"We're going to push on and have a good practice tomorrow and get ready for an Alabama team that looks rejuvenated," Winterbotham said. "They look like they're playing much better, and that's going to be a challenge for us on Sunday. We can't overlook anybody."
Tennessee 5, Auburn 2
1. #27 Andreas Mies (AU) def. #42 Mikelis Libietis (UT), 6-2, 7-5
2. #92 Hunter Reese (UT) def. #77 Alex Stamchev (AU), 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
3. Brandon Fickey (UT) def. Daniel Cochrane (AU), 6-3, 6-3
4. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Dennis Lengsfeld (AU), 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
5. Edward Jones (UT) def. Lukas Ollert (AU), 6-2, 7-5
6. Lucas Lopasso (AU) def. Bryan Swartz (UT), 6-2, 6-1
1. #8 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) def. #16 Andreas Mies/Alex Stamchev (AU), 8-6
2. Edward Jones/Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Dennis Lengsfeld/Lucas Lopasso (AU), 8-4
3. Daniel Cochrane/Lukas Ollert (AU) def. Brandon Fickey/Taylor Patrick (UT), 8-5
Order of Finish: Singles (6,3,1,5,4*,2); Doubles (2,3,1)