April 7, 2002
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-- The No. 15-ranked Tennessee tennis team won their second of two weekend matches by identical 6-1 scores Sunday, over visiting and 24th-ranked South Carolina at the Varsity Tennis Center. The Vols, who move to 14-5 overall and 7-3 in SEC play, had defeated No. 10 Florida Friday.
"We knew today was not going to be easy, South Carolina is a very good team," UT head coach Michael Fancutt said. "You are not going to find many 6-1 wins in the SEC and we got two this weekend, so I think we are starting to play at the level we need at the right time. Now we just have to get our guys rested up and ready for Georgia."
The Vols began the match by doing what defending national champion Georgia could not do Friday, that was to take the doubles point from the Gamecocks (13-6, 4-6 SEC). In taking the doubles tally, the Vols won all three doubles matches, a feat they have not duplicated since the Mississippi State match two weeks ago. The duo of Andy Crews and Mark Dietrich began the charge for the Big Orange, with an 8-2 win over David Nelson and Ben Atkinson in the No. 3 match. The 20th-ranked tandem of Simon Rea and Mario Toledo then captured their team-leading third doubles clinching point, with their 8-6 win over Marcus Westman and Angelo Niculescu at No. 1. The pair of Peter Handoyo and Adam Carey then completed the Vol sweep and continued their undefeated doubles stretch with a 9-7 win over Seth Rose and Carl Wermee at No. 2.
The match would start to heat up in the singles segment, with the Gamecocks forcing the Vols to be at their best at every position. Tennessee senior Mario Toledo, who is ranked No. 20 nationally, won his 21st match in his last 23 outings and gave the Vols a 2-0 lead with his hard-fought 7-5, 7-5 win over No. 75 Niculescu at No. 2. The win completed an undefeated weekend for Toledo in both singles and doubles. Sophomore Wade Orr put the Vols within a point of the team victory and raised his singles record to above .500 for the first time this season, with his 6-4, 6-4 win over Rodrigo Pacheco at No. 6. Senior Adam Carey then cliched the match for the Vols, after coming back from a set down to defeat No. 90 Westman in the No. 3 match. Tennessee freshman Mark Dietrich also battled for three sets, before finally defeating Wermee in the No. 4 match. Senior Peter Handoyo, like Toledo, also earned an undefeated weekend, when he defeated No. 55 Seth Rose 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-3 in the match of the day at No. 1. Nelson captured the only Gamecock win of the day, when he handed Rea his second straight loss in the No. 5 match.
"Anytime you can beat Florida and South Carolina in the same weekend that is great," Toledo said. "I know Georgia is going to be a tough task next weekend, but I think the two wins this weekend give us the confidence we need going into the match."
The Vols will be back in
action Saturday, as they host defending national champion and top-ranked Georgia
at 11 a.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center. Admission will be free.
|#15 Tennessee 6, #24 South Carolina 1|
|#1 (9) Peter Handoyo (UT) def. (55) Seth Rose (USC) 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-3|
|#2 (20) Mario Toledo (UT) def. (75) Angelo Niculescu (USC) 7-5, 7-5|
|#3 Adam Carey (UT) def. (90) Marcus Westman (USC) 4-6, 6-0, 6-2*|
|#4 (99) Mark Dietrich (UT) def. Carl Wermee (USC) 6-3, 5-7, 7-5|
|#5 David Nelson (USC) def. Simon Rea (UT) 6-0, 7-5|
|#6 Wade Orr (UT) def. Rodrigo Pacheco (USC) 6-4, 6-4|
|#1 (20) Toledo/Rea (UT) def. Westman/Niculescu (USC) 8-6*|
|#2 Handoyo/Carey (UT) def. Rose/Wermee (USC) 9-7|
|#3 Andy Crews/Dietrich (UT) def. Nelson Ben Atkinson (USC) 8-2|