April 11, 2014
Auburn, Ala.--Andrew Dromsky and Bartosz Sawicki collected their first SEC wins of the season to help the 21st-ranked Tennessee Volunteers to a 4-2 victory at No. 29 Auburn on Friday night.
Dromsky and Mikelis Libietis won in straight sets on courts 5 and 2 respectively to put the Vols (16-9, 5-6 SEC) up 3-0 early. After Auburn (14-11, 4-7 SEC) stormed back to cut the deficit to 3-2, Sawicki sealed the match by winning the last two sets to give UT the match-winning point on court 5.
"Everyone's coming together at the right time," said associate head coach Chris Woodruff. "We were very competitive in all the matches. The guys are really coming together. If they keep coming together, we're going to have a good finish to our season."
Sawicki was one of four Vols to drop their first sets to the Tigers, but bounced back by winning 12 of the next 15 games to pull out a huge 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 win. With teammate Jarryd Chaplin rallying back from the brink of defeat on court 4, Sawicki jumped out to a big lead quickly and held off fellow Eastern European Petar Tomic.
Sawicki returned to the Tennessee singles and doubles lineups in recent weeks, but Friday marked his first singles win in conference play.
"Bart's a good example of resiliency," said Woodruff. "He continued to hit tennis balls and work hard. You never know when your number is going to get called."
Dromsky swept Auburn's Dante Saleh 6-3, 6-3 to pick up his first win since defeating RJ Evangelista of Pepperdine at the ITA National Indoor Championships in Houston last February. Dromsky had previously been on a 10-match winless streak, including five unfinished matches.
"That was a huge turning point for us," said Woodruff. "To see Dromsky get off the court first was a real boost to everybody. He was very efficient (and) I was pleased with his performance."
The Martinez, Ga., native also helped contribute in the doubles point for the Vols. He and partner Jarryd Chaplin won their third match together to go 3-0 as a team by defeating Dennis Lengsfeld and Lukas Ollert, 8-6, in a back-and-forth affair.
The No. 1 doubles pair of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese took care of No. 60 Daniel Cochrane and Oliver Plaskett, 8-4, to secure the doubles point. The duo now have won their 30th match of the season, continuing their 20-match SEC winning streak dating back to their freshman seasons.
The Big Orange travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for Sunday's regular season finale against the No. 33 Alabama Crimson Tide at 2 p.m. Knoxville time.
No. 21 Tennessee 4, No. 29 Auburn 0
1. No. 71 Lukas Ollert (AUB) def. No. 23 Hunter Reese (UT) 6-4, 6-3
2. No. 37 Mikelis Libietis (UT) def. No. 61 Daniel Cochrane (AUB) 6-1, 7-5
3. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) v. Dennis Lengsfeld (AUB) 4-6, 6-6 unfinished
4. Joseph Van Dooren (AUB) def. Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-1, 6-5 def.
5. Andrew Dromsky (UT) def. Dante Saleh (AUB) 6-3, 6-3
6. Bartosz Sawicki (UT) def. Petar Tomic (AUB) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
1. No. 1 Libietis/Reese def. No. 60 Cochrane/Plaskett (AUB) 8-4
2. Chaplin/Dromsky (UT) def. Lengsfeld/Ollert (AUB) 8-6
3. Sawicki/Fickey (UT) v. Saleh/Van Dooren (AUB) 5-5 unfinished
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (5,2,4,1,6)