Vols Get Back to Winning Ways; Top Vanderbilt, 4-3

April 12, 2009

The fourth-ranked Tennessee men's tennis team rebounded from its tough loss Friday to hold off a pesky Vanderbilt squad 4-3 Sunday afternoon at the Commodores' Currey Tennis Center. The win gives Tennessee one of the four first round byes in the SEC Tournament that begins in two weeks.

"It's always good to win on the road," head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "Obviously, this was a tough weekend trip for us. We played two teams that both played very well. I thought Vanderbilt played and competed very hard today. At the same time, I think we also competed a lot better today.

"We're going to get back to Knoxville, regroup, and get ready for an exciting match against Georgia."

The Vols (19-4, 8-2 SEC) won all three doubles matches to capture the point and take a 1-0 lead into singles. Matt Brewer and Christian Hansen defeated Alex DiValerio and Bryant Salcedo, 8-5 for UT's first victory. John-Patrick Smith and Bryan Swartz clinched the point with an 8-2 win over Nick Cromydas and Vijay Paul. Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago finished the doubles competition by defeating 46th-ranked Adam Baker and Alex Zotov, 8-5 at the No. 1 position. The victory marked the second consecutive match where Conkic and Fago defeated a ranked doubles opponent.

Smith opened singles play by dominating Paul, 6-2, 6-0 to put Tennessee up 2-0. The UT sophomore improves to 14-5 this season in dual-match play.

Vanderbilt (5-15, 1-9 SEC) would not go away, though, as the Commodores won at positions six and five to tie the match. DiValerio defeated Christopher Williams 6-2, 6-4 to put VU on the board and Zotov tied it with a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Hansen.



Conkic helped UT regain the lead with a 7-6, 6-0 victory over Salcedo at the No. 2 position. The 33rd-ranked Vol got off to a slow start, falling behind 3-0 in the first set before charging back late in the set to win in a tiebreaker. The Serbia native rolled in the second set to win the match and improve his dual-match record this season to 17-2, 8-1 in the SEC.

The Commodores made one final push as Baker bounced back from a one-set deficit to defeat Brewer, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4.

Fago clinched the match for UT with a straight-set win over Cromydas at the No. 3 position. Fago, who lost his first regular season SEC dual-match on Friday, is now 17-1 this season in dual-match play.

The Big Orange play their final regular season match Saturday at fifth-ranked Georgia. A link to live scoring can be found at UTsports.com.

No. 4 Tennessee 4, No. 52 Vanderbilt 3
1.No. 9 John-Patrick Smith (UT)def.Vijay Paul (VU)6-2, 6-0
2.No. 33 Boris Conkic (UT)def.Bryant Salcedo (VU)7-6(2), 6-0
3.Matteo Fago (UT)def.Nick Cromydas (VU)7-5, 6-2*
4.Adam Baker (VU)def.Matt Brewer (UT)3-6, 6-3, 6-3
5.Alex Zotov (VU)def.Christian Hansen (UT)6-2, 7-6(2)
6.Alex DiValerio (VU)def.Christopher Williams (UT)6-2, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1,6,5,2,4,3*
1.Conkic/Fago (UT)def.No. 46 Baker/Zotov (VU)8-5
2.Smith/Swartz (UT)def.Cromydas/Paul (VU)8-2
3.Brewer/Hansen (UT)def.DiValerio/Salcedo (VU)8-5
Order of Finish: 3,2,1


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