April 13, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The 21st-ranked Tennessee Volunteers closed the tennis regular season on a four-match streak, beating No. 33 Alabama 4-2 on Sunday.
After the Vols took a close doubles point, senior Jarryd Chaplin earned a straight-set victory on court 3 and Sawicki followed shortly after him with a win of his own at the bottom of the lineup. Alabama (12-14, 4-8) eventually cut the Vols' lead to 3-2 before Dromsky clinched the match for the Vols by beating Andrew Goodwin 7-6 (7), 6-4 victory on court 5.
"It seems like we're taking continual steps to get better and better, and I think everybody is supporting each other," Tennessee associate head coach Chris Woodruff said. "It just looks like everything is rounding into form.
"We have been working so hard to try to find the right way to get things done to be successful. It seems like now toward the end of the year, it's happening."
The draw for next week's SEC Championships was released Sunday after the day's conference matches, and the Vols are seeded sixth. They will face Ole Miss on Thursday at 10 a.m. Eastern on Vanderbilt's courts.
The Vols started the day by clinching the doubles point for the fourth consecutive match, though it came about in an usual way.
Sawicki and Brandon Fickey won their first doubles match together in quick fashion 8-3 over Goodwin and Nikko Madregallejo on court 3. A few minutes later, however, the Vols' top-ranked Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese had their 20-match SEC winning streak snapped with an 8-6 loss to Becker O'Shaughnessey and Danill Proskura at the top of the lineup.
Chaplin and Dromsky clinched the doubles point with their fourth win together on court 2, beating Sean Donahue and Stuart Kenyon 8-5.
In singles, the Vols came out winning four of six first sets, but it did not come easily. Reese and Dromsky both dug out close tiebreakers, with Reese rallying from 6-3 down in the tiebreaker to take the opening set 8-6 over 25th-ranked Proskura.
Matches started to fall into place for the Vols as the two first-set tiebreakers came to a close. Chaplin defeated Madregallejo 6-2, 6-4 on court 3 to get off the court first. Sawicki beat Hayes Brewer 6-3, 6-4 on court 6 to put Tennessee ahead 3-0.
"I'm really happy for Bart," Woodruff said. "He played great today in doubles and followed that up with a good singles performance."
Alabama made the score 3-2 when O'Shaughnessey got past Libietis 6-4, 7-6 (6) on court 2 and Stuart Kenyon beat Fickey in an up-and-down three-setter 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 on court 4.
Dromsky and Reese were the last Vols remaining on court when Dromsky produced an opportunity to finish the match.
Dromsky broke Goodwin's serve in a long back-and-forth game that lasted more than 12 minutes to go ahead 5-4 in the second set. After the changeover, the 6-foot-6 lefty from Georgia held serve at love to win 7-6, 6-4 and clinch the match for the Vols.
"I saw a guy who's got some ability," Woodruff said of Dromsky. "He's got a good serve and hits the ball well from the back and is not afraid to transition.
"I'd like to see him settle down just a little bit, but he's young and hasn't been in this environment a long time. Towards the end of today, he handled it very well."
Tennessee has a quick turnaround before the SEC Championships on Wednesday. The Vols reached the finals last year.
#21 Tennessee 4, #33 Alabama 2
1. #23 Hunter Reese (UT) vs. #25 Daniil Proskura (UA) vs. 7-6, (6), 6-5, unfinished
2. #98 B. O'Shaughnessey (UA) def. #37 Mikelis Libietis (UT) 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)
3. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Nikko Madregallejo (UA) 6-2, 6-4
4. Stuart Kenyon (UA) def. Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
5. Andrew Dromsky (UT) def. Andrew Goodwin (UA) 7-6 (9-7), 6-4
6. Bartosz Sawicki (UT) def. Hayes Brewer (UA) 6-3, 6-4
1. #22 B. O'Shaughnessey/Daniil Proskura (UA) def. #1 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) 8-6
2. Jarryd Chaplin/Andrew Dromsky (UT) def. Sean Donohue/Stuart Kenyon (UA) 8-5
3. Brandon Fickey/Bartosz Sawicki (UT) def. Andrew Goodwin/Nikko Madregallejo (UA) 8-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3,6,2,4,5)