April 16, 2004
AUBURN, Ala. - Tennessee's No. 15-ranked men's tennis team suffered a 5-2 setback at Auburn Friday evening at the Luther Young Tennis Complex. With the loss, the Volunteers slip to 12-7 (5-5 SEC).
Things went Tennessee's way early in the match, as the Vols used doubles wins from the No. 17-ranked team of Simon Rea and Damien Spizzo at the No. 1 position and Mark Dietrich and Wade Orr at the No. 3 spot to clinch the doubles point for the 16th time in 19 dual matches this season (including each of the last six).
After taking a 1-0 lead into singles play, however, the Vols found themselves up against a determined Auburn squad that was fueled by a vocal and supportive crowd.
The Tigers tied the match at 1-1 when Auburn's Gabor Zoltan Pelva, the nation's No. 29-ranked collegiate singles player, downed No. 33-ranked Rea in straight sets.
The next point on the scoreboard went to Tennessee, as freshman Matt Berry defeated Auburn's Brett Hunter 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 6 position. Berry's victory concluded UT's scoring for the day, as the No. 43-ranked Tigers rattled off four consecutive singles wins en route to a 5-2 upset victory.
Auburn freshman Robert Lathouwers netted the clinching point for the Tigers by edging UT's Ockie Oosthuizen in three sets at the No. 3 spot.
Tennessee now heads to the northwest part of the state to do battle with No. 35-ranked Alabama Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The match versus the Crimson Tide marks the Vols' final regular-season contest.
No. 43 Auburn 5, No. 15 Tennessee 2
1) No. 17 Rea/Spizzo (UT) def. No. 51 Pelva/Schweizer (AU), 8-6
2) Lathouwers/Minozzo (AU) def. Oosthuizen/B. Rogers (UT), 8-4
3) Dietrich/Orr (UT) def. Hunter/Lane (AU),8-6
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
1) No. 29 Gabor Zoltan Pelva (AU) def. No. 33 Simon Rea (UT), 6-1, 6-1
2) Alex Schweizer (AU) def. Mark Dietrich (AU), 7-6, 7-6
3) Robert Lathouwers (AU) def. No. 114 Ockie Oosthuizen (UT), 3-6, 6-3, 6-1*
4) Nick Lane (AU) def. Damien Spizzo (UT), 6-4, 6-4
5) Rodrigo Minozzo (AU) def. Kiril Tcherveniachki (UT), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
6) Matt Berry (UT) def. Brett Hunter (AU), 6-4, 6-3
Order of finish: 1, 6, 4, 2, 3*, 5
* Clinching point