April 22, 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The second-ranked Tennessee Volunteers earned a quarterfinal victory Friday to start their quest for back-to-back SEC Tournament Championships, but they did not take the most direct path to get there.
The Vols took four first sets and suffered a lull in the second set before holding on for a 4-1 victory over Mississippi at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.
"I thought we started really well, but We got a little loose in the middle and Ole Miss took advantage of that and made it a real match," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "I would have liked us to get ahead and stay ahead. We've got to refocus for tomorrow."
The Vols face host Florida in the semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m. Florida defeated Mississippi State 4-2 in a long quarterfinal match.
After taking the doubles point, the Vols went up 3-1 easily behind quick wins from sophomore Tennys Sandgren and senior John-Patrick Smith. Sandgren beat Chris Thiemann 6-1, 6-3 on court 3, and Smith followed shortly thereafter with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Marcel Thiemann on court 1.
From there, however, the Vols look more than an hour to get that clinching fourth point.
The lower three courts went three sets before senior Matteo Fago finished the match on court 5 with a 6-7, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Johan Backstrom. Freshman Jarryd Chaplin was ahead 6-4, 5-7, 4-1 in the third set when the match ended.
The match started more than an hour later than its 6 p.m. start time and did not end until 11 p.m. It was the Vols' first night match of the season.
The Vols took the doubles point for the fifth consecutive match with solid performances throughout the lineup. Sandgren and Williams started out with an 8-2 victory on court 2 over Jonas Lutjen and Tucker Vorster.
Smith and senior Boris Conkic, the top-ranked team in the country, clinched doubles with an 8-6 win over ninth-ranked Chris and Marcel Thiemann. Fago and Edward Jones led 6-4 on court 3 when their match was suspended.
Tennessee 4, Mississippi 1
1. #11 John-Patrick Smith, UT, def. #37 Marcel Thiemann, UM, 6-1, 6-2
2. #75 Tucker Vorster, UM, def #3 Rhyne Williams, 6-3, 6-4
3. #51 Tennys Sandgren, UT, def. #121 Chris Thiemann, 6-1, 6-3
4. Boris Conkic, UT, vs. Jonas Lutjen, UM, 6-1, 6-7, 0-1 DNF
5. #76 Matteo Fago, UT, def. Johan Backstrom, UM, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0
6. Jarryd Chaplin, UT, vs. Adrian Forberg-Skogeng, 6-4, 5-7, 4-1 DNF
1. #1 Boris Conkic/John-Patrick Smith, UT, def. #9 Chris Thiemann/Marcel Thiemann, UM, 8-6
2. #52 Tennys Sandgren/Rhyne Williams, UT, def. Jonas Lutjen/Tucker Vorster, UM, 8-2
3. Matteo Fago/Edward Jones vs. Johan Backstrom/Adrian Forberg-Skogeng, UM, 6-4 DNF
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (3,1,2,5).