April 24, 2005
The Tennessee men's tennis team fell to the No. 5 Florida Gators 4-2 Sunday to end an incredible run at the SEC championships. The No. 5-seed Vols won three matches in as many days to advance to the championship match at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
"We are happy with the run we made in the tournament getting all the way to the final," acting head coach Chris Mahony said. "But also disappointed that we didn't win the tournament, we had our chances against a great Florida team we got the momentum early with the doubles point and split the first set, they got three matches and we got three matches but we couldn't keep it going in the second and third sets."
For the fourth straight match, the Volunteers dominated in doubles. Sophomore duo Ockie Oosthuizen and Ben Rogers rebounded from a tough loss Saturday, to beat No. 10 Hamid Mirzadeh and Greg Ouellette 8-4 at the No. 1 position. Freshmen tandem Bobby Cameron and Kaden Hensel clinched the doubles point with their win at the No. 3 slot over Nestor Briceno and Jordan Dolberg. Cameron and Hensel finished the SEC tournament 4-0 in doubles. The Vols overall concluded play in the tournament 10-1 in doubles matches and captured the doubles point in all four matches.
The Gators singles lineup features three players currently ranked and two players that have been ranked in previous polls, in its match against the Vols just three weeks earlier the Gators had swept all six singles matches. The Gators quickly tied the score at one apiece with Briceno's win over UT freshman Morgan Wilson 6-3, 6-0. Hamid Mirzadeh, the Gator's No. 1 singles player, put Florida ahead 2-1 with his win over Mark Dietrich 6-4, 6-4.
The Vols would tie the score at two when Oosthuizen, who had lost in straight sets to Vladimir Obradovic in the UT loss to Florida three weeks ago, defeated the 103rd-ranked Obradovic 7-6, 6-3.
The SEC championship would come down to three matches that were all going to third sets. Ouellette would put the Gators up for good with his come-from-behind win over Cameron 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Gator junior Ryan Sherry clinched the match for the Gators with his 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 win over Hensel at No. 6 singles.
During its four day run to the SEC championship match, Tennessee avenged 2 regular season losses.
Tennessee (14-8) will next be in action in the NCAA tournament. The Vols find out May 4 where and who they will play. The NCAA Regionals are scheduled to run from May 13-15.
No. 5 Florida 4 No. 26 Tennessee 2
1. No. 31 Hamid Mirzadeh (UF) def. No. 58 Mark Dietrich (UT) 6-4, 6-4
2. No. 39 Greg Ouellette (UF) def. Bobby Cameron (UT) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Ockie Oosthuizen (UT) def. No. 103 Vladimir Obradovic (UF) 7-6, 6-3
4. Nestor Briceno (UF) def. Morgan Wilson (UT) 6-3, 6-0
5. Chris Brandi (UF) led Kiril Tcherveniachki (UT) 3-6, 7-5, 4-0
6. Ryan Sherry (UF) def. Kaden Hensel (UT) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4,1,3,2,6*
1. No. 11 Oosthuizen/Rogers (UT) def. No. 10 Mirzadeh/Ouellette (UF) 8-4
2. Dietrich/Wilson (UT) tied Briceno/Obradovic (UF) 7-7
3. Cameron/Hensel (UT) def. Brandi/Dolberg (UF) 8-5
Order of Finish: 1,2