May 16, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. -- After losing a close doubles point, the Tennessee Volunteers could not turn the tide in singles in a 4-0 loss to UCLA in the round of 16 at the NCAA Tennis Championships.
Sixth-seeded UCLA, tournament finalists last year, eventually collected the three singles points they needed in a three-and-a-half-hour victory at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
"For us, we needed that doubles point," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "We got down early in singles and we couldn't ever recover. I'm proud of how hard we fought. We were a little outmanned tonight." The Vols (19-11) end their season with their sixth trip to the NCAA final site in eight seasons. Tennessee earned a spot in the round of 16 by advancing from a road regional for the first time in program history, knocking off 11th-seeded Duke on Sunday.
Doubles proved to be crucial for the Vols. UCLA won 8-3 on court 3 and looked poised to finish on court 2 before the Vols started turning the momentum. Trailing 6-3, Jarryd Chaplin and Andrew Dromsky won four of the final five games to force a tiebreaker.
UCLA's Adrien Puget and Karue Sell won the court 2 tiebreaker 7-3 to clinch the doubles point and give UCLA the 1-0 lead.
"I think we would have made things interesting had we had that tiebreaker in doubles. We thought our No. 1 doubles team played super. Jarryd and Andrew fought very hard to get that chance. UCLA is incredibly talented, and you can't dig yourself a hole."
UCLA featured five nationally ranked players in the lineup, including the No. 1 and 2 ranked players in the country in Clay Thompson and Giron.
Points eventually fell into place for the Bruins. No. 71 Gage Brymer beat Brandon Fickey 6-2, 6-2 on court 4, Adrien Puget defeated Dromsky 6-4, 6-2 on court 5 and Giron clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Libietis.
Reese, who was looking for his fourth top-10 victory over the year, lost a tiebreaker to Thompson at the top of the lineup and trailed 3-0 in the second set when the match ended.
Reese and Libietis still have some tennis to play in Athens. Both are in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, which begin Wednesday.
UCLA 4, Tennessee 0
1.#1 Clay Thompson (UCLA) vs.#27 Hunter Reese (TENNESSEE), 7-6(3), 3-0, unf.
2.#2 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def.#34 Mikelis Libietis (TENNESSEE), 6-3, 6-3
3.#35 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) vs.Jarryd Chaplin (TENNESSEE), 6-4, 4-3, unf.
4.#71 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def.Brandon Fickey (TENNESSEE), 6-2, 6-2
5.Adrien Puget (UCLA) def.Andrew Dromsky (TENNESSEE), 6-4, 6-2
6.#95 Karue Sell (UCLA) vs.Bartosz Sawicki (TENNESSEE), 6-2, 5-4, unf.
1.#2 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (TENNESSEE) led #10Marcos Giron/Mackenzie McDonald(UCLA), 7-2 unf.
2.Adrien Puget/Karue Sell(UCLA) vs.Jarryd Chaplin/Andrew Dromsky (TENNESSEE), 8-7(3)
3.Joseph Di Giulio/Clay Thompson(UCLA) def.Brandon Fickey/Bartosz Sawicki (TENNESSEE), 8-3
Order of Finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,5,2).