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Libietis, Reese Lose in NCAA Singles



May 21, 2014


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ATHENS, Ga. -- Playing side by side at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, juniors Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese could not get the breaks they needed Wednesday to start the NCAA Singles Championships.

Libietis won the first set in a tiebreaker but could not break his opponent's serve over the final two sets, losing to Baylor's Diego Galeano 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-3 in a match that lasted nearly three hours.

Reese took the court nearly two hours later and lost to No. 2-seeded Marcos Giron 6-1, 6-1 in a rematch from the fall. He had multiple break points in Giron's early service games, but the UCLA senior dug his way out of trouble and took control on the scoreboard.

The two Vols now turn their attention to the doubles tournament, which starts Thursday. Libietis and Reese, seeded No. 2, face 47th-ranked Ravi Patel and Robin Goodman in the opening round.

The times will be released later today.

Libietis' match again Galeano started out strong. Both players avoided break points, and Libietis held serve at 5-6 to force a tiebreaker. After trailing early, Libietis reeled off the last four points to take the tiebreaker and the opening set 7-6 (3).

Similar play continued in the second set, but Libietis double faulted twice at 5-5 to give Galeano the lead. Galeano served out the set and broke Libietis serve at 2-2 in the third set. He managed to retain his lead for the rest of the match.

The first meeting this season between Reese and Giron had been a close one. Giron won the matchup 7-6 (3), 6-3 at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in the consolation semifinals. The two had also faced in college at the 2013 ITA National Team Indoor Championships, which resulted in a straight-set win for Giron.

Libietis ends the year with a 23-15 record in singles, and Reese is 25-10.

In doubles, the Vols are looking for another strong performance in a college major. They won the ITA All-American and reached the finals of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships during the fall. They are 31-5.

 

 

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