Sept. 12, 2009
Redshirt freshman Max Stevens won two matches Friday to earn a spot in the Louisville Fall Invitational semifinals as the Tennessee Volunteers wrapped up their first day of competition at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center in Louisville, Ky.
Three of UT's four players participated in their first career collegiate tournament Friday, and all four Vols earned victories in the first round.
"It was a good day for the young guys," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "It's really difficult to get your first college victory, and all three freshmen got that today."
Stevens won two matches in straight sets on his way to the Flight A semifinals. The Dallas native defeated Alex Chen of Tennessee Tech 6-2, 6-2 in the first round, and Stevens won his quarterfinal match 6-1, 6-1 over Eastern Kentucky's Carlos Valdenebro.
True freshman Edward Jones came out on the better end of one of the longer matches of the day. He won in the first round against Matej Zlatkovic of Illinois State 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (13-11). Jones' quarterfinal match also went three sets in a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory against Andrew Carter of tournament host Louisville.
Sophomore Bryan Swartz also competed in Flight A, winning his first match against Greg Anderson of Morehead State 7-5, 7-5. He dropped his quarterfinal match to Tomi Krug of Western Kentucky 6-4, 6-1. Stevens faces Krug in Saturday's semifinal.
Redshirt freshman Taylor Patrick's first match was a three-set victory over Western Kentucky's Priyank Gangadharran 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. Patrick lost to Josh Girling of Tennessee Tech 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.
"I thought Max and Ed played well in both singles matches," Winterbotham said. "There is a lot of improvement to be made, but all four guys are working hard to get better."
Both doubles teams advanced to the semifinals. Jones and Swartz defeated Krug and Currie Martin from Western Kentucky 8-5 in the Flight A bracket. Patrick and Stevens dispatched of Tennessee Tech's Nick Stafford and Justin Kirstein 8-4 in the Flight B bracket.
The Vols continue competition Saturday at the Louisville Fall Invitational. The tournament concludes Sunday.