Sept. 28, 2002
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -- Rainy skies finally gave way Friday, allowing the University of Tennessee men's tennis team a chance to get back into the swing of things at the adidas Invitational.
After inclement weather delayed all but two Volunteer matches Friday, Tennessee saw six players compete in fifteen matches Friday evening and early Saturday. Two Volunteers, Simon Rea and Mark Dietrich, have earned spots in the "A" flight consolation semifinals.
After winning his first-round match in the "A" flight Friday afternoon, Wade Orr defeated Blake Baratz, from Wisconsin, 6-3, 6-3. Orr then went on to lose 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinal round to the No. 1 seed, Duke's Michael Yani.
Junior Simon Rea rebounded from yesterday's matches later this afternoon by overtaking Arizona State's Clinton Letcher in the consolation bracket by a score of 6-2, 6-4. Rea then went on to claim a spot in the "A" flight consolation semifinals by notching a win against Wisconsin's Scott Green 6-3, 6-1.
Mark Dietrich, the other Vol competing in the "A" flight, joins Rea in the consolation semis. Dietrich opened up things with a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Duke's Ludovic Walter. Once in the consolation bracket, Dietrich dispatched Northwestern senior Josh Axler 6-4, 6-2. In his next match, Dietrich outplayed Duke's Jonathan Stokke 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 to earn his place in the consolation semifinals.
In the "B" flight, Mark Henderson got off to a winning start against Northwestern's Russell Bennett, recording a 6-2, 6-1 victory. Henderson lost his next match however, dropping a 7-5, 6-3 decision to Ryan Heinberg from Duke The Vol sophomore managed to right the ship against his next opponent in the consolation bracket, defeating Heinberg's Blue Devil teammate, Darin Goldstein, 6-2, 6-1.
Two Vol netters saw their first collegiate action Friday night. Freshman Vincent Perna got his Tennessee career off to a fast start, storming all the way to the semifinals in the "B" flight. Northwestern's Justin Hoeveler was Perna's first victim, losing to the New York native 6-1, 6-2. Perna then outplayed Arizona State's Jonathan Scott 7-6, 6-3. The freshman's impressive run was finally brought to a halt on Saturday, when Perna was forced to default his semifinal match against Texas Christian University's Jacob Martin. The young Vol trailed 7-5, 3-1 when an ankle injury forced him to retire.
Rawl Martin, Tennessee's other freshman netter, began his Volunteer career against TCU's Daniel Scholten. Martin lost by a score of 6-1, 6-1. In Martin's next match, he was defeated by Duke freshman Stefan Rozycki 6-2, 6-2.
Tennessee Associate Head Coach Chris Mahony was happy with his team's effort through the opening rounds of play, but found plenty of room for improvement.
"I'm proud of our guys; they're fighting hard," Mahony said. "I don't think any of them are playing their best tennis, but for the most part, we're competing as hard as we can and looking to improve."
Doubles play will begin Saturday night, with two rounds taking place before the flight is completed on Sunday. Singles semifinals and finals are also to take place Sunday.