Oct. 5, 2013
TULSA, Okla. -- Juniors Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese outlasted TCU in a tiebreaker Saturday to advance to the doubles title match at the ITA All-American Championships.
Libietis and Reese beat the 19th-ranked TCU team of Nick Chappell and Will Stein 8-7 (1) in the top half of the semifinals to reach their first career national championship match.
"I thought the guys did great finding ways to win the match," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "They didn't play particularly well, but they competed really well. Tomorrow we are playing a very talented team. If we compete as we did today, we have a chance."
They will face UCLA's Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald for the All-American title. The match is scheduled to be played best of three sets.
Libietis and Reese will try to become Tennessee's third pair to win the ITA All-American, the first of three individual major championships on the college tennis calendar. John-Patrick Smith and Boris Conkic won in 2009 during Smith's title sweep, and the legendary team of Shelby Cannon and Byron Talbot won in 1986.
With the victory Saturday, Libietis and Reese automatically qualified for the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships in November.
(photo courtesy ITA Tennis/itatennis.com)