Vols Struggle as Dietrich and Orr Fall at All-American Championships

Oct. 10, 2002


CHATTANOOGA -- Tennessee netters Mark Dietrich and Wade Orr both lost in the first round of singles play at the Icy Hot/ITA Men's All-American Championships Thursday at The Champions Club.

Dietrich and partner Simon Rea lost in doubles action as well.

Orr, who holds an ITA preseason singles ranking of 82nd in the nation, was defeated early Thursday morning by TCU's Toni Gordon 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-1. Gordon is currently ranked 46th nationally. Orr now moves to the consolation draw, where he will face off against the tournament's No. 8 seed, Stanford's David Martin. Martin, who suffered an upset loss in the first round, is the 11th ranked player in the country.

Ranked 48th in the nation, sophomore Mark Dietrich is currently Tennessee's highest-ranked singles player. Like Orr, Dietrich was also outplayed in the opening round of competition, losing to California's Balazs Veress, who holds an ITA ranking of 43rd. Dietrich will now face Louisville's Cody Conley in the consolation bracket.

In doubles competition, the Tennessee duo of 31st-ranked Dietrich and Rea faced the No. 2 seeded team of Oliver Maiberger and Ryan Redondo from San Diego State. The Vols came up short against Aztecs, losing 8-3. Dietrich and Rea then went on to lose in the first round of consolation play to SEC rivals Stephen Mitchell and Maxim Belski from Alabama 8-6.

While Tennessee head coach Michael Fancutt was disappointed in his team's results, he found solace in the fact that his players had gained valuable experience against top-notch competition.



"This is one of four grand slam tournaments of the year," Fancutt said. "And (this event was) good experience for our younger guys, playing against the best players in the country."

In singles, only three of the draw's top-16 seeds failed to advance Thursday, with the most shocking upset suffered by the nation's top-ranked singles player and the event's No. 1 seed, Kentucky's Jesse Witten. Witten was a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 loser to Virginia Tech senior Saber Kadiri. Kadiri, a native of Algeria, is ranked 50th nationally.

In other Tennessee tennis action, three Vol netters are slated to compete in the Georgia Tech Fall Invitational at the Bill Moore Tennis Center in Atlanta this weekend. The event will feature teams from throughout the Southeast playing in two singles draws and a doubles bracket.

Sophomore Mark Henderson will compete out of the "A" singles draw, while freshmen Vincent Perna and Rawl Martin will play out of the "B" singles draw. Having begun the season in impressive fashion, Perna has earned himself a No. 1 seed in this weekends event, giving him a first-round bye.

Competition in the Georgia Tech Fall Invitational will begin Friday morning.



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