Oct. 23, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Sophomore Mikelis Libietis' singles run at the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Championships ended Monday in the title match at the Racquet Club of Memphis.
Entering the final on a career-best 10-match winning streak, Libietis could not capitalize on break point opportunities in a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Vanderbilt senior Ryan Lipman.
Libietis was trying to go for a title sweep, having won the doubles title the day earlier with senior John Collins. The two will represent Tennessee at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November.
Two breaks of serve was all it took for Lipman to take home the regional singles title. Vanderbilt's No. 1, who was sidelined last year with injury, got the breaks early in both sets and held the rest of the way.
Libietis had five break points in the first set, including three on Lipman's opening game, but was unable to convert.
"The best finals are when you've got two great players playing well who really want to win," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "They both want to get both hands on that trophy and don't want to let go. Today, Ryan he wanted to put both hands on that trophy and Mikelis would've have liked to have won.
"That's all it takes. You have to have the determination to give everything you have at that moment."
Despite the loss, Libietis has still put together a strong fall season thus far with a 12-2 record in singles and a 10-1 doubles record. Ranked 15th nationally, he could still make the 32-player National Indoors singles field as an at-large bid.