Jan. 8, 2011
HONOLULU -- The third-ranked Tennessee Volunteers strengthened its lineup for the spring season this week with the addition of freshman Jarryd Chaplin of Sydney, Australia.
Hunter Reese of Kennesaw, Ga., signed with the Vols in November and has also joined the team after graduating high school early. Reese, who was listed as a blue-chip recruit by Tennisrecruiting.net, is redshirting during the spring season.
For Chaplin, positive results have already started on the court. He officially started his career as a Vol on Thursday with two doubles victories at the No. 2 position against Louisville at the Rainbow Warrior Challenge.
"We're really excited to have Jarryd on the team," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "He's worked really hard to be able to join us in January. To be able to have him here with us in Hawaii, to play his first matches in preseason, is just fantastic. He's a really exciting player and has a lot of international experience."
Tennis has certainly taken Chaplin to all points of the world, but he has also achieved success at home as well. Last year, he played his way through singles qualifying into the main draw in the junior competition at the Australian Open. In doubles, he has reached three semifinals in ITF Futures events in Australia during the past year. He was also a member of Australia's Junior Davis Cup Team in 2008.
By playing at Tennessee, Chaplin joins a strong history of Australian players to wear the orange and white. For the last 22 years, the Vols have had at least one Australian player on the roster, and plenty of them have been successful. Five players during that time have earned All-America Honors.
With one season left, senior John-Patrick Smith of Townsville is already the most decorated Australian player in program history. The reigning SEC Player of the Year has been named All-America three times and has been ranked No. 1 nationally in singles and doubles multiple times.
"What's great about that is that we get to continue to have an Australian in the program," Winterbotham said. "We've got a rich tradition of some great Australians, most recently JP and Kaden Hensel. Now, we hope Jarryd can meet their standards."
Last season, the Vols also added a member after the fall season when Tennys Sandgren joined the program and immediately bolstered the singles lineup, eventually earning All-SEC honors after going 10-0 in conference play from the No. 4 position. This year, Chaplin can add to the depth of the Vols' lineup, which returns five regulars from both the singles and doubles lineups.
"I think we've got a very strong team, so Jarryd's going to have to really work to make a role for himself," Winterbotham said. "We've got great depth of players. One thing we're certain of is that he's at that level. It'll be up to him to settle in quickly and adjust to being a college student and a student-athlete in a new environment.
"We're very impressed with how he's handled the process. He's already the guys on the team's best friend. I'm certain he's going to have a great future at Tennessee."