Feb. 1, 2012
Mikelis Libietis earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after an undefeated weekend atop the lineup to lead the Vols back to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Libietis recorded critical wins at No. 1 singles and doubles as Tennessee (4-1) defeated Michigan State 4-2 and SEC rival Mississippi 4-3 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend to advance to the 16-team national tournament.
With the Vols trailing Mississippi 3-2, Libietis held his nerve in the final set to defeat the Rebels' redshirt freshman Nik Scholtz 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to tie the match. Doubles partner and fellow freshman Hunter Reese clinched the Tennessee win on court 3, beating Jonas Lutjen in three sets.
Libietis, of Priekul, Latvia, also earned a 6-2, 6-3 win against Michigan State's Denis Bogatov.
Libietis is now 12-2 to start his college career in singles and is 4-1 at the top of the lineup. He is currently ranked No. 125 nationally.
In doubles, Libietis and Reese improved to 10-2 together this season. They beat Michigan State's Austin Brooks and Aaron Pfister 8-4 on Sunday. They followed that performance with an 8-3 victory against Mississippi twins Chris and Marcel Thiemann.
Tennessee hosts Illinois on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Goodfriend Tennis Center. Admission is free and parking is located in lot S-37 around Shelbourne Towers.