Feb. 6, 2014
AN ACC WEEKENDA Look at the Team
- The top four singles starters from 2013 are returning for Tennessee: Mikelis Libietis, Hunter Reese, Jarryd Chaplin and Brandon Fickey. Senior Colton Norton has seen action in doubles.
- Newcomers who've cracked the lineup this spring include: junior Andrew Dromsky, sophomore Bartosz Sawicki, freshman Markus Kerner and freshman Sunay Bhat.
- Sam Winterbotham is in his eighth year as head coach at Tennessee. In that time He and associate head coach Chris Woodruff have compiled a 166-50 record.
- The Vols have two ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams based on fall results. In singles, Hunter Reese is ranked 16th and Mikelis Libietis is 34th. In doubles, Libietis and Reese retained their hold on the No. 1 ranking. Jarryd Chaplin and Brandon Fickey are ranked for the first time at No. 28.
Hunter's Hot Streak
- Despite the unseasonably cold temperatures, Hunter Reese has started 2014 off on a torrent pace. The redshirt junior from Kennesaw, Ga., achieved win No. 70 of his career in Sunday's win over Tulsa.
- Reese, along with partner Mikelis Libietis, moved up to fourth place in doubles win in Tennessee history (55)--first place is 102 by Byron Talbot and Shelby Cannon (1985-88). The No. 1 doubles team in country is 18-2 this season, heading into this ACC weekend.
- The consistent bright spot on the weekend, Reese capped off UT's first road trip of the season with two straight-set wins. On Friday, the No. 16 player in the country picked up the only point in singles against Oklahoma State, defeating Sebastian Sachs, 6-0, 6-4. He concluded the weekend by defeating Tulsa's Clifford Marsland, 6-5 (2), 6-0.
- The first-ever tennis Vol from the small Baltic nation next to Russia has gotten off to a blazing start as well. Markus Kerner is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week after a 7-0 start this season at the No. 6 position.
- The Viljandi, Estonia, native is also 8-0 in doubles matches this calendar year. He and partner Andrew Dromsky won both of their matches over the weekend to clinch the doubles point in both matches in Oklahoma.
- In his last match, an emphatic Kerner picked up a critical point, defeating Tulsa's Daniel Santos 6-1, 6-4.
Previewing the Weekend
- Two top-20 squads enter the Goodfriend Tennis Center this weekend in what will be two highly-contested matches.
- On Friday night, No. 14 Tennessee welcomes the No. 13 Blue Devils of Duke University. Duke comes into the match with a record of 4-2, including an early season stumble against Elon University and former Vol-turned-assistant coach John Collins.
- Tennessee is 11-8 all time vs. the Durham, N.C., school, but lost last season on the road, 4-1. The last time Duke came to Knoxville, UT slipped in 2012, dropping the match 6-1. UT's last win was the season before in 2011, when John-Patrick Smith and company gave the Big Orange a 4-2 win at the 2011 ITA National Indoor Championships in Seattle.
- Two days later, No. 19 Wake Forest comes to Knoxville. The young Demon Deacons (5-1) lost in the ITA Kick-off Weekend to Texas, but has already defeated LSU and ETSU. Sophomores Romain Bogaerts and Pedro Dumonts are both Mississippi State transfers.
- The Vols have beaten WFU three times since 2010 (and are 11-1 all time), including two tight 4-3 victories in Winston-Salem in 2010 and 2013.