Feb. 18, 2010
Just off an appearance in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, the Tennessee Volunteers climbed two positions to second in the latest ITA national rankings.
Individual rankings were also posted for the first time since January. Junior John-Patrick Smith maintained his position at No. 2, and Boris Conkic rose more than 40 spots to No. 21. Four doubles teams were in the rankings -- with three of them in the top six.
The Vols (10-1) are ranked second for the first time under head coach Sam Winterbotham. The team started January ranked fifth but moved up to fourth just before the start of the ITA Indoors.
Virginia, the ITA Indoors champion, unseated Southern California as the top-ranked team in the country. The Southeastern Conference has two additional representatives in the top 10 with Kentucky at No. 9 and Georgia at No. 10.
Smith Stays at No. 2; Conkic Flies up Rankings
Smith has remained second nationally all season and has stayed in the ITA top 10 for almost a full calendar year. The reigning SEC Player of the Week has a 24-5 record this season with 14 of those wins coming against ranked opponents.
The Vols' biggest individual jump in the rankings goes to Conkic, who rose from No. 68 all the way to No. 21, thanks to an ongoing 12-match winning streak. He entered the spring season with a 6-4 record but has since improved to 18-4. He has defeated five ranked opponents since January.
Although freshman Rhyne Williams is currently enjoying an eight-match winning streak, he fell from No. 22 to No. 30. He is second on the Vols with a 22-4 record.
Senior Matt Brewer remain ranked, but he slipped from No. 52 to No. 86.
Three UT Doubles Teams Crowd Top Six
The doubles game has been a source of strength for the Vols this season, and the rankings reflect that success with a stunning three teams in the top six. Of course, there is a little bit of personnel overlap in those rankings.
Smith and senior Davey Sandgren, last year's top pairing in the country, climbed four spots to third. They have won a career-best 10 consecutive matches and have a 21-3 record. Historically, they've been among the most successful in school history and have 60 career wins, good for third on UT's all-time list.
Conkic and Williams, on an eight-match winning streak, leapt up from No. 12 to No. 6. They have a 17-2 record.
Conkic and Smith stayed in the top-10 rankings at No. 5, despite the fact they've only played five matches together this season. Those five matches were all victories on their way to the ITA All-American Championships in October.
Junior Matteo Fago and freshman Tennys Sandgren have started the year 5-1 and debuted at No. 43. It was the first career ranking for Sandgren, who joined the team in January. Fago was ranked 21st with Conkic as a sophomore.
No. 3 - Davey Sandgren/John-Patrick Smith
No. 5 - Boris Conkic/John-Patrick Smith
No. 6 - Boris Conkic/Rhyne Williams
No. 43 - Matteo Fago/Tennys Sandgren