March 2, 2010
The Tennessee Volunteers remained the only school with two doubles teams ranked among the nation's top five, according to ITA rankings released Tuesday.
Senior Davey Sandgren and junior John-Patrick Smith, who finished last season as the No. 1-ranked team, rose to second this week following their 11th consecutive victory. Junior Boris Conkic and freshman Rhyne Williams climbed from six to fifth after notching their 18th win of the year.
Conkic and Smith, previously ranked fifth, remained in the top 10 as a pairing although they have played only five matches together and have not been paired since October.
The Vols (11-1) remained second in the first computer-calculated team rankings of the season after rallying to defeat Wake Forest 4-3 on the road Sunday. Previous rankings had been formulated based on polling.
Virginia stayed first in the team rankings. Stanford's Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher returned the top spot in doubles.
Tennessee has won the doubles point in all 12 matches this season, and consistent play from the top two positions has been a major factor. Sandgren and Smith are 9-0 at the No. 1 position this spring with wins over four ranked opponents. Conkic and Williams are 9-0 in dual match play as well, with eight of the wins coming in the No. 2 spot.
With Sunday's win over No. 12 Iain Atkinson and Steve Forman, Sandgren and Smith improved to 22-3 this season and have 61 career wins as a pairing, good for third on the career wins list. Sandgren needs just one more win to record the 100th of his doubles career at UT. Smith is not far behind with 91 doubles wins to go along with his 94 in singles.
Conkic and Williams now have an 18-2 record in doubles.
Texas is the only other team to have two pairings in the top 20.
Coming Up Next
The Vols kick off Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a two-match road trip through the state of Alabama. Tennessee plays Auburn on Friday at 3 p.m. and Alabama on Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern. A live, interactive blog of both matches will be available at UTSports.com.
New team rankings will come out March 9, and the next round of individual rankings will be released March 16. New ITA Ohio Valley Regional rankings will be announced Thursday.
No. 2 - D. Sandgren/Smith
No. 5 - Conkic/Williams
No. 6 - Conkic/Smith