March 8, 2013
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The 10th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers earned their first SEC win of the season Friday, outlasting No. 11 Mississippi State 4-2 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
With the Vols leading 3-2, Reese capitalized on his eighth match point in the third set to beat 59th-ranked Malte Stropp 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and clinch the match for the Vols.
"What I'm most proud of is that we grew," Tennessee associate head coach Chris Woodruff said. "This maturation we're going through right now, at the end of the season, it will pay huge dividends."
The Vols continue their Magnolia State swing Sunday against No. 8 Ole Miss at 2 p.m. Eastern. The Rebels knocked off seventh-ranked Georgia 4-3 on Friday.
"Now looking forward to Ole Miss, our next priority is to have a great practice tomorrow and keep the guys focused," Woodruff said.
The Vols jumped out early in doubles across all three courts, putting out one of their strongest overall performances of the year.
Reese and Mikelis Libietis, recorded their first dual match victory of the season together, beating 24th-ranked Stropp and Jordan Angus 8-3. The sophomore duo, who won 23 matches together last season, started playing again at the top of the lineup last week against Georgia Tech.
Tennessee clinched the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead when Chaplin and Brandon Fickey defeated Bogaerts and Dumont 8-4 on court 3.
"We implemented some things the last six or seven days, put in different philosophies of how we approach competition," Woodruff said. "We revamped how we do doubles. We'd gotten away from some of our core values and the systematic approach that has yielded itself so successful."
In singles, Tennessee took four of six opening sets. Chaplin and Collins both kept their momentum going in the second set to help put the Vols head 3-0. Chaplin defeated No. 93 James Chaudry 6-4, 6-3, and a few minutes later, Collins followed with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Stefan Vinti for his first career SEC victory.
Only the top two courts remain in action: Libietis on court 1 and Reese on court 2.
Reese broke Stropp twice to take a 5-2 lead in the third set when Stropped launched a late match comeback. Stropp fended off seven match points and got back on serve at 5-4, but Reese broke the junior Bulldog to win the match and seal the victory.
Tennessee 4, Mississippi State 2
1. #13 Mikelis Libietis, UT, vs. #23 Romain Bogaerts, MSU, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 4-3 unf.
2. #33 Hunter Reese, UT, def. #59 Malte Stropp, MSU, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. Jordan Angus, MSU, def. #76 Brandon Fickey, UT, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3
4. Jarryd Chaplin, UT, def. #93 James Chaudry, MSU, 6-4, 6-3
5. Zach White, MSU, def. Edward Jones, UT, 6-2, 6-2
6. John Collins, UT, def. Stefan Vinti, MSU, 7-5, 6-1
1. Libietis/Reese, UT, def. #24 Angus/Stropp, MSU, 8-3
2. #34 Collins/Jones, UT, vs. White/Wilkinson, MSU, 6-5 unf.
3. Chaplin/Fickey, UT, def. Borgaerts/Dumont, MSU, 8-4
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (4,6,5,3,2).