March 27, 2013
Sophomore Mikelis Libietis was named the SEC Player of the Week after leading the fifth-ranked Vols to victories over top-15 Kentucky and Vanderbilt last weekend, the conference office announced Wednesday.
Libietis put together a 4-0 weekend between singles and doubles play, all at the top of the lineup.
He clinched the Vols' 4-1 victory at Kentucky, handing the Wildcats their first road loss in more than a season by coming back to beat No. 31 Anthony Rossi 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3. On Sunday, he defeated No. 25 Ryan Lipman 6-3, 6-2 in the Vols' 4-2 win over Vanderbilt.
In doubles, he and fellow sophomore Hunter Reese extended their record to 6-0 in SEC play. They beat 23rd-ranked Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai 8-5 on Friday and then rolled ahead of Lipman and Marc Van der Merwe 8-3 on Sunday.
As a result of the weekend, Libietis has climbed the national rankings in both singles (No. 3) and doubles with Reese (No. 7).
In his second season playing at the No. 1 singles and doubles positions, Libietis has become the Vols' most consistent winner in the lineup. He is 30-4 in singles this season, including 5-0 in SEC play. He won just 20 matches his entire freshman year and was 4-7 in the SEC.
Libietis is the first Vol to receive a weekly SEC award this season. He was named SEC Freshman of the Week three times last year.
Tennessee hosts Texas A&M on Friday at 3 p.m. on campus at Barksdale Stadium. Admission is free.