April 6, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. -- The 19th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers hit the opposing courts for their final regular-season trip of the year against Auburn on Friday and Alabama on Sunday.
The Vols (12-10, 4-4 SEC) have only three SEC matches left on the schedule, so the road trip will weigh heavily in the team's seeding at the conference tournament in two weeks.
Tennessee's match against 16th-ranked Auburn begins at 6 p.m. Eastern as the Tigers attempt to improve their home record to 8-0. Sunday's match at Alabama starts at 2 p.m. Eastern.
The Vols have played only three true road matches and have a 2-1 record with wins at South Carolina and most recently at Arkansas. Tennessee loss came in an evening match against Florida 4-3.
For news and notes on the weekend matches:
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Vols split their home matches last week in Knoxville against Vanderbilt and Kentucky. They defeated Vanderbilt 5-2 in a match that started outdoors and was finished inside with three-set wins by freshmen Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese and senior Bryan Swartz. On Sunday, the Vols took a 7-0 loss to then-No. 7 Kentucky with two of the matches going three sets.
Tennessee is looking for a turnaround in doubles, having lost the opening point the last three matches. Despite the early deficits, the Vols won two of those contests.
A LOOK AT NO. 2 DOUBLES
The Vols have been sliding around different players in the last two positions in the doubles lineup throughout the season, but they have found a winning combination at No. 2: junior Edward Jones and sophomore Jarryd Chaplin.
The Vol duo, the most experienced returning players for the Vols this season, teamed up for a win against Baylor on March 17 and have been winning together ever since. They are 5-0 in dual matches, including 4-0 in SEC play.
Jones has been a mainstay in doubles his entire career and recorded his 60th career doubles win last week against Vanderbilt. He is now 61-33 in his career, including 16-9 this year with four different partners.
BACK TO ALABAMA
The Vols have already played -- and won -- three matches this season in the state of Alabama, cutting an unbeaten path through round robin competition at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. Mississippi State eventually won that tournament by beating Tennessee in Knoxville in their regularly schedule match.
The last few years, Tennessee has faced Auburn and Alabama near the beginning of the home schedule. The Vols opened the conference season against them in 2010 and 2011.
In 2011, Tennessee defeated Alabama 6-1 at home and finished the weekend with a 5-2 victory against Auburn. Aside from the team wins, the highlight of the matches was John-Patrick Smith becoming Tennessee's all-time doubles wins leader.
Jones is the only current Vol to have played in those matches. He went 2-0 on court 6 singles and 1-1 in doubles with Matteo Fago on court 3.
LAST TIME AGAINST AUBURN
Tennessee 5, Auburn 2
March 6, 2011
1. #13 John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. #23 Tim Puetz (AU) 6-3, 6-2
2. #3 Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Tim Hewitt (AU) 7-5, 7-6 (4)
3. #35 Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. #104 Alex Stamchev (AU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Daniel Cochrane (AU) def. #41 Matteo Fago (UT) 6-3, 6-4
5. #117 Andreas Mies (AU) def. #113 Boris Conkic (UT) 7-6, 7-6
6. Edward Jones (UT) def. Lucas Lopasso (AU) 6-2, 7-6
1. #1 Boris Conkic/John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. #43 Tim Puetz/Daniel Cochrane (AU) 8-6
2. #55 Tennys Sandgren/Rhyne Williams (UT) def. #46 Andreas Mies/Alex Stamchev (AU) 8-4
3. Rafael Rondino/Lucas Lopasso (AU) def. #52 Matteo Fago/Edward Jones (UT) 9-8 (1)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,6,4,3,2,5)
LAST TIME AGAINST ALABAMA
Tennessee 6, Alabama 1 March 4, 2011
1. #13 John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. Ricky Doverspike (UA) 6-1, 7-6 (2)
2. #3 Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Jarryd Botha (UA) 6-3, 6-3
3. #35 Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Vikram Reddy (UA) 6-1, 6-1
4. Daniil Proskura (UA) def. #41 Matteo Fago (UT) 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 1-0 (8)
5. #113 Boris Conkic (UT) def. Michael Thompson (UA) 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (0)
6. Edward Jones (UT) def. Ian Chadwell (UA) 6-2, 7-5
1. #1 Boris Conkic/John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. Ricky Doverspike/Jarryd Botha (UA) 8-2
2. #55 Tennys Sandgren/Rhyne Williams (UT) def. #62 Vikram Reddy/Michael Thompson (UA) 8-3
3. #52 Matteo Fago/Edward Jones (UT) def. Daniil Proskura/Trey Walston (UA) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,2,1,6,5,4)