Saturday marks the final home match for Tennessee senior All-America Kaden Hensel. Hensel represented his native country, Australia, in the World University Games in Bangkok in August of 2007 and did not return to the UT team until January of this year. The All-America is 11-7 in dual-match singles play and 16-3 in doubles play with partner and fellow Australian J.P. Smith in 2008. Hensel was named SEC Player of the Week earlier this season after he clinched UT’s wins over Clemson and Illinois.
‘When talking of Kaden Hensel and how much he has meant to this program over the past 4 seasons, you have to first talk about his qualities as a person,” head coach Sam Winterbotham said. This is a man of impeccable character. He is one of the kindest, most honest, and generous people that I have had the pleasure to coach. He has embraced what it really means to be a member of this program, and continuously gives back to his teammates. He is always there to support and help his teammates when they are in need, and will always think of them before himself. Because of these traits he is beloved by everyone in this program. We are so proud of what he has accomplished in the classroom and on the tennis court, but will always be more proud of the man he has become.”
Hensel came to UT from Mudgeeraba, Australia at the beginning of the 2005 spring season. During his freshman season, he played mostly at the No. 5 and 6 positions in the singles lineup and finished with a 11-8 mark overall. The Vol netter also made a mark in the doubles lineup during his rookie year as he went 13-7 in dual-match play. In Hensel’s sophomore season, he played all over the singles lineup but he truly made his mark on the doubles lineup, where he and partner Bobby Cameron put together an 11-3 mark at the No. 2 position. Hensel broke through in his junior season, as the UT netter earned All-America status while putting together a 28-12 singles record with 15 of those wins coming over ranked players. Hensel remained a threat in doubles also as he and Cameron went 23-12 with 10 wins over ranked opponents.
For his career, Hensel is 43-31 in singles dual-match play and 56-22 in doubles dual-match play.
UT’s 19 wins this season is the most in the regular season by the Vols since the 1993 squad entered the SEC tournament with a 24-10 record.
Georgia has won 40 consecutive dual matches against members of the SEC and can equal the all-time longest Georgia streak of 43 with an unbeaten regular season and an appearance in the SEC Tournament finals. The Bulldogs have won the last two SEC Tournaments and have already earned the No. 1 seed for this year’s tournament.
A Tennessee win guarantees them at least a three seed in next week’s SEC Tournament. A loss and a Florida win would move the Vols to a four seed. UT has clinched a bye into the quarterfinals regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s match. This year’s SEC tournament is scheduled to run April 17-20 in Fayetteville, Ark.
All matches at the University of Tennessee are free and open to the public. Live scoring for those that cannot attend can be found at UTsports.com.