The Tennessee men’s tennis team swept the weekly SEC awards following its victory over third-ranked Georgia this past weekend, as the conference office announced that Kaden Hensel was player of the week and Matteo Fago was freshman of the week.
“Kaden and Matteo are certainly deserving of these honors,” head coach Sam Winterbotham said. “I’m very happy for Kaden, I couldn’t have scripted senior day any better than to have your lone senior clinch the win over the third-ranked team in the country.”
Hensel put the finishing touches on Tennessee’s 4-3 win over third-ranked Georgia, as the senior from Mudgeeraba, Australia came-from-behind to defeat third-ranked Travis Helgeson at the No. 1 position. The 2007 All-America selection dropped the first set to Helgeson but battled back to win the second and went up 5-3 in the final set before running into trouble as he tried to serve out the match. Hensel fell behind 0-40 as he served for the win but rallied to win the next five points and clinch the UT victory.
Fago helped the Vols regain momentum in its match against the Bulldogs. UT fell behind 2-1 early in singles play and had all the momentum when the freshman won at the No. 5 position to tie the match and help setup UT’s win. With the win, Fago finishes with an 11-0 record during SEC dual-match play and has won his last 13 singles matches. The Ceprano, Italy native was dominant in conference play as nine of the 11 wins were in straight-sets. Fago teamed up with fellow freshman Boris Conkic to clinch the doubles point for UT. Conkic and Fago are 6-1 this season at the No. 3 position in the lineup.
“Matteo has been playing great tennis for us,” Winterbotham said. “He is a great person and somebody that I’m proud to have representing Tennessee tennis. I think it’s wonderful that he is getting some recognition for the hard work he has put in this season.”
The Tennessee men’s tennis team begins the SEC tournament on Friday in Fayetteville, Ark. The Vols are the No. 3 seed and will face the winner of the LSU-Mississippi State match at 9:30 a.m. ET. Live scoring can be found at hogwired.com or UTsports.com.