April 18, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. -- As the seventh-ranked Vols get ready to start the SEC Tournament, here's a look at some news and notes on the Tennessee front:
THE FIRST OPPONENT IS...
As the No. 2 seed in the tournament, the Vols have a bye into the quarterfinals on Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern (noon Central). Tennessee will play the winner of today's match between Auburn and Vanderbilt. In the regular season, the Vols defeated Auburn 4-0 and earlier in the year beat Vanderbilt 4-2. Both matches were played in Knoxville.
WRAPPING UP THE FINAL WEEKEND
The Vols enter this tournament on a definite upswing after a strong finish to the regular season. Tennessee defeated Alabama 4-1 and the shut out then-No. 18 Auburn 4-0.
Senior Edward Jones got his conference season back on track with a pair of singles wins to lead the Vols across both days. Junior Jarryd Chaplin was also on his A game on court 3, winning all three of his singles and doubles matches there as Tennessee finished the regular season 21-7, 8-4.
FROM ZERO TO THREE
Sophomores Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese were the Vols' top team a year ago as freshman. To solidify the rest of the lineup, they were split and played with other partners throughout the fall and half of the spring season. In the second week of SEC play, however, the duo was reunited at the top of the lineup and haven't looked back.
In a month, Libietis and Reese went from unranked to No. 3 nationally in doubles, their highest ranking ever. They went 10-0 together with seven ranked wins against a conference loaded with top doubles pairings.
LIBIETIS ROLLS ON AT NO. 1
In singles and doubles, Libietis has put together a strong year so far at No. 1 singles and doubles. During dual match play, he is 19-2 in singles (8-1 in the SEC) and 19-4 in doubles (10-1 in the SEC). Last year, Libietis won just 20 matches in singles the entire year. Now he is 33-5 and ranked No. 3 nationally.
Tennessee's first two SEC Tournament trophies came when the Vols hosted the tournament in Knoxville. The 1990 season marked the first that the SEC awarded titles for the regular season and the tournament, which took on its present-day form that year.
The Vols made history in the 2010 tournament, becoming the first team to ever win the tournament by shutting out every opponent 4-0. The Vols won both titles and eventually reached the NCAA final, just like they did in 1990.