April 24, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Tennessee Volunteers are back in the SEC Tournament semifinals for the third consecutive year, taking on Mississippi at approximately 3 p.m. at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Both schools are coming off shutout victories in the quarterfinals. The Vols (24-1) won their 14th consecutive match by sweeping LSU 4-0. Fifth-seeded Mississippi upset host Kentucky 4-0 a few hours earlier.
Last season, the two teams squared off in the title match of the SEC Tournament, with the Rebels winning it 4-2. Mississippi captured both the regular season and tournament titles.
What Happened Last Time?
In their regular-season meeting, the Vols shut out Mississippi for the first time since 1993, winning 7-0 in Knoxville. The box score went something (precisely) like this:
1. John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. Marcel Thiemann (OM), 6-4, 6-1
2. Boris Conkic (UT) def. Tucker Vorster (OM), 7-6 (7-4), 3-3, ret.
3. Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Jonas Lutjen (OM), 6-1, 7-6 (10-8)
4. Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Chris Thiemann (OM), 6-2, 3-2, ret.
5. Matteo Fago (UT) def. Harry Fowler (OM), 6-4, 6-2
6. Davey Sandgren (UT) def. Jaime Vazquez (OM) 6-3, 6-1
1. John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren (UT) def. Tucker Vorster/Jonas Lutjen (OM) 8-6
2. Marcel Thiemann/Chris Thiemann (OM) def. Boris Conkic/Rhyne Williams (UT) 8-6
3. Matteo Fago/Edward Jones (UT) def. Harry Fowler/Jaime Vazquez (OM) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,5,1,4,3,2)
What's New for Mississippi?
The Vols are likely featuring the same lineup as they did against Mississippi during their match earlier this month. The Rebels have introduced several lineup changes since then.
Adrian Forberg Skogeng is back in the Rebels' singles lineup after being scratched from singles and doubles against Tennessee. He plays with Harry Fowler at the No. 3 doubles position and is back in his usual spot at No. 5 in the singles lineup.
Also, Mississippi's top doubles teams have swapped positions. Twins Marcel and Chris Thiemann have moved into the No. 1 position. In the regular-season match, they handed Boris Conkic and Rhyne Williams their only doubles loss of the spring.
In the Semifinals
Saturday marks the Vols' eighth appearance in the SEC Tournament semifinals since 1990 and the third in the last three seasons. Tennessee is 5-2 in the SEC semifinals. Last year, the Vols advanced to the finals with a 4-1 victory over Georgia.
Mississippi has won the last two SEC Tournaments. Tennessee, the regular-season champion with an 11-0 record, has won the conference tournament twice, in 1990 and 2002. In 1990, the Vols won both the SEC regular season and tournament titles.
Alive at 12
Freshman Tennys Sandgren has not lost a match since February and extended his winning streak to 12 matches Friday by defeating Julien Gauthier 6-4, 6-4. With the win, Sandgren improved to 20-4 on the season. He was the only Vol to finish with an undefeated record in SEC play, going 10-0 on court 4.
Williams has the second-longest streak on the line with a career-best 10-match winning streak.
No Vol has enjoyed a singles winning streak longer than 12 matches. Smith had a 12-match winning streak on his way to winning the ITA All-American Championships in the fall. Conkic kicked off the spring by winning his first 12 matches.
For the first time in program history, the Vols boast two doubles teams with at least 30 wins. Conkic and Williams, ranked eighth, logged that milestone Friday and now have a 30-3 record. They have been 21-1 in dual matches this spring.
Smith and Davey Sandgren have a 31-6 record.
The school record for doubles wins in a season is 40, set by Bryon Talbot and Shelby Cannon in 1986.