Hensel clinched four of UT’s victories including its wins over third-ranked Georgia. He was named SEC player of the week twice this season. It was quite an accomplishment for Hensel to even make the NCAA Championships as the 2007 All-America did not participate in fall play and started the spring unranked. The Mudgeeraba, Australia native is currently ranked 35th in the singles poll, his highest spot of the season. Hensel has a 13-9 singles record with 13 of those matches coming against ranked opponents.
Hensel was in the 2007 singles NCAA championship. The Vol netter dropped a tough match to Markus Dickhardt of San Diego State, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 in the first round. Hensel was also invited to the doubles championship in 2007 but he and partner Bobby Cameron pulled out of the 32-team field prior to the beginning of the event.
Smith was named SEC Freshman of the Year after putting together a 16-4 singles record including a 7-3 mark in SEC play during the dual-match season. The freshman from Australia is currently ranked 24th in singles and has been ranked as high as 16th. Smith has an overall singles record of 26-9 with 12 of those victories coming over ranked opponents.
Hensel and Smith combine to form one of the nation’s top doubles teams. The duo is currently ranked fourth in the nation, their highest ranking of the season. UT’s top tandem has a 20-5 record with seven wins over ranked opponents. They went 18-4 this season at the No. 1 spot in the doubles lineup.
All matches in the NCAA singles and doubles championships are the best of three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six games all will be used for all matches.
Automatic qualification into the Division I singles championships was awarded to any conference with one or more eligible singles players ranked in the ITA Top 125 for eligible/entered singles players. For conferences with more than one singles player within the ITA Top 125 eligible/entered singles players, the subcommittee applied the NCAA selection criteria to determine which student-athlete was the automatic qualifier from those conferences.
Automatic qualification into the Division I doubles championships was awarded to any conference with one or more eligible doubles teams ranked in the ITA Top 60 for eligible/entered doubles teams. For conferences with more than one doubles team within the ITA Top 60 eligible/entered doubles teams, the subcommittee applied the NCAA selection criteria to determine which doubles team was the automatic qualifier from those conferences.
The singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 21-26 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla., following the conclusion of the team championships. The team championships run from May 16-20. The eighth-ranked Volunteers face Furman in the first round of the team championships on May 10 at 11 a.m. in Knoxville.