May 5, 2010
Junior John-Patrick Smith received high seeding in singles and doubles once again as four Tennessee Volunteers were selected to play in the individual tournaments at the NCAA Tennis Championships.
The Vols will have two doubles teams in the NCAA Championships for the first time in 15 years. Smith and senior Davey Sandgren are seeded No. 2, the same position they were in last year when they reached the final of the tournament. Conkic and Williams also made the 32-team draw.
Tennessee is the only school to have two doubles teams in the draw.
Each conference received an automatic qualifier into the singles and doubles tournaments. Smith, the SEC Player of the Year, was the automatic singles qualifier from the conference. He and Davey Sandgren qualified automatically in doubles. The remaining competitors and seeding were determined by the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Subcommittee.
Smith, ranked No. 1 nationally in the ITA rankings, has a 38-6 record in singles. Two of his losses came against Duke's Henrique Cunha and Southern California's Steve Johnson, who are seeded ahead of Smith at No. 1 and 2 respectively.
As a freshman, Smith upset his way into the finals of the NCAA singles tournament. He was seeded sixth last year and reached the third round.
Conkic has a 27-10 record and will make his second appearance in the singles draw.
Sandgren and Smith, last season's top-ranked doubles pair, have a 33-6 record this season. They have collected 72 wins together, which ranks third in UT history. Conkic and Williams are currently ranked No. 12 in the ITA rankings and have a 31-3 record.
The Vols (26-1) were given the No. 2 overall seed when the team draw was released Tuesday and became one of 16 schools to host the first two rounds of the tournament May 15 and 16. The winners at those 16 sites advance to the champion site in Athens, Ga., and resume competition May 21-25.
The NCAA singles and doubles tournaments begin May 26.
The Vols begin their NCAA tournament run against Big South-champion Winthrop on May 15 at noon at Barksdale Stadium, formerly known as UT Varsity Courts.
General admission is $5, and students can get in for $3 with identification.
Davey Sandgren/John-Patrick Smith (2)
Boris Conkic/Rhyne Williams