May 20, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. -- The second-ranked Tennessee Volunteers restart their journey at the NCAA Championships on Friday, facing Louisville at 3 p.m.
The second-ranked Vols (28-1) are looking to advance past the round of 16 for the first time since 2002 by defeating Louisville (24-5) for the second time this season.Tennessee won the regular-season non-conference match 7-0 in Knoxville.
Last week, the Vols hosted the first two rounds of the tournament, defeating Winthrop 4-0 and East Tennessee State 4-1.
A live interactive blog will be available at UTSports.com. Live scoring and live streaming video (for outdoor matches only) can be found at ncaa.com.
Rematches abound throughout the NCAA draw. Tennessee's no exception to that observation. The Vols have played seven of the 15 other schools in the tournament and faced four additional schools during the 2009 season.
In short, not a ton of surprises.
Tennessee took a break from Southeastern Conference play to host Louisville on March 26. The Vols won all three doubles positions and won at all six singles spots indoors to shut out the Cardinals 7-0. Boris Conkic clinched the match with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Simon Childs.
That loss capped a rough week for the Cardinals, who were ranked 10th nationally at the time. They had been swept 7-0 a few days earlier by Texas A&M.
Here is the box score from the March match:
1. John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. Austen Childs (UL) 7-5, 6-0
2. Boris Conkic (UT) def. Simon Childs (UL) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
3. Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) 6-3, 6-3
4. Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Alejandro Calligari (UL) 6-1, 6-7 (7-1), 6-3
5. Matt Brewer (UT) def. Robert Hall (UL) 6-2, 6-4
6. Matteo Fago (UT) def. Andrew Carter (UL) 6-4, 6-4
1. John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren (UT) def. Simon Childs/Alejandro Calligari (UL) 8-3
2. Boris Conkic/Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Austen Childs/Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) 8-5
3. Matteo Fago/Matt Brewer (UT) def. Robert Hall/Sumit-Prakash Gupta (UL) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,1,2,4,5,6)
Smith Named Academic All-District
Awards keep rolling in for junior John-Patrick Smith, this time of an academic kind.
Smith was named second-team ESPN the Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-District honors, CoSIDA announced Thursday.
The junior Economics major from Townsville, Australia, had a 3.47 grade point average heading into the end of the spring semester. It was the first time he has earned a CoSIDA Academic All-District award, and he became the first Tennessee tennis player to earn a CoSIDA academic award since Wade Orr did so in 2003.
Speaking of Smith, let's talk a little about his win-loss record. He is 7-1 in NCAA dual matches and 12-3 overall in NCAA play, counting his performances in the singles draw.
Smith, ranked No. 1 nationally, has a 40-6 record this season.
Beyond the 16
The Vols enjoyed a tremendous three-year run in the NCAA Tournament from 2000-2002, reaching the final in 2001 and the semifinals in 2000 and 2002. Since that time, Tennessee has not advanced beyond the round of 16. Obviously, the team has a chance to change that trend Friday.
Head coach Sam Winterbotham is making his fifth appearance in the NCAA Championships and his fourth with the Volunteers. He has an 8-4 record in the postseason.
On the Line
Tennys Sandgren enters the Friday with a 13-match winning streak, the longest streak by a Vol this season. He has not last a match since February and has a 21-4 record.
Fellow freshman Rhyne Williams is not far behind when it comes to consecutive wins. He's won 11 in a row and is second on the team with a 36-6 record with the Vols. The 36 wins are third-most by a freshman in UT history.
Williams has been dominant in his first two NCAA matches. He shut out Winthrop's Liran Levy 6-0, 6-0 in the first round and nearly pulled off the same feat against ETSU, defeating Charles Bottoni 6-0, 6-1 in the second round.
Step Aside, 1965
The Tennessee record of 10 shutouts in a season stood for 45 years before this year's UT squad changed all that. This season, 14 of the Vols' 28 wins have come in shutout fashion.