May 22, 2009
Knoxville, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Volunteers men's tennis team finished the season with a 23-7 record and a No. 8 ranking in the final Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. It marks the second consecutive top-10 finish for the program after ending 2008 with a 23-4 mark.
Southern California was the No. 1 after winning its fifth national championship on Tuesday. Rounding out the top five were Ohio State, Virginia, Ole Miss and UCLA. The second five were Georgia, Baylor, Tennessee, Texas and Stanford.
The Vols spent the entire season ranked among the top eight, holding a season-high ranking of No. 4. It is the first time it finished in the top 10 in consecutive years since a three-year run from 2000-02 when it was third, second and sixth.
In three years at Tennessee, head coach Sam Winterbotham has compiled an impressive 63-19 mark and a 24-9 record in Southeastern Conference play. His teams have reached the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament each of the past two seasons and he coached two singles players and two doubles tandems to top 50 rankings this season.
John-Patrick Smith earned All-America honors in singles and doubles for the second straight year and finished with a 37-11 record. That gives Winterbotham five All-America selections in three seasons to go along with four first-team and second-team All-SEC choices.
Winterbotham was named the 2009 ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year, the second time he has won a regional award. He guided his squad to the SEC Tournament finals, the semifinals of the ITA National Indoors and the Volunteers won the prestigious Blue-Gray Invitational in March in their first-ever appearance in the tournament.