May 29, 2009
Knoxville, Tenn. - University of Tennessee men's tennis players John-Patrick Smith and Davey Sandgren were tabbed as the No. 1 ranked doubles tandem as final 2009 Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings were released. Teammates Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago also earned spots in the final singles and doubles list.
For the season, Smith and Sandgren finished with an impressive 32-12 overall record while being runner-up at the NCAA Doubles Championship to Virginia's Dominic Inglot and Michael Shabaz on Monday. The Virginia duo, who finished second in the rankings, was the 14th consecutive ranked opponent the Volunteers faced, including the ninth rated in the top 20 during that span. In addition, the 32 wins are the third most in a season by a Tennessee doubles team, while their 39 career victories rank sixth all-time in school history.
It was winning the Southeastern Conference Coaches' Indoor Championships in January that proved they had something special. Having to win twice on the final day, they posted an 8-5 win over Florida's Antoine Benneteau and Joey Burkhardt and an 8-6 victory LSU's Neal Skupski and Michael Venus in the finals to win Tennessee's first indoors doubles title since 2002. Tennessee was a double winner in the tournament as Smith won the singles title the next day.
From that point on, Sandgren and Smith went on to win 22 of their next 29 matches, going 14-4 against ranked teams. They reeled of three five-match winning streaks, including a current streak that led to today's title.
Smith, who finished with his highest ranking of the season at third, garnered ITA All-America honors in singles and doubles for the second straight year. Oklahoma State's Oleksandr Nedovyesov was No. 1, while Arnau Brugues of Tulsa was second. Ole Miss freshman Devin Britton, who won the NCAA Singles title, was 19th.
After reaching the third round of the NCAA Singles Championship, Smith ended with a 36-11 singles mark.
Sandgren also received his first All-America honor as part of the doubles tandem.
Joining Smith and Sandgren in the final rankings were fellow sophomore's Conkic and Fago who finished 43rd in the doubles rankings after a 25-8 record on the season. Conkic was 38th in the singles rankings after his first round NCAA Tournament loss and a 29-9 record.
As a team, the Volunteers 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.