June 6, 2013
Sophomore ace Mikelis Libietis wrapped up the year ranked No. 3 nationally in both singles and doubles in the final ITA rankings released Wednesday.
In his second season starting atop the Vols' singles and doubles lineups, Libietis earned SEC Player of the Year honors while helping lead the Vols to a second-place conference finish and the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships for the third time in four years. In May, he became the first Vol to simultaneously hold the No. 1 ranking in singles and doubles.
Libietis, who went 37-7 in singles, was just one of three players to end the year ranked in the top 10 in both singles and doubles. The others were seniors Henrique Cunha of Duke and Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia, who finished the year ranked No. 1.
He and fellow sophomore Hunter Reese rejoined forces in doubles in March after playing the rest of the season with different partners. The reunion proved to be a winning one, spending most of their time together ranked in the top five and put together a 14-3 record.
Because of their ranking and the fact they were seeded in the NCAA tournaments, Libietis and Reese earned ITA All-America honors for the first time in their careers. Libietis was also voted the ITA National Player to Watch, an award given to a player expected to compete for national titles in the following year.
Notably, Reese remained in the top 50 all year in the singles rankings. He ended the year at No. 41 with a 31-9 record playing No. 2 in the lineup behind Libietis.
The ITA Ohio Valley Regional rankings are released only twice a year and are determined by voting rather than the computer rankings.
The Vols' were ranked No. 1 in every category: team, singles and doubles. Libietis was voted the top player in the region while he and Reese were No. 1 in doubles. Reese was ranked fifth in singles and fellow sophomore Brandon Fickey was 12th. Jones and Collins were the sixth-ranked doubles team in the Ohio Valley.
No. 3 - Libietis/Reese
No. 43 - John Collins/Edward Jones
No. 46 - Libietis/Jarryd Chaplin
No. 75 - Libietis/Collins
No. 83 - Reese/Brandon Fickey
No. 1 - Libietis/Reese
No. 6 - John Collins/Edward Jones