Aug 17, 2013
Juniors Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese were named to the 2013 ITA Collegiate All-Star Team for their standout performances last season, the collegiate tennis governing body announced Friday.
Libietis and Reese are two of 20 players from across all divisions who will be honored at the ITA Awards Luncheon at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The banquet will take place on Arthur Ashe Kids' Day on Aug. 24, two days before the main draw of the U.S. Open begins on the tournament grounds.
Libietis is on the All-Star Team for his performance in singles and doubles, joining Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins as the only two players to be honored for both. The Latvia native finished third nationally in singles and held the same spot in doubles to end the year with Reese.
Libietis enjoyed a breakout -- and record breaking -- sophomore season in which he became the first Vol to simultaneously hold the No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles. He went 37-7 in singles in his second year starring at the top of the young Tennessee lineup, including 8-1 in conference play. He was voted the SEC Player of the Year as well as the ITA National Player to Watch.
In doubles, Libietis and Reese rejoined forces late in the season, but it proved to be an instant jolt to the UT doubles lineup. The sophomore pair vaulted to the top of the college tennis rankings by earning 14 wins the last three months of the season and going 10-0 in SEC play together.
Reese also enjoyed a good year in singles, staying in the top 40 the entire year. He went 31-9 and qualified for the NCAA Singles Championships for the first time.
Over the summer months, Libietis has put together some successful preparation for his junior year. He won his first career ITF Futures singles title and made the semifinals of two other tournaments. He also won two doubles titles, one coming with new freshman Markus Kerner of Estonia.
Earlier this week, Libietis was officially named to Latvia's Davis Cup team for their upcoming tie against Finland.
The ITA Collegiate All-Star Team was started in 1984 and headlined that year by three-time All-American and ITA Player of the Year Paul Annacone. The Vol great will also be at the U.S. Open this season, serving as Roger Federer's coach.
Tennessee players have been named to the all-star team in three of Sam Winterbotham's seven seasons as head coach. SEC Athlete of the Year John-Patrick Smith was named to the team twice in doubles, with Davey Sandgren in 2009 and Boris Conkic in 2011.
ITA Collegiate All-Star Team
Division I Men
Jarmere Jenkins, Virginia
Blaz Rola, Ohio State
Mikelis Libietis, Tennessee
Henrique Cunha/Raphael Hemmeler, Duke
Jarmere Jenkins/Mac Styslinger, Virginia
Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese, Tennessee
Division I Women
Robin Anderson, UCLA
Nicole Gibbs, Stanford
Kaitlyn Christian/Sabrina Santamaria, USC
Kate Fuller/Silvia Garcia, Georgia
Kristie Ahn/Nicole Gibbs, Stanford
ITA No. 1 Ranking (Small College Divisions)
Division II - Men's Singles: Matus Mydla, Armstrong Atlantic
Division II - Women's Singles: Annie Hwang, BYU-Hawaii
Division III - Men's Singles: Adam Putterman, Wash U-St. Louis
Division III - Women's Singles: Lok-Sze Leung, Middlebury
NAIA - Men's Singles: Nicolas Pinones, Auburn Montgomery
NAIA - Women's Singles: Jade Curtis, Auburn Montgomery
Junior & Community Colleges - Men's Singles: Adrien Berkowicz, Tyler Junior College
Junior & Community Colleges - Women's Singles: Esther Zuniga, Florida State College-Jackstonville