Sept. 10, 2009
All-America junior John-Patrick Smith is one of four Tennessee Volunteers named in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's preseason rankings. Smith is ranked No. 2 nationally in singles; senior Davey Sandgren and he are also the preseason top-ranked doubles team.
Smith finished last season 20-5 in dual matches from the No. 1 position and was 36-11 overall. He was the Southeastern Conference indoor singles champion and one of only eight players nationally to be All-America in singles and doubles. He reached the third round of the NCAA Tennis Championships in singles and finished the season ranked No. 3 by ITA.
Smith and Sandgren ended the 2008-09 season as the No. 1-ranked doubles team, and that ranking has not changed headed into this year. The two finished 18-7 in dual matches and had 32 overall wins, the third-most by a UT doubles team in a career. They reached the national championship match in doubles in addition to winning the SEC indoor doubles title.
Conkic, who played primarily in the No. 2 position in dual matches, finished 21-3 in singles with a 9-1 mark against SEC opponents. He was 12-7 against ranked opponents and ended the year as the 38th-ranked player. Conkic and Fago also teamed up in doubles, amassing a 25-8 record and a national ranking of 43 by season's end.
Fago had a 17-5 dual match record and was 19-12 overall last season. He won 16 consecutive matches midway through the year, defeating four ranked opponents in the process.
Season Debut: The Vols start the 2009 fall season Friday at the Louisville (Ky.) Fall Tournament. Sophomore Bryan Swartz, redshirt freshmen Taylor Patrick and Max Stevens and true freshman Edward Jones are the four Vols slated to compete in the three-day tournament.