Two Vols Head to Chattanooga Tourney

Sept. 26, 2013


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- As the start of the ITA All-American Championships nears in Oklahoma, Tennessee is sending a pair of Vols down to the UTC/Steve Baras Fall Classic this weekend.

Senior Colton Norton and freshman Sunay Bhat are both competing in the tournament beginning Friday. The event runs until Sunday.

The UTC/Steve Baras Fall Classic features teams from the surrounding states, many of whom will be competing in Knoxville next month for the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships.

Bhat is in the second singles flight and is set to play Samford's Austin Ackers in the opening round. Norton is in the third flight, taking on Abilene Christian's Jason Proctor.

The two Vols are playing doubles together in the second flight.

It is sure to be a busy next few days for the Vols. As Norton and Bhat play in Chattanooga, freshmen Markus Kerner and Sean Karl will be playing pre-qualifying singles beginning Saturday at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla.

The All-American is the first of three individual major championships in college tennis. It is also notably the largest individual tournament that will last until Oct. 6. Kerner and Karl would need to win four matches in pre-qualifying to move into the qualifying draw. From there, three wins are required to reach the main draw of 64 players.

Juniors Mikelis Libietis is the No. 1 seed in the main draw for singles, and he will also be part of the top-ranked doubles team with Hunter Reese. Their portion of the tournament starts Oct. 3.

Senior Jarryd Chaplin was initially set for the pre-qualifying draw, but he moved from the alternate list right into the qualifying draw of the All-American. He and junior Brandon Fickey start play early next week.

Last year, Chaplin reached the final round of singles qualifying.





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