Nov. 1, 2011
BY AMANDA PRUITT
Schedules were released for the 20-team draw Tuesday, and the Vols will face Texas' Chris Camillone and David Holiner in the opening round Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
The match starts at 9 a.m. and the live blog will be available on UTSports.com.
The Vols travel Wednesday morning to New York to hit on the courts and attend the pre-tournament banquet in the evening in Arthur Ashe Stadium. All players will be given a tour of the stadium and grounds before the dinner.
Libietis and Reese qualified for the USTA/ITA Indoors by winning the 64-team draw at the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships last Monday. While they had never played a tournament together before, the freshman duo reeled of six consecutive matches and knocked off the top two tournament seeds in the final two rounds.
The tournament marks the first collegiate event for Libietis away from Knoxville. Injuries in September and much of October limited him to the Tennessee Fall Invitational and the Ohio Valley Regionals.
AT THE 2010 USTA/ITA INDOORS
Last season, former Vol Rhyne Williams captured the singles title in Flushing, N.Y., marking the first time Tennessee had won the tournament since three-time All-American Paul Annacone won in 1984.
Williams' ride through the 2010 tournament was a memorable one, which started with a tense 7-6, 7-6 upset of top-seeded Alex Domijian of Virginia and ended with a 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Southern California's Steve Johnson.
VOLS IN THE DOUBLES DRAW
Libietis and Reese are the first Vols to reach the doubles draw since 2009, when Tennessee boasted two pairings in the field of 16.
That season, Williams and Boris Conkic, teamed up to with the regional tournament and marched all the way to the semifinals of the National Indoors. John-Patrick Smith and Davey Sandgren made the quarterfinals.
Tennessee boasts one doubles champion in this event: eventual Vols coach Chris Mahony and Pablo Montana in 1996. Annacone nearly swept the titles in 1984, winning the singles trophy but losing in the doubles final with Mark Herrington.
DOUBLES AT INDOORS: HISTORICALLY SPEAKING
With the unpredictable nature of eight-game pro sets and the new pairings that emerge during the fall season, it is not very surprising that an unseeded team has reached the finals each of the last four years and seven of the last 10 tournaments.
Prior to the 2001-02 season, the National Indoors was a spring event. Now it marks the ceremonial end of the individual fall season.
In the spring, the Vols have only two individual events on schedule: the SEC Coaches Indoor Championships in January and the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in May.
USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships
Main Draw Doubles
Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese, Tennessee, vs. Chris Camillone/David Holiner, Texas, 9 a.m.
Previous Tennessee Tournament Performances
Chris Mahony/Pablo Montana, 1996
Paul Annacone/Mark Herrington, 1984
Rhyne Williams, 2010
Paul Annacone, 1984
Mel Purcell, 1980
Brice Karsh, 1990