The No. 8 Tennessee men's tennis team upset No. 1 Ohio State 4-3 on Saturday night to advance to the semifinals of the ITA Indoor National Championships in Chicago.
The Vols (7-0) lost the doubles point and the odds favored the Buckeyes (8-1) with singles players ranked nationally at No. 1, No. 3 and No. 6.
However, No. 50 John-Patrick Smith knocked off No. 1 Bryan Koniecko 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles, Boris Conkic of UT, ranked No. 103, upset No. 6 Justin Kronauge 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 singles and Matt Brewer got by No. 77 Shuhei Uzawa at No. 6 singles, 6-3, 6-4.
With the match tied 3-3, UT’s Matteo Fago came through with a 6-3, 7-5 victory at No. 4 singles against 38th-ranked Balazs Novak for the winner.
“We’re a resilient team and a confident team,” UT coach Sam Winterbotham said. “We believe in ourselves. We didn’t panic when we lost the doubles point. We stayed together and focused on getting four points in singles.
“What was really impressive to (associate head coach) Chris (Woodruff) and me was how we stuck together. The guys that finished their match came right over and started to support the guys that were still playing. The guys who weren’t in the lineup at all today were the loudest guys in the building. This is a team and we’re showing it.”
The Vols will face fifth-ranked Virginia today at 4 p.m. in the semifinals.