With little to celebrate, the emotions during Tennessee's final home men's tennis match of the season were somber.
The Vols met Georgia on senior day only to face a 7-0 loss and the end of the regular season with a 13-12, 5-6 SEC record.
Bryan Swartz, Tennessee's lone senior, was honored for his four-year commitment to the program. Swartz said that while a loss on any day is difficult, the ceremony with his family, coaches and teammates was special.
"The senior day portion of it was great," Swartz said. "To be out there with my parents, my teammates and my coaches, that was fantastic."
UT coach Sam Winterbotham said that the ceremony was bittersweet because he has faith that Swartz is moving on to something greater.
"Brian's just a great human being," Winterbotham said. "Just an awesome guy. His teammates love him. Everybody here loves him. It's wonderful for him to have that moment and for us to share in it with him."
The senior paired with freshman Peter Nagovnak for doubles for the first time this season. They lost to KU Singh and Wil Spencer, 8-3. Despite the loss, Winterbotham said the duo did all that he asked.
"Quite frankly, I think they did awesome," Winterbotham said. "They did their job. I think they won the emotional battle that so often wins doubles points and gave us a chance of 1-2."
Edward Jones and Jarryd Chaplin ended their doubles winning streak at seven with an 8-2 loss to Nathan Pasha and Ignacio Taboada. Despite freshman Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese's 8-3 win, the Vols lost the doubles point, 2-1.
In singles, junior Taylor Patrick, a Bearden High graduate, replaced Nagovnak in the starting lineup, but with a 1-6, 2-6 loss to Georgia's Nathan Pash, Georgia gained its second point. Up 2-0 in his second set against Taboada, Chaplin lost the next six games to lose, 6-2, 6-4.
On Court Two, Reese lost the point match to Singh, 6-4, 6-4, handing the Bulldogs (20-2, 10-1) the win. Tennessee gave yet another point to the Bulldogs when Brandon Fickey, suffering from a shoulder injury, lost 6-4, 1-6, 1-6 against No. 24 Sadio Doumbia.
Edward Jones lost to Hernus Pieters 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Libietis was the last Vol on the court when he fell to Spencer, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 10-6.
Winterbotham felt Georgia was a team the Vols were capable of beating and said a 7-0 loss was unacceptable. With the SEC championships starting Wednesday in Starkville, Miss., Winterbotham plans to have a great week of practice to gear up for the tournament.
"The season's just started. What we did up until now prepares us for the season and that's why I'm disappointed with today," he said.