In an up-and-down match, top-seeded Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee were upset 7-6 (5), 7-5 by Chris Camillone and David Holiner of Texas in the second round of the NCAA men’s doubles championships on Friday in Urbana, Ill.
“Probably anxiety got the best of us today,” Tennessee coach Sam Winterbotham said in a UT release. “I think they both wanted to win so badly, neither one played very well. Every point there seemed to be a little too much emotion after it.”
Libietis and Reese, who entered the tournament ranked No. 1 nationally, finished at 14-3.
Reese served for the first set at 5-3, but he and Libietis struggled getting first serves in during the match at Atkins Tennis Center. Reese was broken and the set eventually went into an error-strewn tiebreaker.
The teams combined for three double faults with Texas eventually holding serve to take the tiebreaker 7-5.
The Vols played catch-up for much of the second set. The Vols trailed 5-3, faced two match points and eventually tied the set up at 5-all. Minutes later, however, Reese lost his serve and Texas served out the second set for the upset.
“It’s tough,” Winterbotham said. “You have lots of highs and lows. I don’t want this match to define the season. They’ve had an incredible year. They’ve been ranked No. 1 for a reason. They’ve represented Tennessee incredibly well.
“We’re all disappointed we’ve lost in this tournament, but we’re all proud of what we’ve accomplished this year.”
Women’s Tennis: Fourth-seeded Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely of Tennessee advance to the NCAA women’s doubles quarterfinals with a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory over No. 17-ranked Lorraine Guillermo and Khunpak Issara of Pepperdine.
“It was truly an inspirational match today on the court,” said co-head coach Mike Patrick in a school release. “All four of the players on the court gave it everything that they had. This was some high quality tennis. I am proud of their effort and fight in today’s match. They faced some tough obstacles in third set and were able to overcome them and advance on.”
Boren and Szekely became just the fourth and fifth Lady Vols to win 40 doubles matches in a season to tie the pair for fifth place all-time at UT.
Boren and Szekely take on Jacqueline Cako and Nicole Smith of Arizona State on Saturday.
Cako and Smith entered the tournament ranked No. 31, but have defeated No. 19 Texas and No. 15 Tulsa.
“Tomorrow, we will face a good Arizona State team and Jacquelie Cako who is normally partnered with (our) Natalie Pluskota on the doubles circuit,” said Patrick. “It should be a great match. When you get to the NCAA quarterfinals everyone you face is a tough opponent.”