The Tennessee men’s tennis team advanced to the ITA National Indoor Championships in Houston with a 4-0 victory over No. 30 Virginia Commonwealth at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center.
“These guys work their tails off,” UT coach Sam Winterbotham said in a UT release.
“They’re a great, great group and once we cut out all the stuff that doesn’t matter, then we actually could be really good.”
Despite the 4-0 sweep of VCU (5-2), the matchup was far from a perfect performance.
The No. 6 Vols (6-0) secured the doubles point as Andrew Dromsky and Markus Kerner beat Alejandro Argente and Wilder Pimentel 6-1, then the top-ranked pair of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese defeated Michal Voscek and Vuc Velickovic 6-1.
In singles, No. 16 Reese won in straight sets over Voscek 6-1, 6-3. Kerner won 6-0, 6-5 over Velickovic, and Jerryd Chaplin defeated Jean Baptiste Mateo 6-3, 6-4 to secure the team victory.
“I’m very fortunate playing in the middle of these two,” Chaplin said. “Along that bank of courts, there was an incredible energy going on. I was able to feed off them whenever I was in a tight position.”
The other three singles matches were not completed but those contests were much more competitive and indicative of the Vols need to improve in some spots.
Libietis and Dromsky were tied at one set apiece with their opponents, and Brandon Fickey was close to dropping the second set to his foe.
“I think we can say we’re competitive in every position,” said Winterbotham.
Indoor Nationals will start Feb. 14, but Tennessee has four more matches until then. Next up will be No. 51 Oklahoma State and No. 24 Tulsa.
“We’re clearly not playing with the mentality that is going to allow us to be successful in these next couple weeks,” Winterbotham said. “We’ve got a couple of tough matches on the road in Oklahoma, where they’re going to get battle-tested.”
Women’s Tennis: The Lady Vols (-1) lost 4-0 to host Clemson in the ITA Kickoff Weekend Championship game.
No. 13 Clemson (4-0) took the doubles point just moments before the Tennessee duo of Laurence Guevremont and Eve Repic were points away from winning at 5-2.
Repic, ranked No. 53, lost in No. 1 singles to Yana Koroleva, ranked No. 74, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.
Brittany Lindl, at No. 3 singles, and Tiffany Tavares, at No. 4 singles, also lost in straight sets.
Joanna Henderson and Victoria Olivarez had leads in their games for Tennessee before they were halted.
Softball: Tennessee co-head softball coaches Ralph Weekly and Karen Weekly were inducted into the Tennessee Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame on Saturday at a ceremony in Nashville.
The Weeklys were inducted in the Meritorious Service Category for their contributions to the sport of softball, especially in the state of Tennessee.
Ralph Weekly has amassed a 1,119-369-2 (.752) coaching record and currently ranks fifth in wins among active NCAA Division I head coaches. His 1,119 coaching wins stand ninth all-time among NCAA Division I coaches and 14th in NCAA history, regardless of division. Ralph Weekly’s .752 winning percentage ranks seventh among active NCAA Division I coaches (minimum five years as an NCAA Division I coach).
Karen Weekly is 841-285-2 (.746) as a head coach and ranks 17th among active NCAA Division I head coaches in wins. Her 841 career victories stand 33rd all-time among NCAA Division I coaches and 52nd in NCAA history, regardless of division. Karen Weekly’s .746 winning percentage ranks 10th among active NCAA Division I coaches.