The No. 22 Tennessee men's tennis team (13-6 overall, 7-6 in the Southeastern
Conference) lost to No. 5 Ole Miss 4-1 in the second round of the SEC Championships
last weekend. After defeating Arkansas 4-2 in the first round on Friday,
the Vols were eliminated from the tournament by the Rebels.
"I thought we were headed for a breakthrough with this match,"
UT head coach Michael Fancutt said. "I felt we were ready to beat one
of the top five teams in the nation. We've been on the edge all season.
"Sometimes you really have to believe in yourself in order to win.
I think some teams have that in their favor. Some teams play a close match
and feel good because they worked hard. Maybe that held us back a little."
In an attempt to make up time following the rain delays that forced the
Vols to play Arkansas and Ole Miss on the same day, doubles matches were
not necessary to decide the match.
Ole Miss controlled singles action against the Vols, who managed only
one win in five matches.
At No. 2 singles, Vol Mark Fitzpatrick took his second win of the day
by defeating Sebastien Lami 7-6, 6-3. Following Fitzpatrick's win, the Vols
ran out of gas. At No. 1 singles, Sebastien DeChaunac bested No. 99 Mark
Way 6-4, 6-4. At No. 3 singles, No. 32 Martin Sjoqvist beat Mark Parsons
6-2, 6-1. In No. 5 singles action, Anders Stenman defeated Chad Copenhaver
4-6, 6-2, 6-4. In No. 6 singles, James Shortall beat Juan Gamboa 6-4, 6-2.
The No. 4 singles match between No. 50 Vikrant Chada and Paul Podbury was
suspended after Ole Miss clinched the win.
The Vols return to action again on May 5 for a match against Clemson
Golfers Finish Fourth at Rain-Shortened SECs
The Tennessee men's golf team finished the SEC Championships and their
season Sunday on a high note as they tied for fourth following the cancellation
of the final round because of rain. UT finished with with rounds of 297-282--579
to close out the championships three-over par at the University of Georgia
Golf Club. The last time the SEC Championships was officially two rounds
was in 1965.
The fourth place finish was Tennessee's best SEC performance since 1994
when they tied for second. The Vols had not finished in the top 10 of any
tournament this season until their season-best fourth-place finish this
weekend. Tennessee posted its best round of the season during Saturday's
second round, a six-under par 282. That mark also stood as the second-best
round of the tournament.
Host school Georgia won its 22nd SEC golf championship, a conference
best, by firing rounds of 283-284--567, nine-under par. South Carolina placed
second with rounds of 288-280--568, eight-under par. Individually, Eric
Ecker of South Carolina was named the SEC champion with a 70-66--136, eight-under
par. Simon Lacey of Florida finished second with a 139.
Every Vol except Kariem Baraka posted their finish of the season at the
SEC Championships. Tennessee's eldest leaders, sophomore Derrick Centers
and junior Kevin Law, stepped up big for the Vols. Centers and Law finished
tied for 11th with 143s, one-under par. Centers (67) and Law (69) both set
career-bests in the second round. The 11th-place finishes tie the best marks
by a Vol this season. The other Vols, all true freshmen, fired second-round
73s to propel the men in orange and white up the leaderboard.
The Vols will return everyone from this year's squad for the 1998-99
Lady Vols Win SIRA Title
Tennessee had to overcome miserable weather and difficult racing conditions
once again, including a heavy downpour that lasted most of the day, to put
together its strongest combined performance of the year at the 31st annual
Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships on Saturday.
As a result, UT claimed the women's all-point team title with 28 points,
beating out several top women's teams, including North Carolina, Central
Florida, Jacksonville, George Washington and Purdue, in the regatta regarded
as the 'Southern Championships.'
Running on a fast course because of all the rain, Tennessee used a gold-medal
performance in the Novice Lightweight 4+, along with top-four finishes in
each of its six races in the 53-team regatta, to collect its first all-point
trophy of the season.
With 32 total points, North Carolina took home the team title.
In a very competitive regatta, Tennessee's sole winners were a surprise.
The Novice Lightweight 4+ of freshmen coxswain Crystal Ruble, freshman stroke
Elizabeth Billings, freshman Ellen Semran, sophomore Christine Werve and
sophomore bow Laura Thompson captured its first victory of the season as
a quintet. Overall, Tennessee also collected two silvers, two bronzes and
a fourth-place finish.
"I'm very happy that all of our boats showed the necessary speed
to make it to the finals," said Lady Vol head coach Susan Iacovino.
"I'm particularly pleased for the Novice Lightweight 4+. They had a
great race and showed exceptional speed in bringing home our only gold."
On Saturday, the Lady Vols are off to compete in the Midwest Championships
in Madison, Wis.
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