The Tennessee women’s tennis team’s regular season came to a close as the 18th-ranked Lady Vols beat No. 24 Kentucky at Goodfriend Tennis Center, 4-1.
"We came out in singles and knew that in singles we had a chance to win on all six courts," head coach Alison Ojeda said. "So the goal was less winning and more let's pay attention to our execution and things that we can control. And that's what these guys did. They did an unbelievable job today."
Tennessee ends the regular season with a 19-6 (9-4 SEC) record. Tennessee won their most games since 2003. The Lady Vols also finished in fourth place in the SEC, which is their highest finish since 2013.
Tennessee concludes the regular season with a 14-3 home record, the most home wins since 1992.
The Lady Vols lost the doubles point after two very competitive matches.
Johanna Silva and Rebeka Mertena defeated Diana Tkachenko and Alexis Merrill, 6-3. The doubles duo has won eight of their past nine doubles matches.
Sadie Hammond and Kaitlin Staines played against the 17th-ranked doubles team of Justina Mikuskyte and Akvile Parazinskaite, but lost 6-4.
In singles and on her Senior Day, No. 72 Hammond defeated No. 15 Mikuskyte 7-6 (6), 6-2. Hammond goes into the playoffs having beat four ranked opponents this season.
Silva secured the match for Tennessee. She defeated Tiphanie Fiquet in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, and 6-1. This victory gives Silva a 5-1 record in three set matches.
"The atmosphere was unbelievable," said Ojeda. "I'm pretty sure half of Maine was down here with Sadie's family. There were a ton of fans and that makes a big difference. This team feeds off of energy, they provide it as well, but they feed off of it too."
Next up for the Lady Vols is a trip to College Station, Texas for the 2019 SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament. Seedings and match times will be announced Sunday evening.
The University of Tennessee men’s tennis team secured the fourth seed in the SEC Tournament after they defeated Kentucky, 4-0 at Boone Tennis Center in Lexington.
"It was an impressive, 4-0, win here in Lexington," assistant coach James McKie said. "They are a very good team, especially indoors at home. Our guys are really starting to click and as a coach it’s great to watch and is encouraging to see our rotation step up and perform."
Tennessee improved to 18-6 (8-4 SEC) and Kentucky fell to 15-13 (5-7 SEC).
The Vols won the doubles point as the No. 9 duo of Timo Stodder and Preston Touliatos defeated Cesar Bourgois and Kento Yamada, 6-3. Scott Jones and Adam Walton clinched the doubles point after beating Ryo Matsumura and Kevin Huempfner, 7-6 (7-4). Tennessee has captured the doubles point in four of its last five matches.
In singles, Luca Wiedenmann picked up his seventh singles win in his last eight matches after beating Bourgois, 6-4, and 6-3.
No. 29 Stodder earned his seventh-straight match win after beating Enzo Wallart, 6-2, 6-3.
Jones defeated Yamada, 7-5, 6-3, which helped to secure the victory and the shut out. Tennessee finished the regular season on a seven-match winning streak, six over SEC opponents.
Tennessee, being the fourth seed, has earned a double bye and will play its first match on Friday, April 19th at 6 p.m. Tennessee will play either, No. 5 Georgia, No 12 Arkansas, or No. 13 Auburn.
Arkansas and Auburn play on Wednesday and the winner of that match will play Georgia on Thursday. Tennessee will play the winner of the match on Thursday.
Tennessee has beaten two of the three teams. They beat Auburn, 5-2, and Arkansas, 4-0. The Vols lost to Georgia, 2-4.
"Now our focus shifts to the postseason," McKie said. "This is the season that really matters. We have no time for excuses or bad decisions. It's win or go home."
The 2019 SEC Men's Tennis Tournament will be played at Florida's Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.