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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