The No. 14 Tennessee men’s tennis team will play the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday, April 5, at 1:00 p.m.
This match will also be the final home match for the Vols this season.
“What is so exciting is that I do not think we have clicked yet,” assistant coach James McKie said. “It is April and our guys are getting 2 percent better every day. I think last year we peaked in the end of March to the beginning of April. We are still figuring things out in doubles, and lower in our singles lineup.
“That to me is quite exciting, especially since we are 14th in the country and we are still not playing at our max potential.”
Tennessee’s last match was March 31, as it won its doubleheader against Alabama and Mercer. The Vols beat Alabama, 4-1, and Mercer, 7-0, to improve to 15-6 overall this season and 5-4 in the conference.
Tennessee has a winning record at home, which currently stands at 9-3. The Vols will also look to extend their current four-match winning streak when Arkansas comes to Knoxville.
“We worked on taking it one match at a time,” McKie said. “It is very easy to look too far ahead, but right now our main focus is just having a great attitude during practice and focusing on Arkansas.”
Arkansas split its doubleheader against No. 6 Mississippi State and the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. Arkansas lost to Mississippi State, 5-2, but rebounded against the Golden Lions to the tune of a 7-0 victory.
Arkansas enters Knoxville with an overall record of 12-11. It will look to improve upon its conference record and away record which currently stand at 2-6 and 0-6, respectively.
“They are a good team, everybody in the SEC is a good team,” McKie said. “They are right on the bubble right now with regards to the NCAA Tournament. They have a lot of very good players and are really well coached. They are gonna be hungry, so we just have to be ready.”
The second match of the doubleheader this Friday against Tennessee Tech has been cancelled and will not be made up at a later date.
After Friday’s bout with Arkansas, Tennessee will focus its efforts on two SEC rivals in Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
The Commodores’ overall record for the season stands at 13-7, with a conference record of 3-5. The match will take place in Nashville, Tenn. on April 12.
Kentucky possesses an overall record of 12-10 and have racked up seven of those wins at home, compared to only three losses. Kentucky has split its conference matches this season, compiling a 4-4 record in the SEC.
Tennessee’s match against Kentucky will be on April 14 in Lexington, Kent.