Vols Tennis vs Georgia Tech

Tennessee tennis junior Angel Diaz was locked in a tiebreak with South Carolina’s Connor Thomson. He took a 1-0 lead in the tiebreak heading into Thomson’s serve.

Diaz called Thomson’s serve wide, sparking the line judge to overrule it and call it in. It was Diaz’s fourth overrule, and the chair umpire decided to call the match as a result, abruptly ending the match in controversy.

That controversial call ended the match and the No. 1 Vols fell to No. 7 South Carolina 4-3 Friday afternoon at Barksdale Stadium.

The Vols were playing at home without their highest ranked player, No. 4 Johannus Monday, with a foot injury. There were a lot of shakeups in the lineup with No. 55 Emile Hudd moving to court two and Angel Diaz moving to court three. There is no timetable for Monday’s return.

The Vols were riding a 30-game home win streak dating back to January 31, 2020, and it looked like the streak would live on, as they jumped out to a 3-1 lead.

Tennessee started by taking the doubles point. No. 45 Pat Harper and Adam Walton defeated Jake Beasley and Toby Samuel 6-3. No. 16 Hudd and Shunsuke Mitsui clinched the point, defeating No. 30 Daniel Rodrigues and Thomson in a tiebreak, 7-6(2).

In singles play, Tennessee took a pair of early victories on courts five and six. Senior Pat Harper took down Beasley 6-3, 6-2. After picking up some important breaks, freshman Shunsuke Mitsui defeated James Story 6-4, 6-3.

The score was at 3-2 after Hudd’s 4-6, 1-6 loss and the Vols looked like they were bringing the match to a close. Diaz had won the first nine games and was leading 6-0, 3-0, and chaos ensued after.

Graduate student Adam Walton was the first domino to fall, dropping the final three games and failing to force a third set in his 2-6, 5-7 loss.

After being up 3-0 in the second set, Diaz dropped the set and headed to a third. Both Diaz and Thomson held serve for the whole third set, forcing a tiebreak, to which Diaz would suddenly lose.

Despite the loss, the Vols’ veteran Walton achieved a milestone victory in doubles – his 200th overall collegiate win. He sits just eight wins away from his 100th doubles victory. He would be the sixth Vol to achieve 100 wins in singles and doubles.

Tennessee will look to rebound at home in another tough matchup against the Florida Gators. First serve is scheduled at 1 p.m. EST at Barksdale Stadium, but could move indoors to Goodfriend Tennis Center pending weather.

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