Vols vs New Mexico
Pat Harper returns a serve during the Men's Tennis opening game against New Mexico, in the Goodfriend Tennis Center on January 18, 2020.

The Tennessee men’s tennis team bounced back from its recent loss against Ohio State, defeating Charlotte 7-0 Saturday at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. With their loss to Ohio State, the Vols fell from No. 1 in the nation to No. 2.

The Vols were able to preserve their undefeated home record while also securing a 7-0 win streak against Charlotte.

“I thought for about thirty minutes we looked about as solid as we have all year,” head coach Chris Woodruff said. “I mean we still have to work on some things. I always talk about doubles being so important, especially for our group. We worked at it a lot this past week and I saw some signs of progress.”

The Tennessee team proved this progress by quickly winning the doubles point in under 25 minutes, earning a 1-0 lead early into the match. 

The powerful duo of Johannus Monday and Conor Gannon dominated with a 6-0 win over Charlotte’s pair, Abhimanyu Vannemredd and Luke Thomson. 

“Team 3 is where we’ve been trying to work on a few things, work on some pairings, work on some strategies,” Woodruff said. “They looked really good today.”

Adam Walton and Pat Harper followed shortly with a 6-2 win over Coy Simon and Stefanos Savva. Walton is now 14 doubles wins away from becoming the sixth Vol in program history to earn 100 career singles and doubles wins 

The nation’s No. 9 doubles pair, Shunsuke Mitsui and Emile Hudd, left their game unfinished after the Vols clinched the point in doubles play. 

Singles play was competitive with tight games and long rallies. Monday, ranked No. 10 in singles play, finished first with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Thomas Brown. Angel Diaz kept the streak going with a dominant 6-1, 6-2 win. 

“I thought Angel Diaz did a good job of playing pretty consistently.” Woodruff said. 

Mitsui secured the Vols’ win by earning a 6-4, 6-1 victory, making the overall score 4-0. 

The singles matches continued, even after Tennessee’s team win over Charlotte. No. 21 singles player Walton played an aggressive match full of long rallies, coming out with a 6-2, 7-5 win. 

Hudd and Gannon were the last two singles players to finish their games. Hudd had won his first set 6-2, but fell short 6-3 in the second set. 

Determined to win, Hudd amped up his play, earning a third set 6-3 win. As the Goodfriend Tennis Center started to clear out, Gannon  was still locked in a fierce singles match against Vasco Prata. 

After an exhausting three sets, Gannon had won the first set 7-6, lost in the second 7-6, and secured the point after a 1-0 tiebreaker. 

Tennessee will play again  on Sunday against the 3-1 Columbia Lions. The Vols are then headed to the ITA Indoor National Championships in Seattle, Feb. 18-21. 

“It’s hard work,” Woodruff explained. “We are just going to try to stick to what we’ve done in years past, cause we know it works.”

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