Hoping to bounce back from the loss at Arkansas last week, the Tennessee tennis team was confident going into Friday’s matchup against a young LSU team at Barksdale Tennis Stadium.
After losing the doubles point and having great success in singles play, No. 5 Tennessee defeated No. 40 LSU with the final score of 4-1.
The victory came off stellar performances by Luca Wiedenmann, Andrew Rogers and Giles Hussey.
The conference win over LSU improves Tennessee to 20-3 overall, 9-3 in the SEC, and a perfect 12-0 at home.
While Tennessee got the win, the Tigers didn’t go down easy as they were dominant in doubles winning two out of the three matches against the Vols.
On court one the LSU’s pair of Joey Thomas and Joao Graca soundly defeated Tennessee’s Australian duo Adam Walton and Pat Harper (6-4). On court two LSU’s Rafael Wagner and Ben Koch went up early and held the lead as Johannus Monday and Martim Prata played catch up ultimately losing (6-3).
The two losses on courts one and two, stopped the dynamic duo of Giles Hussey and Mark Wallner before they could finish stopping at (5-3).
Having to make up for this and going down 1-0, Tennessee came into singles play needing big wins from their star players.
The Vols were near perfect in single play with every player winning their first set against the Tigers.
Luca Wiedenmann, one of the few players that have matched up against LSU before on Tennessee’s roster, was on fire as he swept his opponent Benjamin Ambrosio (6-1, 6-0).
“I think I played very solid… I’m just trying to be as aggressive as I can because I’m more of a neutral kind of player,” Wiedenmann said. “I think once I bring my aggressive part of my game on the court, I think I’m a much better player”
Following Wiedenmann, senior Adam Rogers won both sets (6-4, 6-1) against LSU redshirt freshman Tomas Descarrega. But the Vols didn’t stop there as Giles Hussey soon finished his sets sweeping his freshman opponent Ben Koch (6-3, 6-1).
Up 3-1, young star Johannus Monday, closed out his set against yet another LSU freshman Joao Graca, winning (6-3, 6-3) and putting the Vols on top 4-1. The matches of Adam Walton and Martim Prata were unfinished on courts one and three.
Looking ahead, many of Tennessee’s players know the season is not quite over yet with still one more home match up yet to come against Texas A&M Sunday.
Head coach Chris Woodruff had concerns with the Vols’ Doubles performance against LSU.
“You know obviously, we’ve been preaching you got to show up and play… We’re still looking for that elusive full match,” Woodruff said. “In coaching were two matches away, they got to find out what works for them- if you don’t have it by now, you’re not just going to find it.”
The Vols will have practice Saturday in preparation for their final regular season match of the season.
Long time Vol Luca Wiedenmann stated the importance of practice following their win and keys to success on Sunday.
“I think we really need to have a good practice tomorrow- We got to be locked in, everyone has their specifics they need to work on.” Wiedenmann said. “I think if we do that well and bring the energy- it’s going to be a really good match.”
Tennessee is set to face the No.8 Texas A&M Sunday at home at 1 p.m. ET.