URBANA, ILL. - No. 19 Tennessee avenged a 2012 NCAA second round loss to No. 18 North Carolina as the Volunteers defeated the Tar Heels 4-1 Saturday night in the championship game of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend hosted by the University of Illinois. Carolina suffered its first loss of the season to go to 3-1 while the Vols improved to 9-0 and clinched a spot in the ITA Team Indoor Nationals February 15-18 in Seattle, Wash.
Led by a victory by 26th-ranked Mikelis Libietis and Jarryd Chaplin over 44th-ranked Nelson Vick and Esben Hess-Olesen at No. 1 doubles, the Vols sprinted to an early 1-0 with wins at the top spot as well as at No. 3.
The Volunteers extended their lead to 3-0 with straight set wins at No. 4 and No. 6 singles as Brandon Fickley beat UNC's William Parker and Edward Jones defeated Carolina's Maik Ulrich.
Carolina sophomore Oystein Steiro got the Tar Heels back into the match with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over John Collins of the Volunteers at No. 5 singles, cutting UNC's deficit to 3-1. At that point in time, the Tar Heels needed a remarkable comeback as the Volunteers had won the first set at the top three singles positions in the lineup. Eventually, 40th-ranked Hunter Reese clinched the match for UT as he defeated Carolina's Nelson Vick 6-1, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.
The Vols had beaten tournament host Illinois (No. 16) 4-0 on Friday in the semifinals while the Tar Heels had prevailed with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over 24th-ranked Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane bounced back to beat Illinois 4-2 in Saturday's consolation match.
Carolina returns to action next Saturday when the 18th-ranked Tar Heels play host to 36th-ranked Louisville (3-3) at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. Admission is free.
#19 Tennessee 4, #18 North Carolina 1
Atkins Tennis Center, Urbana Ill.
ITA Kick-Off Weekend Championship Match
Doubles (Team Winning Majority Of Matches Earns One Team Point)
Order of match finish: (3, 1)
1. #26 Mikelis Libietis and Jarryd Chaplin (UT) d. #44 Esben Hess-Olesen and Nelson Vick (UNC), 8-5
2. Brett Clark and William Parker (UNC) led Edward Jones and John Collins (UT), 6-4, DNF
3. Hunter Reese and Brandon Fickey (UT) d. Stuart DePaolo and Oystein Steiro (UNC), 8-2
Singles (One Team Point Per Singles Match)
Order of match finish: (4, 6, 5, 1, 2)
1. #9 Mikelis Libietis (UT) led #18 Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC), 6-1, 4-6, 3-1, DNF
2. #40 Hunter Reese (UT) d. #58 Nelson Vick (UNC), 6-1, 6-4
3. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) led #57 Brett Clark (UNC), 7-5, 4-4, DNF
4. Brandon Fickey (UT) d. #102 William Parker (UNC), 6-3, 6-1
5. Oystein Steiro (UNC) d. John Collins (UT), 7-5, 6-2
6. Edward Jones (UT) d Maik Ulrich (UNC), 6-4, 6-0
Records: North Carolina 3-1, Tennesse 9-0