University of Tennessee Team Page
The Vols will face third-seeded UCLA to open the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle later this week, the college tennis governing body announced Tuesday.
Tennessee, ranked 14th nationally, will take on the Bruins on Friday at 11 a.m. Eastern (8 a.m. Pacific time) at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Washington.
The Vols (11-1) have reached the 16-team field at the National Indoors each of the last five seasons, reaching the finals in 2010 and 2011. Washington last hosted this tournament in 2011, and an injury-depleted Vol squad played their way into the title match.
This season, Tennessee has won four matches already against top-40 opponents, three of those victories coming on the road. The Vols split their road trip last weekend, losing to No. 9 Duke 4-1 before beating No. 36 Wake Forest 4-3.
The Vols' sophomore trio will be taking extensive winning streaks into Seattle. Mikelis Libietis has won eight consecutive, including 7-0 at the No. 1 position. Hunter Reese has won 12 in a row and picked up his first collegiate singles title in January. Brandon Fickey upped his winning streak to 10 matches, earning the deciding victory against Wake Forest Sunday.
Tennessee and UCLA have faced the last three years at National Indoors. The Vols won quarterfinal meetings in 2010 and 2011, while the Bruins won 4-0 in consolation match last year.
THREE VOLS IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
Sophomore Brandon Fickey entered the national rankings for the first time in his career Tuesday, checking in at No. 87 thanks to his 10-0 start to the spring season.
Mikelis Libietis slid two positions to No. 11 nationally, although he is 22-3 this year and has not lost since the last ranking period. On a 12-match winning streak, Hunter Reese climbed 14 places to a career-best No. 26 entering the National Indoors.
In doubles, there were no significant changes for the Vols. Libietis and Jarryd Chaplin, the Vols' top team, stayed at No. 26. The pair is 13-2 together this year, 9-1 at the No. 1 position.
Based on their fall rankings together, Libietis and John Collins are No. 24 and Chaplin and Edward Jones are No. 42.