Vols Lose 4-1 to No. 3 UCLA to Start National Indoors
SEATTLE -- Sophomore Mikelis Libietis won his match but the Vols could not turn the tide in singles Friday in a 4-1 opening-round loss to UCLA at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The Vols (11-2) lost the doubles point and took two of the six first sets in singles.
The third-ranked Bruins (8-0) extended its lead to 2-0 when Karue Sell defeated Edward Jones 6-1, 6-3 on court 6.
Minutes later, Libietis put the Vols on the board by defeating No. 58 Denis Novikov 6-3, 6-4 to extend his spring winning streak to nine matches and improve to 23-3 this year.
The Bruins' final two points of the match came against Brandon Fickey and Hunter Reese, who were riding 10- and 12-match winning streaks respectively into the tournament.
No. 55 Dennis Mkrtchian rallied in the first set and pulled away in the second set against Fickey 7-6 (3), 6-1 on court 4. No. 13 Marcos Giron provided the clinching point, winning the final four games of the match to beat Reese 6-3, 7-5 on court 2.
The Vols are now in the consolation bracket, where they will take on Ole Miss, who lost 4-0 to Georgia.
UCLA 4, Tennessee 1
1. Mikelis Libietis (TENN) def. Denis Novikov (UCLA), 6-3, 6-4
2. Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. Hunter Reese (TENN), 6-3, 7-5
3. Adrien Puget (UCLA) vs. Jarryd Chaplin (TENN), 7-6 (0), 3-4 unfinished
4. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Brandon Fickey (TENN), 7-6 (3), 6-1
5. Clay Thompson (UCLA) vs. John Collins (TENN), 3-6, 7-5, 4-0 unfinished
6. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Edward Jones (TENN), 6-1, 6-3
1. Giron/Novikov (UCLA) vs. Libietis/Chaplin (TENN), 7-7 unfinished
2. Puget/Sell (UCLA) def. Jones/Collins (TENN), 8-4
3. Mkrtchian/Brigham (UCLA) def. Reese/Fickey (TENN), 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (6,1,4,2).