SEATTLE -- The 14th-ranked Vols lost their second match at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Saturday in an SEC preview against Ole Miss.
The Vols (11-3) lost the doubles point for the second day in a row and eventually lost 4-1 in the three-and-a-half hour loss to No. 12 Mississippi at the Seattle Tennis Club.
Three matches went the full three sets, and one of them proved to be a decider. Adrian Forberg Skogeng defeated Edward Jones 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 on court 6 to clinch the match while sophomore Hunter Reese and junior Jarryd Chaplin were still on court deep in the third set.
"I feel like we're at a very important stage of our season," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "I see improvement in a lot of areas. We've got to make adjustments to keep us on the right path in a couple of areas, and we'll do that. We see clearly what we've got to do.
"We're playing great teams, and we absolutely believe we can beat these top teams. We are in matches, but we're allowing too many matches to get away from us quickly."
The Vols dropped the doubles point that came down to court 1, which Jarryd Chaplin and Mikelis Libietis lost 8-6 to 16th-ranked Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen. In singles play, Ole Miss extended its lead to 3-0 when Scholtz snapped Libietis' 9-match winning streak 7-5, 6-3 on court 1 and Stefan Lindmark beat John Collins 6-1, 7-5 on court 5.
Sophomore Brandon Fickey delivered the Vols' only point in singles, beating Johan Backstrom 7-5, 6-3. Fickey improved to 21-6 this season.
The remaining three matches were on court in the third set. Jones on 6 and Reese on 2 both fought off match points before Jones eventually lost to Forberg Skogeng. Chaplin has serving for the match on court 3 against William Kallberg, and Reese was down a break 5-3 to Lutjen.
Reese and Lutjen have a history of three-set matches. In their previous two meetings, each has won a long three setter.
"Jarryd's been in both of his matches, playing and fighting extremely well," Winterbotham said. "It seems like Hunter and Lutjen every time they play have a battle. That was par for the course."
The Vols' lone doubles win came on court 2 from Jones and Collins, who beat Kallberg and Forberg Skogeng 8-4. It was Jones' 81st career doubles win, putting him just two away from former doubles partner Matteo Fago for 10th on the UT career doubles list.
"I'm proud of 2 doubles. They did a great job," Winterbotham said. "They're improving and doing things right. It's just not clicking across the board how we'd like right now, but that's not to say people aren't trying."
The Vols are set to play one more SEC foe Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern, against either Mississippi State or Texas A&M.
Ole Miss 4, Tennessee 1
1. #24 Nik Scholtz (MISS) def. #11 Mikelis Libietis (TENN), 7-5, 6-3
2. #6 Jonas Lutjen (MISS) vs. #26 Hunter Reese (TENN), 6-1, 2-6, 5-3 unfinished
3. #40 William Kallberg (MISS) vs. Jarryd Chaplin (TENN), 2-6, 6-4, 5-6 unfinished
4. #87 Brandon Fickey (TENN) def. Johan Backstrom (MISS), 7-5, 6-3
5. #84 Stefan Lindmark (MISS) def. John Collins (TENN), 6-1, 7-5
6. Adrian Forberg Skogeng (MISS) def. Edward Jones (TENN), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
1. #16 Scholtz/Lutjen (MISS) def. #26 Libietis/Chaplin (TENN), 8-6
2. Jones/Collins (TENN) def. #25 Kallberg/Forberg Skogeng (MISS), 8-4
3. Backstrom/Lindmark (MISS) def. Reese/Fickey (TENN), 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (5, 1, 4, 6)