FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The sixth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers collected their first SEC shutout of the season Friday afternoon, jumping ahead early to beat Arkansas 4-0 at the Billingsley Tennis Center.
The Vols (19-6, 6-3 SEC) won the doubles point and then rolled ahead in singles to take all six first sets. Mikelis Libietis, Hunter Reese and Jarryd Chaplin provided the Vols' singles wins on the top three courts to complete the team's fourth-consecutive victory.
"Coming to Arkansas, it's always a difficult trip," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "They have great fans. They compete hard every time. I'm proud of our guys supporting each other the way they did and competing the way they did."
Tennessee had last the doubles point last time against the Razorbacks, but that was not the case this time out.
The Vols got early breaks on courts 1 and 3 and kept pulling away. Libietis and Reese, ranked seventh nationally, improved to 8-0 in SEC play with an 8-3 win over Gregoire Lehmann and Mike Ward on court 1. Edward Jones and John Collins followed in a 8-3 victory on court 3 to clinch the doubles point.
In singles, the Vols won the first sets on all six courts. Not long after Collins' wrapped up the final first set on court 4, Tennessee started putting more points on the team scoreboard.
Within minutes, the match was over. Libietis defeated Lehmann 6-3, 6-1 to extend his winning streak to nine matches in SEC play. Reese put the Vols up 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 win against Mike Nott next to him on court 2. Chaplin closed out the team victory by beating Santiago Munoz 6-4, 6-3 on court 3.
"We haven't taken six first sets in a while," Winterbotham said. "It's hard to do. I think that was a pretty good statement for the team to come on out and take care of business. And you've got to finish. I thought we closed out the match well today."
Tennessee plays its final road match of the regular season Sunday at LSU at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. Note this is 30 minutes earlier than the original scheduled time.
Tennessee 4, Arkansas 0
1. #3 Mikelis Libietis, UT, def. Gregoire Lehmann, ARK, 6-3, 6-1
2. #31 Hunter Reese, UT, def. Mike Nott, ARK, 6-1, 6-2
3. Jarryd Chaplin, UT, def. Santiago Munoz, ARK, 6-4, 6-3
4. John Collins, UT, vs. Victor Hoang, ARK, 7-5, 0-2
5. Ed Jones, UT, vs. Jovan Parlic, ARK, 6-3, 2-5
6. Taylor Patrick, UT, vs. Pete Thomason, ARK, 6-3, 4-4
1. #7 Libietis/Reese, UT, def. Lehmann/Ward, ARK, 8-3
2. Fickey/Chaplin, UT, vs. Hoang/Nott, ARK, 3-7
3. #52 Jones/Collins, UT, def. Munoz/Fess, ARK, 8-3
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,1,3).