Vols Hold Off Radford in Opening Round of NCAA Championship


No. 3 Vols Hold Off Radford in Opening Round of NCAA Championship
KNOXVILLE, TENN. - Radford's 18-match winning streak and most successful season in school history came to an end Friday as the Highlanders fell to No. 3 Tennessee, 4-0, in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship at Barksdale Tennis Stadium / Goodfriend Tennis Center.
Despite their first setback since March 4, the Highlanders were up a set on three courts when the match was decided, including Nick Sayer (Hong Kong, Hong Kong / Cams Hill School), who was leading the nation's No. 3 singles player Rhyne Williams.
Like Sayer, fellow freshman Stijn Meulemans (Belgium / KA2 sportschool Hasselt) was up on a nationally-ranked foe, 7-5, 4-3, while Thomas Dehaen (Zwevegem, Belgium / Middenjury) captured the first set on court six.
After playing five minutes outdoors, the match was moved inside due to severe thunderstorms.
The Highlanders, who captured their fourth Big South title in five years, conclude the spring a school-best 22-4, while Tennessee (22-4) advances to the Round of 32, where it will take on Virginia Tech Saturday.
Led by the nation's top-ranked duo of J.P. Smith and Boris Conkic, the Volunteers grabbed the early 1-0 advantage by winning the doubles point. Tennessee clinched the point with victories on courts two (8-3) and one (8-2).
The Vols got straight-set singles wins from No. 11 Smith (6-2, 6-1), Conkic (6-1, 6-2) and No. 45 Tennys Sandgren (6-3, 6-2) to secure the dual.
NOTES: Radford finished with the best record (22-4) and longest winning streak (18) in school history... The Highlanders have competed in four of the last five NCAA Tournaments... Ivan Salec will take part in the NCAA Singles Championships May 25-30 at The Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif., on the campus of Stanford University... 2011 marks the sixth straight season a Highlander has received an automatic bid to the NCAA singles competition...
No. 3 Tennessee 4, No. 64 Radford 0
2011 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship
Barksdale Stadium / Goodfriend Tennis Center
Doubles Competition
1) #1 Boris Conkic/John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. Ivan Salec/Thomas Dehaen (RU), 8-2           
2) #72 Tennys Sandgren / Rhyne Williams (UT) def. Stijn Meulemans/Igor Ogrizek (RU), 8-3                       
3) Matteo Fago/Edward Jones (UT) led Joe Mills/Nick Sayer (RU), 6-5 (unfinished)
Order of Finish: 1, 2
Singles Competition
1) #11 John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. #124 Ivan Salec (RU), 6-2, 6-1
2) Nick Sayer (RU) led #3 Rhyne Williams (UT), 7-6 (1), 3-3 (unfinished)
3) #45 Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Igor Ogrizek (RU), 6-3, 6-2
4) Boris Conkic (UT) def. Joe Mills (RU), 6-1, 6-2           
5) Stijn Meulemans (RU) led #80 Matteo Fago (UT) 7-5, 4-3 (unfinished)
6) Thomas Dehaen (RU) led Edward Jones (UT), 6-4, 2-4 (unfinished)
Order of Finish: 1, 4, 3