No. 19 Deacons Fall Short in 4-1 Loss at No. 14 Tennessee
Feb. 9, 2014
By Alex Botoman, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeMTennis)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - No. 34 Mikelis Libietis edged No. 20 Romain Bogaerts in a second set tiebreak to give No. 14 Tennessee a 4-1 win over No. 19 Wake Forest at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in Knoxville, Tenn. Sunday.
After Tennessee (9-1) took a 3-0 lead, Wake Forest (6-2) fought back to 3-1 when Jon Ho beat Brandon Fickey 6-4, 6-5 (6) at the No. 3 singles position and with all remaining matches close, the Demon Deacons had a look at a comeback.
To make things interesting though, the Deacons needed Bogaerts to force a third set against Libeitis, who reached No. 1 in the ITA Singles Rankings back in the fall. Bogaerts had a chance when Libietis double faulted twice late in the second set tiebreak to give him a set point, but the Latvian regrouped to take the next three points, winning 6-4, 6-5 (6) to clinch the win for the Volunteers.
At the time the match was stopped, Maksim Kan held a break lead over Tennessee senior Jarryd Chaplin at the No. 4 position and No. 59 Adam Lee was battling against No. 16 Hunter Reese after dropping the first set.
Ho's win gave him a measure of revenge against Fickey. When the two teams met in Winston-Salem last year, Fickey rallied from a 5-3 third set deficit to beat Ho, then a freshman, in the deciding match of a 4-3 Tennessee win.
Tennessee had taken the doubles point with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. At the top spot, top-ranked Libietis and Hunter beat No. 30 Lee and Pedro Dumont 6-3, and Markus Kerner and Andrew Dromsky clinched the point at No. 3 with a 6-3 win over Anthony Delcore and Aws Laaribi.
Dromsky and Kerner earned Tennessee's first singles points, beating Pedro Dumont and Jaya Billa at the bottom two positions.
Wake Forest will have a week off before another challenging road trip, this time to take on No. 49 Louisville on Feb. 23.
#14 Tennessee 4, #19 Wake Forest 1