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MTN: Vols Get Past Kentucky to Move Into Semifinals of SEC Tourney

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Tennessee stepped up its play in Friday’s SEC quarterfinal match against Kentucky to get a measure of revenge for two regular season defeats as the sixth-ranked Vols dropped the 12th-ranked Wildcats 4-2 at Auburn’s Yarbrough Tennis Center. UT faces fourth-ranked Georgia Saturday in the semifinals.

“It was just a classic SEC match,” head coach Sam Winterbotham. “You had two teams that are two of the best in the country and they were giving it all they had. It was a great college tennis match. We made some adjustments as a team that (associate head coach) Chris (Woodruff) and I are extremely proud of. I really feel that this  team is bringing it together. We just need to prepare now for Georgia and continue making the adjustments that we focused on.”

Kentucky had won the previous two meetings this season and in both matches had won the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead. The Vols got off to a better start Friday as UT won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. Davey Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith ran out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back in defeating 20th-ranked Bruno Agostinelli and Brad Cox, 8-4. Tennessee clinched the point when Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago won 8-4 over Graeme Dyce and Eric Quigley, 8-4 at the No. 2 position.

The Vols (20-5) are now 15-0 this season when they win the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead into singles.

Kentucky (17-10) struck first in singles winning on courts three and four to take a 2-1 lead. Alex Musialek took down Sandgren 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 4 position and Quigley knocked Fago 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 for UK.

The Vols did not fold though as they won the next three singles matches to capture the match.

Matt Brewer tied the match with a win at the No. 6 position over Alberto Gonzalez, 6-2, 6-4. It is the 10th dual-match singles win for the UT junior this season.

Conkic put the Vols back in front with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Cox at the No. 2 position. The UT sophomore has now won 12 consecutive singles matches and is a team-best 19-2 in dual-match play this season.

Freshman Christian Hansen once again provided the winning point for Tennessee. The lone freshman in UT’s singles lineup defeated Graeme Dyce, 6-2, 6-4. Hansen has had the clinching point a team-high seven times this season and has had the winning point in five of UT’s last eight victories.

The lone singles match not to finish was the top-10 battle between fifth-ranked Agostinelli and eighth-ranked Smith. The fifth-ranked Wildcat won the first set but Smith won the second and the two netters were on serve in the third when Tennessee clinched the win and the match was suspended.

UT’s match against Georgia (22-2) is scheduled to begin Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. The Bulldogs defeated UT last Saturday 5-2 in Athens. The other semifinal between Ole Miss and Florida begins at noon ET. A link to live scoring can be found at

No. 6 Tennessee 4, No. 12 Kentucky 2
1. No. 5 Bruno Agostinelli (UK) led No. 8 John-Patrick Smith (UT) 6-4, 3-6, 2-1
2. No. 34 Boris Conkic (UT) def. Brad Cox (UK) 6-2, 7-5
3. No. 119 Eric Quigley (UK) def. Matteo Fago (UT) 6-3, 6-2
4. Alex Musialek (UK) def. Davey Sandgren (UT) 6-2, 6-2
5. Christian Hansen (UT) def. Graeme Dyce (UK) 6-2, 6-4
6. Matt Brewer (UT) def. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) 6-2, 6-4
Order of Finish: 4,3,6,2

1. No. 5 Sandgren/Smith (UT) def. No. 20 Agostinelli/Cox (UK) 8-4
2. No. 42 Conkic/Fago (UT) def. Dyce/Quigley (UK) 8-4
3. Gonzalez/Musialek (UK) led Brewer/Swartz (UT) 6-5
Order of Finish: 1,2


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