Tennessee men's tennis defeats Florida, claims program's fourth SEC Championship
After some drama, the Tennessee men's tennis team downed top-ranked Florida 4-3 on Friday in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to claim the program's fourth SEC Championship.
Luca Wiedenmann's teammates rushed the court after what looked like a service ace with a 6-2 lead over Florida's Blaise Bicknell. The No. 5 Vols held a 3-2 match lead at that point, meaning Wiedenmann's efforts would have given them the win.
But an official's review overturned the decision, showing the ball landed just outside the lines of play. Bicknell battled back and tied the match at three-all.
Unaware as to what was happening, Tennessee's Martim Prata held serve in a 5-5 match against Andy Andrade. He'd take the next two games, and officially clinch the SEC title for the Vols (24-3).
It's Tennessee's first SEC Championship under coach Chris Woodruff, who was hired in 2017, and first since 2010. Woodruff, a native of Knoxville, played for the Vols in 1992 and 1993 and was the NCAA singles champion in 1993.
Wiedenmann and Prata were both named to the SEC All-Tournament team, while Prada earned Tournament MVP. Prata was 4-1 over the tournament, picking up two singles and two doubles victories.
Florida was the third team ranked inside the top 15 that Tennessee had to get past in its campaign for a championship.
The Vols defeated No. 13 Ole Miss 4-1 in the quarterfinals and cruised past No. 12 South Carolina 4-0 in the semifinals.
The Vols will move on to the NCAA Super Regional Championships on May 17, hosted at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida.