Tennessee men's tennis downs Georgia, advances to NCAA semifinals for first time in over a decade
The Tennessee men's tennis team suffered a rare slip on Thursday.
The No. 3 seed Vols (28-3) dropped the doubles point to Georgia (17-7), falling behind 1-0 for the first time in six weeks. But Tennessee rattled off four-straight singles wins in Orlando, Florida, to advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2010.
“I was a little bit disappointed, but I told them that was probably the best thing that could happen," Tennessee coach Chris Woodruff said. "We’d been winning the doubles point, and it was windy … I think they really forced us to dig in. I thought we did a good job. We came out there, we got three first sets, which isn’t perfect, but it gets us in the match. Across the board we had guys hang in there, and no one went away, and we actually kind of flipped that match in the middle.”
The Vols will play No. 2 Baylor (33-4) at 2 p.m. Friday.
Adam Walton was the first player to get Tennessee on the board, downing Georgia's Trent Bryde in two sets to tie the match 1-1. From there, Johannus Monday and Andrew Rogers each earned two-set wins.
After falling behind on the first set 4-6, Luca Wiedenmann took the next two against Georgia's Blake Croyder to clinch Tennessee's 4-1 match victory.
“Now being a fifth-year, I’ve been in these situations a few times," Wiedenmann said. "It’s unique every single time, but you just have to trust your shots and you have to play your game in the big moments. I think I’ve learned to do that after all these years, and I have a few things in mind that I can do under pressure, and I always try to go back to those.”
It's the 20th clinch in Wiedenmann's career. Walton is now 7-0 during the NCAA Tournament. Three of those wins have come against ranked foes.