Tennessee men's tennis' NCAA Tournament run comes to end with semifinals loss to Baylor

Will Backus
Knoxville News Sentinel

The Tennessee men's tennis team's NCAA Tournament run is over. 

The No. 3 Vols (28-4) suffered a 4-2 loss to No. 2 Baylor (34-4) in the semifinals on Friday in Orlando, Florida.  

“I couldn't be prouder of our guys," Tennessee coach Chris Woodruff said. "They fought so hard all season. Honestly I thought Baylor, at a few  spots, they outplayed us. We got overwhelmed in a couple of spots. And then you're looking at a guy in  Johannus Monday who's a freshman, and their No. 2 (Matias Soto) is an (upperclassman). There's a big,  big spread there of experience. I think that definitely factored into it at position two."

The Tennessee men’s tennis team watches singles matches against Baylor at the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Friday, May 21, 2021 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida.

Tennessee was able to capture the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead. Giles Hussey picked up a quick singles win in two sets to double the lead. 

FOOTBALL:Can Josh Heupel recruit? Unsure yet. But he's showing skill as a general manager | Toppmeyer

BASEBALL:Here's what has to happen for Tennessee baseball to win the SEC East

But Baylor was able to rattle off two singles wins of its own to tie the match. From there, the Bears triumphed in two matches that both went to three sets to secure the victory. 

This semifinals appearance was Tennessee's first since 2010. The Vols won their other four matches in the NCAA Tournament by a combined score of 17-4. 

They also captured the SEC Championship with a 4-3 win against Florida on April 23

"But at the end of the day, there can only be one," Woodruff said. "At the start of the season, we had some pretty lofty goals  and we really accomplished a lot and we put ourselves right where we wanted to be. We played for four  hours today and yes, it's going to sting, but the most important thing is next year, everybody on the team  will know exactly what it feels like. I always talk about experience, and we've got incredible experience."