March 29, 2008
AUBURN - With the score tied 3-3, No.12 Tennessee (16-2, 5-2 SEC) pulled out the final and deciding singles victory to take the 4-3 victory over No. 25 Auburn (9-8, 3-4 SEC) Friday at Yarbrough Tennis Center.
"It is tough to lose a match like that," head coach Eric Shore said. "We played hard, but the breaks just didn't go our way."
Tennessee jumped out to the early lead in the match by earning the doubles point.
No.17 Kaden Hensel and J.P. Smith started things off for Tennessee on court one, defeating Alexey Tsyrenov and Terence Nugent, 8-4. Tim Puetz and Lukas Marsoun evened the score on court two as they defeated Davey Sandgren and Jeremy Tweedt, 8-5.
The Vols came away with the doubles point as Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago became the deciding factor over Pawel Dilaj and Milan Krnjetin, 9-8 (7-4).
Auburn quickly changed the momentum with three straight singles wins, leaving the Tigers looking for their fourth match clinching point.
Marsoun tied the score at one with a win in No. 4 singles over Sandgren, 6-4, 6-3. The Tigers then took the lead on court one as No. 35 Tsyrenov defeated No. 117 Hensel, 6-4, 6-4.
Auburn went up 3-1 as No. 114 Puetz came from behind to upset his No. 17-ranked opponent Smith, 6-3, 6-1, 6-2.
The momentum shifted in Tennessee's favor as they tied the score on courts five and six. Fago defeated Dilaj, 6-2, 6-4, and Tweedt overcame Alex Petropoulos, 7-6 (12-10), 6-3.
Tennessee clinched the match after an exhausting three-set victory by No. 118 Conkic over Nugent, 7-5, 7-5, 6-2.
"I thought we were going to win," Shore said. "We did everything right and it is tough to lose one like that, but we have to forget about that now and look forward to Sunday's match."
Auburn looks to finish out its home season against No. 3 Georgia Sunday at 1 p.m. at Yarbrough Tennis Center. The match is the final home match of the season for Auburn and is also Senior Day. Auburn seniors Pawel Dilaj and Terence Nugent will be honored prior to the match.