PREVIEW MATTEO FAGO enjoyed the best fall season of his career, finishing with a 10-2 record and five wins against ranked opponents. He also captured his first collegiate singles title.
JOHN-PATRICK SMITH 3-Time All-America
THE RETURN BORIS CONKIC 3-Time All-SEC
TENNYS SANDGREN 2010 All-SEC
With a proven senior class, the nation’s top-ranked singles player and a rising group of sophomores, the Vols have high expectations again for 2011 WELCOME TO YEAR NO. 5
This season marks the fifth year head coach Sam Winterbotham and associate head coach Chris Woodruff have been working together at Tennessee. In that time, they have rebuilt the Vols into a national contender once again with three top-10 finishes the last three years. The Vols finished 31-2 last season on their way to the regular season and tournament Southeastern Conference titles. The team also advanced to the NCAA national finals for the first time since 2001. Winterbotham was named SEC Coach of the Year as well as the ITA Ohio Valley Region Coach of the Year. Woodruff earned regional assistant coach of the year honors. Tennessee has a 94-21 record since Winterbotham joined Tennessee in the fall of 2006. In that time, the Vols have finished 35-9 in the SEC. Individually, Tennessee has had eight All-America and 13 All-SEC selections.
Ranked third in the ITA national poll to start 2011, the Vols have the opportunity to capture consecutive SEC titles for the first time in program history. To repeat in the SEC, they must once again navigate an extremely difficult conference schedule. Four SEC opponents are ranked in the top 20 and eight in the top 50 to start the season. 4
A VETERAN ROSTER
The Vols are not short on dual match experience. Six of the eight regular 2010 starters for the Vols are back this season, including five of six in the singles lineup. The roster (see page 6) features three seniors, a junior, four sophomores and three freshmen. Four Vols -- John-Patrick Smith, Rhyne Williams, Boris Conkic and Tennys Sandgren -- are returning All-SEC. Smith was last season’s SEC Player of the Year after going 9-1 at No. 1 singles, and Williams shared SEC Freshman of the Year honors after going 10-1 at No. 3 singles and had the same record with Conkic at No. 2 doubles. Smith earned All-America honors for a third time in singles and doubles, and Williams earned All-America in singles.
STARTING WITH SENIORS
A key element in the Vols’ return among the elite college programs is the senior class. Boris Conkic, Matteo Fago and 2010 SEC Player of the Year John-Patrick Smith have been mainstays in Tennessee’s lineup the last three seasons, and since their arrival on the Knoxville campus, the Vols have risen from 25th-ranked in the country to second by the end of the 2010 season. The Vols have won more dual matches from 2008-10 than in any other three-year period in program history. Since Smith, Conkic and Fago joined the program as freshman, Tennessee has won 77 matches.
2011 SEASON PREVIEW
NO. 1 & NO. 1
Tennessee is still at the top of the singles rankings to start 2011, albeit with a different representative. Sophomore Rhyne Williams enters the spring season as the No. 1-ranked player after winning the final national event of the fall. He assumed the top ranking from Smith, who held the position through the fall. Williams went on a tear to end the fall season, becoming the third Vol to ever hoist the singles title at the ITA National Indoors. Four of the five opponents he defeated are currently ranked in the top 10.
In addition to Williams, the Vols have depth and talent in the sophomore class. When he joined the team in January 2010, Tennys Sandgren became an immediate factor in the Tennessee lineup, earning second-team All-SEC honors after going 10-0 at the No. 4 singles slot. During the fall, Sandgren was 7-3 and won his first singles and doubles titles at the Elon Invitational. Edward Jones became a fixture at No. 3 in the Vols’ doubles lineup with Fago at the start of the SEC season last year, and the sophomore from Camarthen, Wales, figures to be a part of the 2011
lineup as well in singles and doubles. Jones was 7-3 in doubles during the fall, reaching the semifinals of the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships with Williams. Taylor Patrick also collected his first career singles title, winning the 64-player Division III draw at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. The Knoxville native finished the fall with 10 wins, one more than his entire freshman total.
The Vols’ got a boost to their depth this spring with the arrival of freshman Jarryd Chaplin of Sydney, Australia. The serve-andvolley specialist brings extensive junior experience and success, particularly in doubles. Hunter Reese of Kennesaw, Ga., also joined the Vols this spring and is redshirting. Reese was the No. 2-ranked recruit from Georgia and rated in the top 25 nationally by tennisrecruiting.net.
As Winterbotham starts the year six dual-match wins from his 100th as head coach of Tennessee, the trio of seniors are also reaching impressive individual heights. With 86 and 83 wins respectively, Conkic and Fago are both on pace to join Smith among the small handful of Vols with 100 career singles wins. Entering the spring season, only seven Vols have ever reached the 100-win milestone in singles, and Tennessee has never had three teammates to each have at least 100 wins at the same time. Smith, who has been ranked in the top 10 in doubles with four different partners in his career, will likely end his playing days at UT’s career doubles wins leader. He is starting the spring season with 116 doubles victories, 15 behind career leader Byron Talbot, who had 131 from 1985-88.
FEBRUARY 5 12 14 18-21 27
@ Illinois Champaign, Ill. @ Duke Durham, N.C. Louisville Knoxville ITA National Team Indoor Championships Seattle, Wash. Wake Forest Knoxville
MARCH 4 6 11 13 15 19 26
Alabama* Auburn* @ Kentucky* @ Vanderbilt* @ Baylor Arkansas* @ LSU*
APRIL 1 3 8 10 16 21-24
@ Mississippi State* @ Mississippi* South Carolina* Florida* @ Georgia* SEC Tennis Championships Gainesville, Fla.
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7 p.m. 6 p.m. 2 p.m.
Not surprisingly, Conkic, Fago and Smith have enjoyed great individual success as well. They have earned a combined seven AllSEC honors. Last season, Fago and Smith, both Economics majors, were named ITA Scholar-Athletes. During the fall, Fago won his first career singles title, the Crimson Tide Invitational, and Smith reached the 32-player field at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships for the third time in his career. Conkic took the fall semester off school, but has returned for his final season.
Note: All times Eastern Date Event/Opponent Place 6-11 Rainbow Warrior Challenge^ Honolulu, Hawaii 14-17 SEC Coaches Indoor Championships^ Knoxville 21 East Tennessee State Knoxville ITA Kick-Off Weekend 28 San Diego Knoxville 29 Clemson/USC Upstate Knoxville
 Rhyne Williams  John-Patrick Smith  Matteo Fago
Former Vols Mike DePalmer Jr., Williams’ uncle, and Paul Annacone were teammates who each eventually reached the No. 1 ranking during the early 1980s, but 2010-11 marks the first time UT has had boasted two players at No. 1 in the same season.
The Vols opened the season ranked third nationally in the January ITA coaches poll. Sophomore Rhyne Williams debuted at No. 1 in singles, replacing John-Patrick Smith, the top-ranked player during the fall. No doubles team was nationally ranked, but that is sure to change with the return of senior Boris Conkic, who has been as high as fourth nationally with both Smith and Williams.
RHYNE WILLIAMS rose to the top of the rankings in January after winning the singles title at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. He took over the No. 1 spot from John-Patrick Smith, who held the position for five months in 2010.
Knoxville Knoxville Lexington, Ky. Nashville Waco, Texas Knoxville Baton Rouge, La.
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Starkville, Miss. Oxford, Miss. Knoxville Knoxville Athens, Ga.
3 p.m. 2 p.m. 2 p.m. 1 p.m. 5 p.m.
13-14 NCAA Team Championships: First and Second Rounds TBA 19-24 NCAA Team Championships: Final Site Palo Alto, Calif. 25-30 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships^ Palo Alto, Calif. KEY ^ - Individual Competition; * Southeastern Conference Match 2011 Tennessee Tennis Media Guide
WELCOME TO THE NEW GOODFRIEND EDWARD JONES
When the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center closed its doors following the first two rounds of the NCAA Championships in 2010, construction immediately started to renovate the 12-year-old on-campus facility. As pictured on the media guide cover, Goodfriend has been expanded from four to six courts during the offseason and chairbacked seating has been installed throughout the viewing balcony. New locker rooms and coaches offices were also part of the expansion and are set for completion by the 2011 fall season. Barksdale Stadium, the Vols’ adjoining outdoor home, is also scheduled for upgrades in the coming years. Future rennovations plans include: • Grandstand seating expansion outdoors • New club house and press box • Hospitality area at Barksdale Stadium • New strength and conditioning room • Additional outdoor courts
To kick off 2011, the Vols hopped on a plane bound for Hawaii to compete in the Rainbow Warrior Challenge For the first time since 2002, the Vols were back in Hawaii, opening the spring season by playing in the Rainbow Warrior Challenge. Tennessee won 25 of 28 singles matches against Louisville and Hawaii during the week, taking 7 of 8 doubles matches against Louisville as well. Sophomore Rhyne Williams defended his newly acquired No. 1 national ranking by finishing the week 3-0 and earning tournament MVP honors. Fellow sophomore Tennys Sandgren picked up his first career victory against a top-10 opponent and was named to the all-touranment team. Seniors John-Patrick Smith and Boris Conkic earned those honors as well. None of the matches counted as team results, but each match counted toward individual ranking. “It was good fun, and I think those kinds of trips do a lot for team bonding and making everyone
so much more comfortable with each other,” said freshman Jarryd Chaplin, who was on his first trip as the newest member of the team. “We spent a lot of time in the sun and then we beat a couple schools as well, so that was the best part.” Between matches, practices and fitness training, the team managed to find time for other activities in Hawaii. Off-court experiences included: • Visted the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor • Snorkeling at one of the coral reefs. • Ran up Diamond Head, the former volcano and scenic view on Oahu • Attended a luau in which several Vols performed their attempts at the hula onstage. SCAN THIS QR code to check out
the Vols’ Facebook page to see more (in color) photos of the team trip to Hawaii.
2011 TENNESSEE ROSTER Name Jarryd Chaplin Boris Conkic Matteo Fago Edward Jones Colton Norton Taylor Patrick Hunter Reese Tennys Sandgren John-Patrick Smith Bryan Swartz Rhyne Williams
Year Fr. Sr. Sr. So. Fr. So. Fr. So. Sr. Jr. So.
Ht 6-0 5-9 6-0 6-2 5-11 5-8 5-10 6-2 6-2 6-3 6-1
Wt 182 171 185 152 167 146 158 183 181 170 177
Hometown Sydney, Australia Novi Sad, Serbia Ceprano, Italy Carmarthen, Wales Jackson, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Kennesaw, Ga. Gallatin, Tenn. Townsville, Australia Sarasota, Fla. Knoxville, Tenn.
Prev. School Karabar High School Ekonomsko Trqovinska Skola Liceo Scientifico Millfield College University School of Jackson Bearden High School North Cobb High School Aaron Academy Townsville Grammar Miami Online Alpha-Omega Academy
Head Coach: Sam Winterbotham (5th season) Associate Head Coach: Chris Woodruff (9th season) Volunteer Assistant Coach: Christopher Williams (1st season)
Boris Conkic C.C. “Doe” Silberman Memorial Scholarship Matteo Fago McLaughlin Athletic Scholarship Endowment Edward Jones GNB Financial Services Scholarship Endowment Taylor Patrick Markham Athletic Scholarship Endowment
Tennys Sandgren Jones Brothers Inc Athletic Scholarship Endowment John-Patrick Smith James M. Boring Athletic Scholarship W.W. & Robert Kennerly Athletic Endowment Rhyne Williams Leslie & Rita Doss Athletic Endowment
2011 SEASON PREVIEW
Team Points 1. Mississippi 70 2. Mississippi State 55 3. Auburn 45 4. LSU 37 5. Alabama 30 6. Arkansas 15
Overall Regular Season Champion: Tennessee (10 points); Florida (1); Georgia (1).
THREE VOLS COMING OFF 10-WIN SEASONS IN SEC There’s no real secret to it, but Matteo Fago has been a success in SEC dual matches. He leads the Vols with a 28-3 career record in conference competition, but he is not the only one with a high winning percentage: Name Matteo Fago John-Patrick Smith Boris Conkic Tennys Sandgren Rhyne Williams
SEC Singles Record 2010 Career 10-1 28-3 9-1 23-7 6-5 23-8 10-0 10-0 10-1 10-1
Location Starkville, Miss. Head Coach Per Nilsson (4th yr) 2010 overall record 10-12 2010 conference record 2-8 Final ITA ranking NR Series Record UT leads 32-15 Last Result UT won 5-2
Location Fayetteville, Ark. Head Coach Robert Cox (24th yr) 2010 overall record 10-16 2010 conference record 1-10 Final ITA ranking 73 Series Record UT leads 20-12 Last Result UT won 6-1
Location Lexington, Ky. Head Coach Dennis Emery (28th yr) 2010 overall record 25-9 2010 conference record 8-3 Final ITA ranking 12 Series Record UT leads 45-37 Last Result UT won 6-1
Location Columbia, S.C. Head Coach Josh Goffi (1st yr) 2009 overall record 9-13 2009 conference record 1-10 Final ITA ranking 57 Series Record UT leads 28-18 Last Result UT won 6-1
Location Auburn, Ala. Head Coach Eric Shore (20th yr) 2010 overall record 14-11 2010 conference record 5-6 Final ITA ranking 32 Series Record UT leads 35-15 Last Result UT won 7-0
Location Baton Rouge, La. Head Coach Jeff Brown (13th yr) 2010 overall record 8-15 2010 conference record 3-8 Final ITA ranking 46 Series Record LSU leads 25-24 Last Result UT won 4-0
Location Nashville, Tenn. Head Coach Ian Duvenhage (5th yr) 2010 overall record 13-11 2010 conference record 5-6 Final ITA ranking 40 Series Record UT leads 51-11 Last Result UT won 6-1
Location Gainesville, Fla. Head Coach Andy Jackson (10th yr) 2010 overall record 21-5 2010 conference record 9-1 Final ITA ranking 8 Series Record Florida leads 26-24 Last Result UT won 4-0
Location Oxford, Miss. Head Coach Billy Chadwick (28th yr) 2010 overall record 19-8 2010 conference record 7-4 Final ITA ranking 19 Series Record UT leads 22-20 Last Result UT won 4-0 2011 Tennessee Tennis Media Guide
Team Points 1. Tennessee 72 2. Georgia 57 3. Florida 51 4. Kentucky 40 5. Vanderbilt 24 6. South Carolina 12
Location Athens, Ga. Head Coach Manuel Diaz (23rd yr) 2010 overall record 21-8 2010 conference record 9-2 Final ITA ranking 11 Series Record Georgia leads 43-23 Last Result UT won 4-1
Location Tuscaloosa, Ala. Head Coach Billy Pate (8th yr) 2010 overall record 13-14 2010 conference record 4-7 Final ITA ranking 34 Series Record UT leads 35-13 Last Result UT won 4-1
2011 SEC MEN’S TENNIS COACHES PRESEASON POLL
The Tennessee Volunteers were selected to repeat as SEC regular-season champions in the tennis coaches preseason poll, the conference office released Monday. Tennessee received 10 of the 12 votes to win the overall title, with Georgia and Florida getting a vote each. In the poll, the third-ranked Vols also received 72 points in the voting to lead a talented SEC Eastern Division, which features four teams ranked in the top 12. The Vols were followed by Georgia (57), Florida (51), Kentucky (40), Vanderbilt (24) and South Carolina (12). Mississippi, ranked 18th, was picked to win the Western Division with 70 points. Last season, Tennessee had one of its greatest years on record, finishing 31-2 overall and going
11-0 in the conference en route to hoisting the SEC regular-season trophy for the first time in a decade. The Vols also became the first in SEC history to win the conference tournament by shutting out all three opponents 4-0. Tennessee is attempting to win consecutive conference titles for the first time in program history, and the Vols return most of the lineup from last season. Five of six regulars from the singles lineup are still on the roster, including last year’s SEC Player of the Year, senior John-Patrick Smith, and current No. 1-ranked singles player Rhyne Williams, a sophomore from Knoxville. Also back with the Vols are All-SEC performers Boris Conkic and Tennys Sandgren. Senior Matteo Fago, currently ranked 38th nationally, has a 28-3 career record in conference dual matches (see box below).
INSIDE THE SEC
Vols Picked to Repeat in SEC
Williams Captures National Indoors Title to End Fall NOVEMBER 7, 2010 FLUSHING, N.Y. -- After losing a shaky first set in just 25 minutes, sophomore Rhyne Williams sat down on the bench during and resolved to get back in contention in his first national championship appearance. “It was just such a big match,” Williams said. “There was no way I was going to go down quietly. I just wanted to really fight back hard, and that’s what I did.” True to his word, Williams rallied the next two sets and defeated defending champion Steve Johnson of Southern California 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 to capture the singles title at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. He became the third UT champion and the first to win the Intercollegiate Indoors since Paul Annacone hoisted the trophy in 1984. Nerves got the best of Williams at the start. He missed shots early and was broken twice. He started the match down 0-5, although he did manage two break point opportunities. Johnson eventually won the set 6-1. “I was quite nervous, and I don’t think I warmed up to well and prepared myself before the match,” Williams said. “I came out flat. And you have to give credit to him. He really jumped on me and used his forehand really well at the beginning, and I was kind of lucky to get back into it.” Williams and Johnson completely reversed roles in the second set. The Knoxville native broke Johnson at 2-1 to start and rolled the rest of the way, tying the match with a 6-1 score in the set. Until the final, Johnson had not had his serve broken the entire tournament. “For some reason I got a read on his serve,” Williams said. “I was very fortunate. These courts are really quick, and it’s very important to read a guy’s serve.” Williams had a break-point opportunity in the third set with the match tied at 3-3. Williams mishit the return on Johnson’s second serve, but the ball cleared the net for a winner, giving the Vol a 4-3 lead. 8
TROPHY CASE With Rhyne Williams’ and Matteo Fago’s singles titles on the final day of the fall season, the Vols finished with five individual titles:
Matteo Fago Crimson Tide Fall Invitational (Flight 1) Taylor Patrick Southern Intercollegiate Championships (Divison III) Tennys Sandgren Elon Invitational (Flight 1) Rhyne Williams USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
Jones/Sandgren Elon Invitational (Flight 1)
Three games later, Williams won the match on a serve that Johnson could not return, and he immediately threw his racket toward the ceiling and erupted in his characteristic shout of celebration. During the four-day tournament, Williams defeated five ranked opponents. He started the 32-player event in a head-turning way, upsetting top-seeded freshman standout Alex Domijan of Virginia via two tiebreakers. He beat ninthranked Alexandre Lacroix of Florida in the semifinals and captured the championship with a tense win over seventh-ranked Johnson. “This is a really special tournament; you go back and look at the winners, it’s a who’s who of professional tennis,” Tennessee associate head coach Chris Woodruff said. “It was really great that Rhyne won this tournament. JP (Smith) won the outdoor equivalent of this last year in the AllAmerican. To come and win this indoor this year, it’s a sign our program is headed in the right direction.” Woodruff said Williams has had the skills to win national championships, but the main issue in the past has been the ability to maintain focus
throughout a tournament. “He definitely has the ability to play top-100 level tennis -- top-50 level tennis, I think,” Woodruff said. “Who knows after that. I was wondering if he was focused. To his credit, he kept it together. He kept the puzzle together without losing any pieces.”
• On the same day Williams won his title in Flushing, senior Matteo Fago won his first-career singles title at the Crimson Tide Invitational in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He beat Akash Muppidi of Boston College 6-4, 6-2 in the final round. • Sophomore Tennys Sandgren collected his first singles and doubles titles in his first full season in UT uniform, winning both the same day at the Elon Invitational in October. Sandgren teamed up with fellow sophomore Edward Jones to win the doubles championship 8-2 against UNC-Wilmington’s Kosta Blank and Illia Ziamstou. Sandgren later defeated Campbell’s Davy Sum 6-2, 6-3 in the singles final. • Sophomore Taylor Patrick started out the fall with his best tournament, winning the 64-player Division III draw at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in September. He earned a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Wofford’s Paul Bartholomy.
With the National Indoors trophy in hand, Rhyne Williams became the fifth Vol to win a national singles title, joining: Name Event John-Patrick Smith 2009 ITA All-American Chris Woodruff 1993 NCAAs Paul Annacone 1984 National Indoors Mel Purcell 1980 National Indoors