NCAA Mens Tennis

Vols Advance to NCAA Second Round with 4-1 Win over Belmont

Vols Advance to NCAA Second Round with 4-1 Win over Belmont

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The eighth-seeded Tennessee men’s tennis team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 4-1 win over Belmont Saturday at Barksdale Stadium.
Tennessee (22-7) took the doubles point for the 25th time this season, with wins on courts one and three over Belmont (21-6).
The fourth-ranked doubles duo of Pat Harper and Johannus Monday logged a 6-2 win over Belmont’s No. 88 pairing of Marko Ilic and Riccardo Trione. The doubles clinch came on court three, as Angel Diaz and Martim Prata rolled past Tomas Luis and Ian Cruz, 6-1.
“I thought we played pretty well in the doubles,” Tennessee head coach Chris Woodruff said. “We’ve been talking about it. This time of year, it’s really hard to find a right or a wrong. Most importantly, we play tomorrow in the second round. We’re going to try to come out and get off to a good start like we did today and then see what happens from there.”
Diaz’s 6-2, 6-3, win over Trione on court five gave UT a 2-0 advantage. For Diaz, it’s his 29th singles win of the season and he improves to 12-2 at the No. 5 singles slot this spring.
“It’s a byproduct of one of the guys on the team who’s had to do a lot this year,” Woodruff said. “I would say the jump that he’s shown from last year to this year has been remarkable. That’s not only on the singles court, but he didn’t play a lot of doubles last year. He just comes out, plays aggressive and his mindset has gotten a lot stronger. He’s able to take the good with the bad probably better than he used to. With the expectations that come with transferring in, I think he understands what we’re trying to do here.”
Moments after Belmont won on court three, Tennessee’s fifth-ranked SEC Player of the Year, Monday, took down Marko Ilic, 6-4, 6-0. Monday won 12 of the match’s final 14 games after going down an early break in the first set.
The clinching fourth point came from Tomas Rodriguez, taking a straight-set, 6-2, 6-4, decision over Belmont’s Jack Randall on court six. Rodriguez has won each of his four singles matches, dropping just 11 total games over that span. Singles matches on courts two and four went unfinished.


Should Tennessee defeat Wake Forest Sunday in the NCAA Round of 32 Sunday, it would advance to the Super Regional round for a third consecutive NCAA Tournament.



The Vols face Wake Forest Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The winner advances to the NCAA Super…

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