CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina – No. 20 Tennessee shook off the early-summer heat to defeat Colonial Athletic Association champion UNCW for the second time in the NCAA Men's Tennis Regionals with a 4-0 blanking of the Seahawks on Saturday at North Carolina's Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
The Vols, 21-8, will play the winner of the day's second match between the host Tar Heels and Campbell in Sunday's regional final.
"In the book, it's a 4-0 score, but we had our chances," said six-time CAA Coach-of-the-Year Mait DuBois of UNCW. "Today stings a little bit, but we feel good about our year overall.
"Tennessee got off to a much better start than we did and I thought they handled the heat much better than we did. That was the big difference in the match.
"Tennessee played hard and they have a solid team. They were a little better today. We were close to turning the corner, but just couldn't quite get it."
In Saturday's match, played in mid-80's temps, Tennessee, which earned an at-large entry to the tournament 10 days ago, surrendered just four games to nab the doubles point and then reeled off three singles victories to win the match in just over two hours.
UT cruised through the No 1 doubles pairing and then secured the point when the No. 3 tandem of Andrew Rogers and Scott Jones trimmed UNCW's Agustin Savarino and Michael Copeland, 6-3.
The Vols raised the margin to 2-0 right off the bat in singles as 16th-ranked Timo Stodder zipped past Seahawk senior Andres Torres, 6-3, 6-2, at the top of the lineup and UT then hiked the score to 3-0 behind Luis Valero's 6-3, 6-4, decision over Savarino at the No. 2 position.
UT's Luca Wiedenmann clinched the match for the Vols with a 6-1, 6-0, triumph against UNCW senior Josh Hublitz at No. 6 singles. The Vols were returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.
The Vols, making their 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, now stand 44-26 in post-season matches. UNCW is 1-7 in NCAA play in seven trips.
UT improved to 3-0 all-time against UNCW and 2-0 in the NCAA Tournament. The Vols downed UNCW, 4-1, in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament back on May 12, 2012.
DuBois said, "It's been a great year. We made some strides form last year. We're getting better and have a great nucleus coming back…there's a bright future for this group."
#20 Tennessee 4, UNCW 0
May 12, 2018 | NCAA Regionals | Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center | Chapel Hill, N.C.