Vols win SEC Tournament

What has been a remarkable season in conference play for the Tennessee men's tennis team was appropriately closed Sunday afternoon, as the Volunteers defeated the sixth-ranked Florida Gators to win the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament. Go "Inside" for complete coverage of the Vols SEC Tennis Championship.

What has been a remarkable season in conference play for the Tennessee men's tennis team was appropriately closed Sunday afternoon, as the Volunteers defeated the sixth-ranked Florida Gators to win the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament.

It was only the third time Tennessee has won the conference tournament in 20 years, including wins in 2002 and 1990.

The tournament championship is coupled with the 2010 regular season championship, which the Volunteers secured on April 17 with a 6-1 home victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.

Amidst strong winds and an oncoming storm front, the Volunteers once again showed why they are one of the most dominant teams in the nation at the doubles point, which was 25-1 entering Sunday's match.

Junior J.P. Smith and senior Davey Sandgren, ranked second nationally in doubles, again prevailed at the No. 1 position, winning 8-3 for their 33rd doubles match of the year.

Another pair of Volunteers, junior Boris Conkic and freshman Rhyne Williams, are also highly ranked, currently sitting at fourth nationally in doubles.

The pair didn't disappoint Sunday, winning an 8-5 thriller at the No. 2 position which saw many deuces. The duo is now 31-3 on the year.

Tennessee didn't see the same kind of fortunes at the No. 3 position, where junior Matteo Fago and freshman Edward Jones lost 8-6.

With occasional raindrops falling, the Volunteers took it to the nets in singles matches, where play was no less dominant for those in orange.

Fago broke greater fortunes in singles, defeating Nassim Sliliam 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 5 position to give the Volunteers their first singles victory of the day.

J.P. Smith offered another display of his talent, winning 6-2, 6-1 over Alex Lacroix for Tennessee's second shut-out singles victory.

Shortly thereafter, the matches in progress would be stopped, as increasing downpours moved play indoors.

With the Big Orange up 3-0 in the match, all eyes turned to court two, where Boris Conkic was battling Joey Burkhardt for the match-winning point.

Conkic won on a Lacroix serve at 30-40 to secure the Volunteers first conference championship in eight years.

It was also the first time ever that a school has won the conference tournament with three shutouts.

The win put the Volunteers at 26-1 in preparation for the national tournament, which could include first and second round action in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The NCAA tournament selection show will take place May 4 with televised coverage provided on ESPNEWS.

The team will enjoy a long break in action, as the academic calendar winds down with finals from May 1-11. The national tournament will commence on May 14 or 15 depending on scheduling.


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