KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The 26th-ranked LSU men's tennis team fell in a 4-3 heartbreaker to the No. 24 Tennessee Volunteers Friday at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in Knoxville, Tenn.
LSU (11-6, 2-3 SEC) kept it close, dropping the doubles point in a tiebreaker and deciding the outcome of the match in the final set of singles play.
"This match was about as close as you can get," head coach Jeff Brown said. "The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker and the singles came down to the final set. It was a tough one to lose, but we now have to get back to Baton Rouge and prepare for Georgia on Sunday."
In doubles, No. 51 Olivier Borsos and Chris Simpson battled hard against the strong 7th-ranked Tennessee tandem of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese, but met defeat in an 8-5 loss.
On court three, Tom Knights and Stefan Szacinksi took care of Tennessee's Bryan Swartz and Brandon Fickey, 8-4, leaving it up to Neal Skupski and James Turbervill to decide the point. The match went into a tiebreaker, but ultimately Tennessee's Jarryd Chaplin and Edward Jones stole it away 9-8 (7).
With Tennessee up 1-0, Knights made a statement for the Tigers with a straight set victory over Peter Nagovnak.
No. 85 Skupski continued the momentum for LSU with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Reese.
The Tigers were up 2-1 when Simpson extended the lead, defeating Tennessee's Fickey 6-3, 6-3.
The Volunteers answered on court one with a 6-2, 6-4 win by No. 51 Libietis over 71st-ranked Borsos.
After Turbervill dropped his match in straight sets, it all came down to Szacinski on court four.
Down a set, Szacinski rallied back to win the second set 6-3 over Chaplin and sending the match into its final set. However, he could not complete the comeback, falling 6-3 and finalizing the match in Tennessee's favor, 4-3.
The Tigers will now make the trip back to Baton Rouge where they will host the No. 4 team in the nation and SEC foe, the Georgia Bulldogs. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. CT.
LSU vs Tennessee
Mar 23, 2012 at Knoxville, Tenn.
(Goodfriend Tennis Center)
Tennessee 4, LSU 3
1. #51 Mikelis Libietis (UT) def. #71 Olivier Borsos (LSU) 6-2, 6-4
2. #85 Neal Skupski (LSU) def. Hunter Reese (UT) 6-4, 6-4
3. Chris Simpson (LSU) def. Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-3, 6-3
4. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
5. Edward Jones (UT) def. James Turbervill (LSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Tom Knights (LSU) def. Peter Nagovnak (UT) 6-2, 6-0
1. #7 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) def. #51 Chris Simpson/Olivier Borsos (LSU) 8-5
2. Jarryd Chaplin/Edward Jones (UT) def. Neal Skupski/James Turbervill (LSU) 9-8 (7-1)
3. Tom Knights/Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Bryan Swartz/Brandon Fickey (UT) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,2,3,1,5,4)