Libietis, Reese end year ranked No.1

Knosville,Tenn.--(UTSports) On the heels of their NCAA doubles championship, Tennessee juniors Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese achieved the end-year No. 1 doubles ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Libietis and Reese won Tennessee's first NCAA doubles title in 34 years when they beat Ohio State's Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6) on May 26 in the first championship match in modern college tennis history to be decided by three tiebreaker sets.

The victory wrapped up a strong season for Libietis and Reese as a pair. In their third year starring at the top of the UT lineup, they finished 36-5 overall and 20-3 in team matches. They were ranked either No. 1 or 2 all season.

Libietis and Reese are the first Vols in UT history to win multiple major doubles titles, having captured the ITA All-American Championship in the fall. They also reached the finals of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.

In Sam Winterbotham and Chris Woodruff's eight seasons coaching together at Tennessee, the Vols have earned the end-year top ranking in doubles three times. John-Patrick Smith and Davey Sandgren, two-time NCAA doubles finalists, were ranked No. 1 at the close of 2009. Smith and Boris Conkic earned top honors in 2011 as seniors.

The national singles rankings were also released. Reese, who played at the top of the lineup in the second half of the season, was No. 34 and Libietis was No. 38.

In the ITA Ohio Valley Region rankings, Reese was No. 3 and Libietis No. 4. Unsurprisingly, Reese and Libietis were ranked No. 1 regionally in doubles. Senior Jarryd Chaplin and junior Andrew Dromsky teamed up late in the year to go 7-1 at No. 2 doubles and were ranked 10th.

In other UT tennis news, two matches in the 2015 schedule were been set Wednesday. The Vols will travel to Notre Dame for the 2015 ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 23 and 24.

The ITA held its draft for the tournament in which teams choose where they will play. The top 15 participating teams are host sites, and the next 45 teams in order of final 2014 ranking select their tournament destination. The Vols, ranked 18th, had the second choice in the draft.

The event serves as the qualifying stage for the 16-team ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The winners of the 15 host sites advance to the national tournament in Chicago. As host of National Indoors, Illinois automatically qualified.

The Notre Dame four-team tournament site also includes Columbia and Oklahoma State. The Vols will face Columbia in the first round.

The Vols have qualified for the ITA National Indoors for six consecutive seasons. Tennessee qualified on the road in 2013, beating host Illinois and North Carolina to advance.

National Rankings
No. 34 - Hunter Reese
No. 38 - Mikelis Libietis

No. 1 - Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese

Ohio Valley Regional Rankings
No. 3 - Hunter Reese
No. 4 - Mikelis Libieits

No. 1 - Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese
No. 10 - Jarryd Chaplin/Andrew Dromsky