Libietis, Reese lose to start NCAA singles

10:24 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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From UT Sports--

URBANA, Ill. - Both Vols Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese lost to open the NCAA Singles Championships on Wednesday at the Atkins Tennis Center.

Back on court since retiring with an ankle and knee injury against Virginia in the quarterfinals, the current No. 1 could not get anything done against the nation's former top-ranked player. In a match that moved indoors halfway through play became of a rain, Libietis lost to Virginia's Mitchell Frank 6-2, 6-1.

Reese played a match earlier in the afternoon, rallying at the end before losing a close match 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 to Alex Sarkissian of Pepperdine.

The two Vols will still be in action Thursday for the first round of doubles. Libietis and Reese are the top-seeded team in the tournament and take on Duke's Michael Redlicki and Jason Tahir, the Blue Devils' No. 2 team. Times have not been set.

Reese's match was a back and forth battle that lasted throughout much of the afternoon and early evening. He was broken early and lost the first set to Sarkissian before rebounding in the second set. He started getting more depth on his shots and opened the second set with a 3-0 lead.

To open the third set, Reese had three break points on Sarkissian's opening service game, but Sarkissian got the hold and eventually took a 5-2 lead in the set. Reese rallied to put the match back on serve at 4-5 but Sarkissian broke Reese to seal the victory.

It was Reese's first NCAA singles appearance and second career main draw singles match at a collegiate major. He was a consolation semifinalist at the ITA All-American Championships in the fall. He finishes the season with a 31-9 record.

Libietis couldn't get his game turned around against Frank after losing the opening game in both sets. His sophomore season, a largely brilliant one, ends with a 37-6 record.

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