The eighth-ranked Tennessee tennis team travels to Fayetteville, Ark., today to take on No. 41 Arkansas. The Vols stand at 8-2 on the season and 2-0 in SEC play. The Razorbacks are currently 10-4 overall and 1-4 in the SEC. Tennessee leads the all-time series with the hogs 11-9, including last year's 6-1 Tennessee win in Knoxville.
Arkansas has a much improved team this year led by the nation's No. 1 ranked singles player Oskar Johansson. The Hog's Henrik Tofft, who teams with Johansson in doubles, is ranked No. 40 in singles. All four of Arkansas' losses have come at the hands of ranked opponents.
We are excited to get back on the court after not playing any matches last week, Tennessee head coach Michael Fancutt said. We are going to have to play good tennis to go up to Fayetteville and leave with a win. We are still a little banged up, but I think the guys are ready to go.
This is a very important match because it is a conference match. There are no easy ones in this conference, especially when you are going to be facing the country's No. 1 player (Johansson). Hopefully we can continue to get better and bring another conference win home to Knoxville.
Tennessee sophomore right-handed pitcher Brandon Crowe was named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week after picking up a win and save as the No. 20 Volunteers (16-2) swept a three-game series from the Florida Gators this past weekend. Crowe pitched 11.0 shutout innings, giving up just eight hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.
He earned a save over Florida on Friday, working the final three innings, not allowing a hit and facing just two batters over the minimum nine with a walk and hit batsman. He struck out four in the outing, including sending the Gators down 1-2-3 in the ninth with two called strikeouts to end the game.
Crowe then pitched a career-high 8.0 innings against Florida on Sunday. He shutout the Gators over the eight innings, scattering eight hits. He even retired seven straight batters at one point, walking one and striking out four.
In his two outings, he allowed only two doubles and held the Florida hitters to a .200 batting average.
Crowe is 3-0 with a 3.07 ERA on the season, earning victories in his two starts.