It's common knowledge that a team is better with all its weapons; but this was ridiculous.
The No. 11 Tennessee men's tennis team avenged an earlier loss to Duke on Feb. 7 by trouncing the Blue Devils 4-1 at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center on Saturday.
"This is the first time we have beaten Duke since I have coached here, so this is a very big win for our team," UT head coach Michael Fancutt said.
When the Vols lost to the Blue Devils in the first round of the National Indoor Championships, they were without the services of senior Peter Handoyo and sophomore Simon Rea, who were representing their homelands in Davis Cup matches.
"The addition of Pete and Simon really helped us today," Vol senior Mario Toledo said. "Pete stepped up and played really well for us today. And Simon played well today, too. He helped us clinch the match.
"They both helped us take the match pretty easily today."
The Vols kicked off the match by taking the doubles point, a feat they have accomplished in every match since the loss to Duke two weeks ago.
The doubles point was secured when the tandem of Toledo and Rea defeated Joel Spicher and Alex Bose 9-8(1).
"It's always important to come out and get the doubles point," Toledo said. "It sets the tone for the rest of the day."
In singles play, the Vol netters' lone setback was senior Adam Carey, who fell 6-3, 6-2 to Duke junior Michael Yani.
After Toledo and Rea cruised to easy victories in their singles matches, the Vols clinched the match when Handoyo defeated Phillip King, one of the top players in the country, 6-4, 6-4.
The 5 and 6 singles matches were postponed after Handoyo's clinching victory.
"This was a great effort today by Mario (Toledo), Pete (Handoyo) and Simon (Rea) to close this match out," Fancutt said.
"I am especially proud of Pete, who defeated one of the dominate players in college tennis today. I hope this gives him the confidence he needs to be college tennis' best player this year."
Toledo said that the Vol netters had been waiting two weeks for another shot a Duke, and they weren't going to let anything stop them in the rematch.
"I think we wanted some revenge," he said. "We all remembered them beating us pretty bad at National Indoors, and we really wanted to get them back today."
Up next for the Vols is No. 9 Kentucky, which they will host Friday in the Goodfriend Center at 4 p.m.
"This was definitely a statement," Toledo said. "But next week (against Kentucky) will be even bigger- it's a step up in competition. Kentucky also beat us in the National Indoors, and we want another shot at them. Hopefully we'll come out and make another statement and beat up on them, too."
Fancutt said that the potential for this regrouped team is limitless.
"This team is working hard and improving all the time," he said. "I believe this team has the potential to be the best I have coached since I have been here."
Tennis team seeks revenge
Published: Mon Feb 25, 2002 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 04:07 p.m.