Vols Tennis players receive several honors

Tennessee men’s tennis players Kaden Hensel and John-Patrick Smith were named to the 2008 All-America team announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

“I’m extremely proud of their being named All-America,” head coach Sam Winterbotham said. “I feel this is one of the biggest honors you can get as a collegiate athlete. John-Patrick being honored in both singles and doubles as a freshman is an incredible accomplishment. Kaden earning All-America acclaim for the second straight season shows the type of improvement that I expect and hope for from all of our players.

“I’m excited about our future at Tennessee. I think we have a lot of guys currently in the program that can become All-America players.”

Hensel earned All-America honors after putting together a 23-6 record with Smith in doubles. The duo went 21-4 at the No. 1 position in the lineup including a 9-2 mark in SEC play. UT’s top tandem also had seven victories over ranked opponents. Hensel and Smith finished the year ranked fifth in doubles.

Hensel, UT’s lone senior, finished the season with a 13-11 record in singles with 15 of those matches coming against ranked opponents. He ends the 2008 season ranked 38th in the final singles rankings.

Hensel earned All-America recognition in 2007 for his singles play. He becomes UT’s first two-time honoree since Peter Handoyo was named All-America three times from 1999-2002.

Smith finished the season with a record of 34-11. He was on the All-SEC first team, named SEC freshman of the year, Southeast region rookie of the year. He went on an incredible run to end the season as he won five consecutive matches to advance to the championship match of the NCAA singles tournament. He is the first Vol since current associate head coach Chris Woodruff in 1993 to make it that far in the season-ending tournament.

Smith was one of only five freshmen to earn All-America honors and was the only freshman of the five to be honored in both singles and doubles. Only eight of the 45 All-Americas were recognized for both singles and doubles play.

The UT freshmen becomes the 27th different Vol to earn All-America recognition.

To be named an All-America one had to either be one of the top 16 seeds in the NCAA singles championships, reach the round of 16 in the NCAA singles championships, or finish in the top 20 of the final ITA rankings or be a top eight seed in the NCAA doubles championships, reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA doubles championships or finish in the top 10 of the final ITA rankings.

Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information


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