Vols earn 3 regional tennis awards

KNOXVILLE, TN - MAY 10, 2013: Chris Woodruff during the first round of the NCAA men's tennis tournament between the Tennessee Volunteers and the South Carolina State Bulldogs at Barksdale Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Wade Rackley/Tennessee Athletics

URBANA, Ill. — Tennessee tennis coaches Sam Winterbotham and Chris Woodruff and sophomore Mikelis Libietis earned ITA Ohio Valley Region honors Tuesday afternoon.

Winterbotham was named the region's coach of the year for the fourth time in his seven-year tenure at Tennessee. The sixth-ranked Vols (25-8) returned to the national stage this season with a second-place finish in the Southeastern Conference and a trip back to the final 16 site of the NCAA Championships.

Woodruff, who has been on the Vols' staff since 2002, was named the Ohio Valley Assistant Coach of the Year for the third time. In addition to helping the Vols to team success, he has been instrumental in the individual development of the young Vols' squad.

One Vol who has made significant improvement this year has been Libietis.

Libietis' last few months of success have been well documented in recent weeks as the Vols' leading sophomore has vaulted to the No. 1 singles and doubles rankings and was voted the SEC Player of the Year in his second year playing atop the lineup.

On Tuesday, he was named the ITA Ohio Valley Region Player to Watch, an honor given to a player who has not yet won the regional singles championship and who is expected to play a significant role on the national college tennis scene next season.

All three award winners will be eligible for the national awards that are handed out next week.

As the awards continue rolling in, the Vols aren't finished yet.

After an exciting come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Clemson at home over the weekend, the Vols advanced to the third round of the NCAA Championships in Urbana, Ill. The team takes on Mississippi State on Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern on Illinois' home courts.

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