It took some effort, but freshman newcomer Sebastian Yllera earned his first victories for the Vols on Friday to start the Wake Forest Spring Invitational.
Yllera, a January addition to the UT tennis squad, found himself in a hard-fought singles match in his debut but rallied in the final sets to beat Liberty’s Shea Thomas 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (5).
In doubles, Yllera teamed up with sophomore Hunter Reese and rolled to an 8-3 win against Liberty’s Thomas and Egon Samaii.
For Reese, Friday was a solid day back to competition.
Reese had his fall season cut short by injury but wasted no time in his return to the courts, celebrating his birthday by advancing in both draws. As the top seed in singles, Reese defeated William & Mary’s Ben Hoogland 6-1, 6-1 to advance.
Senior Taylor Patrick also won in straight sets, beating Columbia’s Max Schnur 6-2, 7-5. Patrick is only one win away from his season-best of 13 as a sophomore.
Patrick played with Wake Forest’s Jaya Billa in doubles. They lost to top-seeded Amogh Prabhakar and David Hopkins in a close one, 8-6.
Wake Forest Spring Invitational
Hunter Reese (1), UT, def. Ben Hoogland, William & Mary, 6-1, 6-1
Taylor Patrick, UT, def. Max Schnur, Columbia, 6-2, 7-5
Sebastian Yllera, UT, def. Shea Thomas, Liberty, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (5)
Reese/Yllera (2), UT, def. Egon Samaii/Shea Thomas, Liberty, 8-3