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Jimmy Hyams' latest tennis notebook is in today's Knoxville News Sentinel. Topics include recent graduate Natalie Pluskota's singles win at the US Open southern sectional qualifying, John-Patrick Smith's bolt up the rankings thanks to winning the Winnetka (Ill.) Challenger and Paul Annacone's return to the Grand Slam winners circle as a coach.

Lady Vols Finish Season Ranked 24th

For the 17th time in 18 years, the Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team finished the season ranked in the Top 25 of the ITA poll, placing 24th.

The Lady Vols started the season 9-3 and were ranked as high as fifth in 2012. Tennessee earned its 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament bid and advanced to the second round for the 16th time in 17 years.

UT was eliminated by regional host Virginia and finished the season 15-13.

Pluskota Featured In Times-Herald


ATHENS -- Becoming an All-American tennis player in college is nothing new to two-time recipient Natalie Pluskota.

But the third time on Thursday was quite the charm for the University of Tennessee senior.

Pluskota made history for the Lady Volunteers at the NCAA Tournament at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens.


Click the link to read the full story.

Pluskota/Szekely Move Back Into Top 10


The tandem of Natalie Pluskota and Kata Szekely, which earned an at-large invitation to the NCAA Doubles Tournament later this month, has moved back into the Top 10 of the newest ITA rankings, slotted 10th.

The April 30 rankings, which were released Tuesday, May 8, saw Tennessee drop a spot to 23rd overall, however.

Pluskota also moved up a spot to 16th with freshman Caitlyn Williams in doubles, while Brynn Boren and Sarah Toti dropped a spot to 34th.

In singles, Boren remains the Lady Vols' highest-ranked player, rated 32nd. Pluskota remained 35th, while Szekely is ranked 57th in singles.

Tennessee opens NCAA Tournament action Friday against VCU in Charlottesville, Va., at 11 a.m. ET. The regional concludes Saturday afternoon, pitting the winner of UT's match against the winner of host Virginia and Fairleigh Dickinson.

NCAA.com Selection Show Tonight At 5 P.M. ET


The Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team will discover its First and Second Round destination for the NCAA Tournament during the 5 p.m. ET NCAA.com Selection Show on Tuesday.

Access to the show can be found at the above link towards the beginning.

UT is 14-12 and ranked 22nd, but has hosted the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament the last three years.

The opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament take place at regional sites on May 11-12.

Latest ITA Rankings (4.24.12)


Tennessee dropped two spots in the latest ITA rankings to 22nd, released Tuesday, after defeating Auburn 4-2 in the SEC Tournament first round, but falling 4-0 to eventual conference champion Florida in the quarterfinals.

In singles, Brynn Boren (29), Natalie Pluskota (33) and Kata Szekely (56) represent the Lady Vols. Pluskota was the lone Lady Vol to improve her ranking, rising two spots.

In doubles, Pluskota and Szekely lead UT in 11th, while Pluskota is also ranked with Caitlyn Williams at 17. Boren is ranked with Sarah Toti in 33rd.

The NCAA.com Selection Show takes place on Tuesday, May 1, at 5 p.m. ET.

Brynn Boren-29
Natalie Pluskota-33
Kata Szekely-56

Natalie Pluskota/Kata Szekely-11
Natalie Pluskota/Caitlyn Williams-17
Brynn Boren/Sarah Toti-33

Kata Szekely On The Sports Animal


Junior Kata Szekely was on The Sports Animal (99.1 FM) on Wednesday, April 18, to discuss the Lady Vols' season and the 2012 SEC Tournament. Click the link above to listen!

Szekely headed into Tennessee's first-round match with Auburn with a 22-8 record in singles and a 27-4 mark in doubles this season.

Lady Vols Move Up Another Spot In ITA Rankings


The Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team moved up a spot in the ITA rankings for the second consecutive week, coming in at No. 20 in Tuesday's poll.

Tennessee will face No. 69 Auburn in the opening round of the SEC Tournament on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET in Oxford, Miss.

Brynn Boren (28), Natalie Pluskota (35) and Kata Szekely (52) lead Tennessee's top half of the singles lineup and remained ranked in singles.

In doubles, Pluskota and Szekely are ranked 10th, while Pluskota is also ranked 14th with Caitlyn Williams. Boren and Sarah Toti are 30th.

Brynn Boren - 28
Natalie Pluskota - 35
Kata Szekely - 52

Pluskota/Szekely - 10
Pluskota/Williams - 14
Boren/Toti - 30

Lady Vols Remain Third In Average Attendance

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The Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team continues to draw among the highest attendance in the country, placing third nationally and first in the SEC in the most recent ITA rankings.

Tennessee was also third in the initial ITA attendance rankings, which were unveiled at the beginning of March for matches up to that point.

With 224 fans per contest, Tennessee has its highest April rating since the ITA began releasing the figures in 2008.

The Lady Vols' average attendance is just nine behind second-place Michigan (233).

UT's home match against Florida is the fourth-highest attended women's tennis match this season, as 435 came out to Goodfriend Tennis Center on March 2.

At this point last season, Tennessee ranked eighth in average attendance and finished the season seventh.

New ITA Rankings Released

The doubles tandem of Natalie Pluskota and Kata Szekely, undefeated in dual-match play at 7-0, vaulted ahead 10 spots to No. 8 in Tuesday's ITA rankings, while Tennessee moved up one spot to 21.

Pluskota and Szekely have gone 14-1 together overall in 2011-12, and began playing together in dual match play on March 21 vs. UNLV. They've defeated three ranked opponents since then.

In singles, Brynn Boren moved up a spot in singles to 27, while Pluskota (31) and Szekely (53) are also ranked.

Pluskota is also ranked with Caitlyn Williams in doubles at 13th, while Boren is ranked with Sarah Toti at 25th.

Tennessee is the only school with three duos ranked in the Top 25.


Brynn Boren-27, Natalie Pluskota-31, Kata Szekely-53

Natalie Pluskota/Kata Szekely-8, Pluskota/Caitlyn Williams-13, Brynn Boren/Sarah Toti-25

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