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Feb. 6, 2012

A pair of impressive top-25 tennis wins helped headline a solid home weekend on the Tennessee athletics calendar.

The Lady Vols swept past No. 24 Notre Dame on Friday and 10th-ranked Michigan on Sunday to improve their winning streak to four games. Ranked 17th themselves heading into the weekend, UT now begins preparations for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships beginning Friday in Charlottesville, Va.

The Tennessee basketball teams also contributed a Saturday-Sunday sweep at Thompson-Boling Arena. The men fought off Georgia 73-62, while the women handled Auburn 82-61.

The indoor track and field squads continued their challenging schedule with a successful showing at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York City. This week, it's split squads to the Akron (Ohio) Invitational and Seattle's Husky Classic.

And finally, men's tennis saw its four-game winning streak snapped with a Sunday home loss to No. 19 Illinois.

Women's Tennis (2-0 for the weekend)
Lady Vols 6, Notre Dame 1
The 17th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols tennis team put on a dominating performance Friday, rolling No. 24 Notre Dame, 6-1, for its third consecutive win.

Tennessee (3-2) swept all three doubles matches to remain undefeated in the doubles point this season. UT's early 1-0 lead included wins over a pair of Notre Dame's (4-2) top-25 duos.

Following the performance, UT won five singles matches in straight sets before retiring Natalie Pluskota's match for the final score. Four Lady Vols - Brynn Boren, Joanna Henderson, Kata Szekely and Sarah Toti - all won their third consecutive singles contest.

"We played well, and that's what you want the team to do, especially at home," co-head coach Mike Patrick said. "When you are at home, you gain some momentum playing great doubles points and then you get out there and get on top of them (in the singles), it is great."

Lady Vols 5, Michigan 2
The 17th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols tennis team came into Sunday's contest with No. 10 Michigan at the Goodfriend Tennis Center on a three-match winning streak, having outscored its opponents 15-1 in that span.

Sunday was a different story, but with the same result.

The Lady Vols (4-2) won their fourth consecutive match, upsetting the Wolverines, 5-2.

UT faced its first adversity in a victory. The doubles point came down to the final court for the first time, and after all previous singles matches had been decided in straight sets this season, the Lady Vols played four three-set matches against Michigan (4-1).

Next: Friday-Monday (Feb. 10-13) at ITA National Team Indoor Championships, Charlottesville, Va. // FULL SCHEDULE

Men's Basketball (1-0 for the weekend)
Vols 73, Georgia 62
Trae Golden came off the bench for Tennessee to score 16 points and lead the Volunteers past Georgia 73-62 Saturday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Golden, who had started the previous 22 games this season, was replaced by Skylar McBee in the starting lineup. It was McBee's first career start.

"I just felt like Trae needed to work hard on both ends of the floor and really lead us as a point guard," said Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin. "Not necessarily in production or points, but just his approach and intensity level on the defensive side of the ball and really taking pride in it."

Next: Wednesday vs. South Carolina, 8 p.m.; Saturday at Florida, 4 p.m. // FULL SCHEDULE

Women's Basketball (1-0 for the weekend)
Lady Vols 82, Auburn 61
No. 8 Tennessee started a new home-court conference win streak on Sunday afternoon with an 82-61 victory over Auburn.

Glory Johnson and Ariel Massengale led all scorers with 14 points each. Johnson also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and had four blocks for her ninth double-double of the season, while Massengale added four assists.

Shekinna Stricklen posted a double-double as well, her third of the season and first since Nov. 27 against Baylor, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

UT moves to 17-6 overall and 8-2 in the SEC, while Auburn lost for the fourth time in five games and fell to 11-13 and 3-8 in the league. Tennessee has won 14 games in a row at home versus Auburn, dating to 1989.

Next: Thursday at Vanderbilt, 8 p.m. Central time (9 p.m. Eastern) // FULL SCHEDULE

Men's Indoor Track and Field (New Balance Collegiate Invitational)
New Balance Collegiate Invitational (Day 1)
NEW YORK -- The Tennessee track & field teams were in the Big Apple Friday, but Trinidad & Tobago natives Annie Alexander and Jamol James felt right at home, delivering UT its best finishes of the day at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational.

James, a true freshman from Chaguanas, recorded a personal-best time of 6.75 in the prelims of the 60-meter dash during the afternoon and then lowered it to 6.74 later in the evening to wind up fifth in the consolation final. With only four meets under his belt, he already ranks as the 13th-best 60m sprinter in a very rich Vol history of speedsters.

Redshirt freshman Matthew Hoty wasn't satisfied with his overall series in the shot put, but he continued to land throws in the vicinity of 60 feet. His effort of 59-9 was good enough for fifth place Friday night in the championship section.

New Balance Collegiate Invitational (Day 2)
NEW YORK -- Tennessee's track & field teams closed out their stay at New Balance Collegiate Invitational, getting impressive performances in the distances and sprints, including an NCAA auto mark, Saturday at The Armory in northern Manhattan.

For the Vols, junior Chris Bodary drew Clark's praise for his career-best readout in the finals of the college men's mile. His 4:10.38 handiwork earned him an 11th-place outcome, even though he is ticketed for longer races at the conference meet.

"Chris Bodary ran a PR in the mile while he was getting himself prepared for the longer events," Clark said. "That is good sign. Tommy G. (Gilmartin) came close to breaking his PR in the 5K, so these are good strides."

The Tennessee men also got an eighth-placing showing from sophomore Chase Brannon in the pole vault. He was once again over the bar at 17 feet, clearing 17-0 3/4 Saturday night. Classmate Tyler Porter was 13th at 16-7. Competing unattached, Joe Berry won the competition at 17-4 3/4. The five-time SEC champion has a season of outdoor eligibility remaining and will start competing for the Vols again on March 23.

Next: Friday-Saturday (split squad) at Akron Invitational, Akron, Ohio; Husky Classic, Seattle // FULL SCHEDULE

Women's Indoor Track and Field (New Balance Collegiate Invitational)
New Balance Collegiate Invitational (Day 1)
NEW YORK -- The Tennessee track & field teams were in the Big Apple Friday, but Trinidad & Tobago natives Annie Alexander and Jamol James felt right at home, delivering UT its best finishes of the day at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational.

Alexander, a senior from Port-of-Spain, posted her fourth top-two shot put finish of the season, stretching the tape measure to 55 feet, 10 1/2 inches with her fifth throw to take second in the women's championship division at The Armory. Leading the field since the first round, she extended her advantage with that toss, but Baylor's Skylar White punched out a blast of 56-10 in that round and held on for the win.

In the women's college pole vault, sophomore Linda Hadfield carded a sixth-place finish in a return to her home state. The Yorkville product matched her career indoor best with a clearance of 12-5 1/2 on Friday afternoon.

New Balance Collegiate Invitational (Day 2)
NEW YORK -- Tennessee's track & field teams closed out their stay at New Balance Collegiate Invitational, getting impressive performances in the distances and sprints, including an NCAA auto mark, Saturday at The Armory in northern Manhattan.

Senior Chanelle Price gave the Lady Volunteers their third event at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, reeling off an automatic-qualifying time of 2:04.25 in the championship division of the women's 800 meters. The product of Easton, Pa., wound up third behind BYU's Nachelle Mackie (2:03.56) and Katie Palmer (2:03.79). UT junior Nijgia Snapp was sixth today, posting a 1½-second career best of 2:05.49.

Price, sixth at last year's national meet, delivered the fastest regular-season 800 readout of her career. She will join Annie Alexander (shot put) and UT's distance medley relay team at NCAA Indoors, which will be held in Nampa, Idaho, on March 9-10. Price runs the opening leg on the Tennessee DMR, collaborating with senior Ellen Wortham, Snapp and senior Brittany Sheffey.

"Chanelle set the race up well, and she came out with an automatic qualifying time," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "It was good to see her run her fastest time outside NCAAs or SECs and auto this early, so she's progressing. Obviously, we want to win, and we'll work the kinks out to make sure she's able to respond when it's time."

Next: Friday-Saturday (split squad) at Akron Invitational, Akron, Ohio; Husky Classic, Seattle // FULL SCHEDULE

Men's Tennis (0-1 for the weekend)
Illinois 4, Vols 1
Tennessee took the early lead in doubles but could not carry the momentum into singles Sunday, losing 4-1 to Illinois at Goodfriend Tennis Center.

After winning the doubles point, Tennessee (4-2) quickly found itself in a hole to open up singles play. Illinois (5-2) took all six first sets and rolled from there on multiple courts.

"There wasn't the humbleness, the competitiveness, the willingness to fight and to establish your game -- you have to establish your game," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "They need to compete and stay within that plan throughout the match and have the toughness and the discipline to do that. We didn't have that today."

Next: Saturday vs. Duke, 1 p.m. // FULL SCHEDULE

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