Rocky Top Rewind

Oct. 17, 2011

Tennessee women's tennis turned in a perfect Sunday afternoon and the Lady Vols picked up a cross country win Saturday in Alabama to highlight the UT athletics weekend.

The Lady Vols swept all nine Sunday matches - six main-draw singles, one main-draw doubles and two back-draw singles - at the USAT/ITA Ohio Valley Regional in Memphis. Natalie Pluskota, Kata Szekely and Brynn Boren won two matches apiece in singles after Pluskota and Szekely continued their dominance in the doubles bracket.

Six of UT's eight singles victories Sunday came in straight sets. Play continues through Tuesday.

In cross country, Tennessee's Brittany Sheffey won her second race of the season when she crossed the line at Saturday's Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Lady Vols were third in the team competition.

Chris Bodary finished second for the Tennessee men at the Crimson Classic for his third runner-up showing this fall. The men placed eighth.

Volleyball won at Mississippi State on Sunday in its only match of the weekend. The victory was Tennessee's first action since dropping a five-set thriller Wednesday at Kentucky. UT improved to 16-3 overall and 9-1 in SEC play despite having played 12 of its last 16 matches on the road.

Soccer split a pair of 1-0 decisions in SEC play. The Lady Vols lost Friday at Kentucky but won Sunday at Vanderbilt to improve to 12-4 overall and 5-3 in conference action. UT goalie Julie Eckel broke the program's 13-year-old freshman record for wins by a goalkeeper with her 12th victory in Sunday's shutout.

Football lost 38-7 at home to LSU and men's golf finished 10th at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club to round out the weekend action.

Women's Tennis (USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Reg.)
USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional (Day 1)
Tennessee women's tennis sophomore Kayla McMurry experienced both the emotions of winning and losing Friday as the only Lady Vol to compete in the qualifiers of the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional at the Racquet Club of Memphis.

The Knoxville native opened the day with a 6-3, 0-6, 6-1 victory over Louisville's Gabrielle Duncan. With an opportunity to advance to the regional's main singles draw, however, McMurry fell to Andrea Arques-Garcia (Memphis) 6-3, 6-2.

USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional (Day 2)
Senior Natalie Pluskota and junior Kata Szekely led the Tennessee women's tennis team with a pair of doubles wins together, while individually each winning a singles match Saturday in the main draw of the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional at the Racquet Club of Memphis.

Sophomore Brynn Boren, who won the singles and doubles titles at the event last year, also earned her way to the next round in the singles draw with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Butler's Carolina Hedrick.

Playing together for the first time, Pluskota and Szekely won each of their matches in convincing fashion, starting the day with an 8-3 win over Gisella Pere and Imogen Golder of Purdue and advancing to the tournament's quarterfinals with an 8-1 decision against Eastern Kentucky's Kristina Labeja and Milena Poffo.

USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional (Day 3)
The color orange will be well represented in the singles main draw quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional on Monday after Tennessee senior Natalie Pluskota, junior Kata Szekely and sophomore Brynn Boren all won a pair of matches Sunday at the Racquet Club of Memphis to advance.

Overall, the Lady Vols combined for an undefeated day in nine attempts.

"When you have three of your players in the quarters, that's a great thing," co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick. "You definitely want them to continue on. If you end up where they play each other, that's a good day. Hopefully, they'll continue to progress."

Before the Lady Vols swept through the second and third rounds of singles play Sunday, Pluskota and Szekely continued their dominance in the doubles bracket.

Next: Oct. 17-19 at USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional, Memphis // FULL SCHEDULE

Women's Cross Country (3rd at Crimson Cl.)
Crimson Classic
The Tennessee cross country program got a victorious individual performance from Brittany Sheffey in the women's race Saturday morning at the Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Her effort helped the Lady Vols finish third in the 25-team women's 5000-meter race at Harry Pritchett Running Park. Alabama won the women's team title with 88 points, followed by Ole Miss with 91 and UT with 127.

Sheffey, a senior from Bellport, N.Y., cruised to a career-best time 17:11.71, holding off runner-up Lauren D'Alessio of Samford (17:17.34) by nearly six seconds. The UT standout ran with a lead pack of six runners for much of the race until D'Alessio pushed the pace. With 300 to go, Sheffey overtook the Samford runner and claimed her second victory of the season to go along with her title at the 5K Tennessee Invitational on Sept. 17.

"We had our best team race of the season so far, but I am looking for continued improvement as we move forward," UT Director of Track & Field/Cross Country J.J. Clark said. "It was a nice win for Brittany against some SEC runners. She had a lot more left at the end than she realized."

Next: Oct. 31 vs. SEC Championships, Maryville, 11 a.m. // FULL SCHEDULE

Volleyball (1-0 for the weekend)
Lady Vols 3, Mississippi State 0
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The No. 18 University of Tennessee Lady Vols volleyball team got back to its winning ways, defeating Mississippi State in straight sets, 25-19, 25-18, 28-26, Sunday afternoon in front of 383 fans at Newell-Grissom Building. "We are real road warriors and I give all the credit to the team for them being able to be on the road for 12 of 16 matches since the beginning of September," Lady Vol head coach Rob Patrick said. "We played at a very, very high level today and I was excited about how our team was on task with the game plan and what they needed to do as individuals out on the court."

Now with half of the Southeastern Conference slate in the books, Tennessee improves to 16-3 overall and 9-1 against the conference. The Lady Vol defense was a vital part of the win, limiting Mississippi State to hitting percentage of just .025 for the match. The highest MSU hit in any set was at .056, which came in the second frame.

Next: Friday at Kentucky, 7 p.m. Central; Sunday at Georgia, 1:30 p.m. // FULL SCHEDULE

Soccer (1-1 for the weekend)
Kentucky 1, Lady Vols 0 (2 ot)
LEXINGTON, Ky. - On a cold and blustery Friday night at the UK Soccer Complex, a 106th-minute golden goal from midfielder Natalie Horner led Kentucky to a 1-0, double-overtime upset victory over No. 14 Tennessee.

The Wildcats outshot the Big Orange by a 21-11 count, including 7-3 on shots on goal, and led 7-4 on corner kicks in the match.

UT freshman goalkeeper Julie Eckel was credited with five saves in the contest while suffering the difficult defeat between the pipes. Sophomore forward Caroline Brown led the Lady Vol offense with five shots and two on frame, while junior midfielder Kylie Bono tallied three shots (one on goal).

Lady Vols 1, Vanderbilt 0
NASHVILLE - The first goal of the season on a terrific individual effort from sophomore defender Tori Bailey at the 83:45 mark proved enough to lead the No. 14 Tennessee Lady Vols soccer team past Vanderbilt, 1-0, on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon here at the VU Soccer Complex.

Bailey began the decisive play about 40 yards out towards midfield, dribbling to the middle of the pitch, beating a pair of Commodore defenders and uncorking a left-footed shot from just outside the top of the 18-yard box that traveled into the upper left corner of the net.

Big Orange freshman goalkeeper Julie Eckel made seven saves in improving to 12-4 overall, breaking former Lady Vol Ellen Dean's Tennessee single-season rookie GK victory record of 11 set way back in 1998.

Tennessee improved to 12-4 overall and 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference.

Next: Thursday at Alabama, 7 p.m. Central; Sunday vs. Auburn, 1 p.m. // FULL SCHEDULE

Men's Cross Country (8th at Crimson Classic)
Crimson Classic
The Tennessee cross country program got a runner-up showing from Chris Bodary in the men's race Saturday morning at the Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

His effort helped the Vols wind up eighth of 21 squads in the men's 8K affair at Harry Pritchett Running Park. Georgia Tech was the men's champion with 83 points, with Auburn taking second at 122. The Vols tallied 166 points for their eighth-place outcome.

As for Bodary, the senior from Downingtown, Pa., set the tone for Tennessee men for the fourth time in as many races and notched his third runner-up performance of 2011. His 25:01.59 effort left him behind only Alabama's Carrison Kemei, who crossed the line first in 24:49.25. Bodary was able to hold off Nabil Hamid of Kennesaw State, who covered the course in 25:02.14.

"Individually, we had a good performance from Chris Bodary against plenty of SEC runners," Clark said. "Stephen Derlath was very tough, with a great second half and was solid in the middle. Tommy Gilmartin is gaining confidence, and we want to see more of that from him. Austin Whitelaw wasn't at his best all week, but he hung tough today."

Next: Oct. 31 vs. SEC Championships, Maryville, 11 a.m. // FULL SCHEDULE

Football (0-1 for the weekend)
LSU 38, Vols 7
Last October, Tennessee came within one play of upsetting LSU in Baton Rouge. On Saturday, the outcome was decided long before the final whistle.

Top-ranked LSU started slow but dominated the time of possession - and the scoreboard - after halftime to defeat Tennessee 38-7 in front of 101,822 in Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

"Not a real complex game there," UT head coach Derek Dooley said. "They pounded us. I don't know any other way to say it."

That was certainly the case after halftime, when LSU limited the Vols to just three offensive possessions and controlled the clock on its way to 21 unanswered points.

Next: Saturday at Alabama, 7:15 p.m. Central // FULL SCHEDULE

Men's Golf (10th at Bank of Tennessee Invitational at Blackthorn Club)
Bank of Tennessee Invitational at Blackthorn Club (Day 1)
JONESBOROUGH - After surviving the extreme windy conditions for most of Friday's first round, Tennessee finally succumbed and dropped into a tie for fifth place here at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club.

UT's four scoring players lost seven shots to par over the final four holes to inflate what had been a very promising round all the way to 10-over-par 298. That number trails first-day leader North Carolina State by 11 strokes after the Wolfpack shot Friday's only sub-par round of 1-under 287. This despite wind gusts approaching 30 mph.

"It was just a tough, disappointing finish," Vols head coach Jim Kelson said. "I thought we played pretty well most of the day. We played well for a time but then dropped too many there at the end. We've just got to go out and play well tomorrow."

Bank of Tennessee Invitational at Blackthorn Club (Day 2)
Tennessee's second consecutive 10-over-par 298 dropped the Vols three places in the standings Saturday at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club.

UT is eighth in the 15-team field heading into Sunday's final round at Jonesborough's Blackthorn Club at The Ridges.

Junior Rick Lamb fired an even-par 72 to lead the Tennessee effort. Garrick Porteous added a 74, Jay Vandeventer 75 and Marshall Talkington 77 to close out the scoring. Danny Keddie carded an 80 and Darren Renwick, playing as an individual, shot 74.

Bank of Tennessee Invitational at Blackthorn Club (Day 3)
JONESBOROUGH -- Tennessee head coach Jim Kelson held nothing in reserve here Sunday when describing his disappointment with this weekend's 10th-place finish at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club.

"We just had a disastrous tournament," Kelson said. "This was as disappointing of a tournament as we have been a part of for quite some time. We had some pretty high hopes coming in but we just need to get back to work, figure out what happened here and get ready for the rest of the year."

The Vols entered the weekend as this event's only three-time champion. But Sunday's final-round score of 13-over-par 301 bettered only three of the 14 other participating teams and capped a miserable three-day stretch of golf. Tennessee's final total was 33-over 897.

Next: Oct. 27-29 at Cabo Invitational, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico // FULL SCHEDULE

Upcoming This Week in Other UT Sports
Men's Tennis vs. USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional, Goodfriend Tennis Center & Knoxville Racquet Club, Thurs.-Mon.
Women's Golf vs. Mercedes-Benz SEC/Pac-12 Challenge, Holston Hills Country Club, Friday-Sunday
Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving vs. Indiana and Kentucky, Allan Jones Aquatic Center, Saturday, 10 a.m.


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