Jan. 20, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - In day two of the UVA Winter Invitational, the University of Tennessee women's tennis team took on host team, and 11th ranked Virginia. The Lady Vols battled hard, but came away with just two wins on the day.
"We are pleased with the way that Brynn [Boren] and Kata [Szekely] played doubles, we competed well there and came away with the good win," said co-head coach Mike Patrick. "We were competitive in three of the six singles matches, Brynn lost, but played very well, Kata won in a close match and Mimi [Fotopoulos] played a very good player and played her really well playing up out of position. Being competitive is good, we have to get competitive at those other spots and that is going to be the key for us in the next week or so."
One of the Lady Vols' wins came in doubles play and it was a big one as No. 12 Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely defeated 10th ranked Li Xi and Stephanie Nauta 8-6. The Lady Vols went up 5-0, but UVA responded with a five-point run of its own before UT finished out the one-hour set for the win.
Boren and Szekely improved to 19-3 on the year, 9-2 against ranked opponents and 3-1 against top-10 opponents in 2012-13.
No. 41 Joanna Henderson and Caitlyn Williams had the task of taking on the No. 5 team in the country in Erin Vierra and Maci Epstein at No. 2 doubles but fell 8-1 while the freshman duo of Mimi Fotopoulos and Tiffany Tavares fell 8-0 to Julia Elbaba and Hana Tomljanovic on court three.
Szekely was the first to finish in flight one of singles on the day, rebounding from a 4-5 set one deficit to take a 7-5 first set victory. Her momentum carried into the second set where she defeated Maci Epstein 7-5, 6-2.
Henderson took on a top-50 singles player in No. 43 Nauta at No. 3 singles but dropped a 6-1, 6-1 decision to her ranked opponent. Boren had the toughest competition of the day facing No. 4 Julia Elbaba. Boren battled in both sets, but was edged in a 6-4, 7-5 match. Boren is now 7-5 on the year against ranked opponents and 2-3 against opponents in the top-10.
In flight two of singles, Mimi Fotopoulos played in the Lady Vols first three set match of the weekend and despite a hard-fought battle, fell 7-6 (5), 3-6, 4-6 to 44th ranked Xi, her second match this season against a ranked opponent.
Sarah Toti returned to the courts in her first singles match since tearing her ACL back at the end of March. This fall, she took part in a few doubles matches, and played Saturday in doubles with Fotopoulos, but has not played on her own since the injury. She played hard, but fell 6-0, 6-0 to Tomljanovic at No. 6 singles.
"You have to start somewhere, Sarah got back playing in her first singles match since March and we are pleased with the way she played and excited that she got out there and was able to compete," said Patrick. "She has to take baby steps and it is going to take a while to get back up to match speed but we have to get her back out there and play."
Tiffany Tavares moved up in the lineup facing off against Erin Vierra at the No. 5 slot. Tavares dropped her match by scores of 6-2, 6-2.
"We are going to try and compete again [tomorrow] and our charge is to try and be more competitive at a few more spots," said Patrick. "I think we can be, we didn't play as smart or as hard as we could have at a couple spots, we have to learn how to do that. Mimi showed that it can be done, so it is something to work for."
The Lady Vols return to action Monday, January 21 with their final match of the UVA Invite when they take on No. 13 Northwestern.
1. No. 12 Brynn Boren/Kata Szekely UT def. No. 10 Li Xi/Stephanie Nauta UVA 8-6
2. No. 5 Erin Vierra/Maci Epstein UVA def. No. 41 Joanna Henderson/Caitlyn Williams UT 8-1
3. Julia Elbaba/Hana Tomljanovic UVA def. Mimi Fotopoulos/Tiffany Tavares UT 8-0
1. No. 4 Julia Elbaba UVA def. No. 23 Brynn Boren UT 6-4, 7-5
2. No. 25 Kata Szekely UT def. Maci Epstein UVA 7-5, 6-2
3. No. 43 Stephanie Nauta UVA def Joanna Henderson UT 6-1, 6-1
4. No. 44 Li Xi UVA def. Mimi Fotopoulos 7-6 (5), 3-6, 4-6
5. Erin Vierra UVA def. Tiffany Tavares UT 6-2, 6-2
6. Sara Toti UT vs. Hana Tomljanovic UVA 6-0, 6-0