No. 6 Caitlin Whoriskey
Jan. 22, 2010
By: Lindsey Williford, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 11 University of Tennessee women's tennis team (1-0) opened dual-match play by defeating No. 33 Illinois (0-1), 4-3, Friday night in front of a near-capacity crowd of almost 500 people, at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in Knoxville, Tenn.
"I couldn't be more proud of the team," UT Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "They really hung together, played hard and toughed it out."
Tennessee's victory improves Patrick's record in home openers to an amazing 22-1, while fellow head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick's record moves to 12-1.
The evening began with the Lady Vols sweeping the doubles portion of the contest. The Tennessee tandem of junior Rosalía Alda and senior Zsófia Zubor was first to finish off its opponent, claiming an 8-6 triumph over the Illinois' Rachael White and Marisa Lambropolous.
The pairing of senior Caitlin Whoriskey and sophomore Natalie Pluskota followed shortly thereafter, showing why it is No. 1 in the country with an 8-4 victory over Chelcia Abajian and Leigh Finnegan. Junior Maria Sorbello and sophomore Katie Lee needed a tiebreaker but closed out doubles play with an 8-7 (7-4) win against Kristina Minor and Megan Fudge.
Singles play started with the Fighting Illini taking the first singles point to tie up the match. Pluskota defaulted late in the first set to Abajian due to injury. Zubor and opponent, Amy Allin took the court next, but it was Zubor who took over the match. The Hungary native dropped only two games en route to 6-1, 6-1 defeat.
Whoriskey, ranked No. 6 in the nation for singles, battled the Illini's No. 33 freshman, White. Both sets were dominated by long rallies, multiple deuce points, and back-and-forth game wins. Whoriskey was able to close the first, 6-4, but needed a tiebreaker to claim the second set, 7-6 (7-5), and ultimately the match win. Sorbello was next to finish and with her win over Fudge, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, she secured the team victory for Tennessee.
UT's remaining competitors fought hard but were unable to overcome the efforts of their Illinois opponents. Alda dropped a heartbreaker in three sets to Breanne Smutko, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, while Lee fell to Marisa Lambropoulos, 6-0, 6-3.
The Orange and White will be back in action Sunday afternoon when East Tennessee State makes the trip to Rocky Top for a 1 p.m. contest. Following that match, UT will begin preparations to host the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend from Jan. 29-30.
1: No. 6 Caitlin Whoriskey (UT) def. No. 33 Rachael White (Illinois) - 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
2: No. 51 Maria Sorbello (UT) def. Megan Fudge (Illinois) - 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
3: Chelcia Abajian (Illinois) def. Natalie Pluskota (UT) - default
4: Breanne Smutko (Illinois) def. Rosalía Alda (UT) - 7-5, 6-3, 7-5
5: Zsófia Zubor (UT) def. Amy Allin (Illinois) - 6-1, 6-1
6: Marisa Lambropoulos (Illinois) def. Katie Lee (UT) - 6-0, 6-3
1: No. 1 Caitlin Whoriskey/Natalie Pluskota (UT) def. Chelcia Abajian/Leigh Finnegan (Illinois)- 8-4
2: Rosalía Alda/Zsófia Zubor (UT) def. Rachael White/Marisa Lambropoulos (Illinois) - 8-6
3: Katie Lee/Maria Sorbello (UT) def. Kristina Minor/Megan Fudge (Illinois) - 8-7 (7-3)
Order of Finish: Doubles (2, 1, 3); Singles (3, 5, 1, 2*, 4, 6)