Jan. 24, 2009
URBANA, Ill. - Paced by a trio of strong doubles performances, the No. 24 University of Tennessee women's tennis team opened the dual-match portion of its 2009 schedule with a 4-3 victory over 37th-ranked Illinois on Saturday afternoon at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. The Lady Volunteers won all three of their doubles matches and picked up three singles triumphs en route to their first team victory of the year.
The Tennessee tandem of sophomore Jennifer Meredith and freshman Natalie Pluskota got the Big Orange off on the right foot, tallying an 8-4 win over the Fighting Illini combo of Shivani Davé and Amy Allin from the third position in the lineup.
The duo of sophomores Rosalía Alda and Maria Sorbello then clinched the crucial doubles point for UT with a hard-fought, 9-7, triumph over Marisa Lambropoulos and Chelcie Abajian at the No. 2 spot. At the top of the lineup, the Lady Vol pairing of juniors Caitlin Whoriskey and Zsófia Zubor finished up the sweep, emerging victorious over Leigh Finnegan and Megan Fudge, 8-6.
With the momentum clearly on its side, the Orange and White continued to apply the pressure on Illinois with Meredith quickly adding another point on the scoreboard for UT when she took out Kristina Minor in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, on the sixth court. Just moments later, senior Samantha Orlin, the No. 77-ranked singles player in the nation, put the Lady Vols up by three with a 6-2, 7-5, win over Lambropoulos from the fourth position before Pluskota sealed the deal on court three by defeating Abajian, 6-4, 6-3.
With the outcome of the match already decided, Illinois finally got on the board when Fudge tallied a 6-4, 6-3, decision over Alda on court two. The final two points of the afternoon also went to the Fighting Illini with the 89th-ranked Finnegan and Allin defeating the No. 92-rated Whoriskey and Zubor, respectively, by scores of 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, and 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
Tennessee will continue its road trip tomorrow when it travels to West Lafayette, Ind., where it square off with Purdue at Noon on the Basham Courts inside the Schwartz Tennis Center. The Boilermakers are 1-1 on the young season, having defeated Missouri, 4-3, on Friday.
|1. No. 89 Leigh Finnegan (Illinois) def. No. 92 Caitlin Whoriskey (Tennessee)||6-0, 4-6, 6-3|
|2. Megan Fudge (Illinois) def. Rosalía Alda (Tennessee)||6-4, 6-3|
|3. Natalie Pluskota (Tennessee) def. Chelcie Abajian (Illinois)||6-4, 6-3|
|4. No. 77 Samantha Orlin (Tennessee) def. Marisa Lambropoulos (Illinois)||6-2, 7-5|
|5. Amy Allin (Illinois) def. Zsófia Zubor (Tennessee)||6-2, 2-6, 7-5|
|6. Jennifer Meredith (Tennessee) def. Kristina Minor (Illinois)||6-3, 6-4|
|1. Caitlin Whoriskey/Zsófia Zubor (Tennessee) def. Leigh Finnegan/Megan Fudge (Illinois)||8-6|
|2. Rosalía Alda/Maria Sorbello (Tennessee) def. Marisa Lambropoulos/Chelcie Abajian (Illinois)||9-7|
|3. Jennifer Meredith/Natalie Pluskota (Tennessee) def. Shivani Davé/Amy Allin||8-4|
|Order of Finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,4,3*,2,1,5)|