Junior Maria Sorbello has a team-beat, 4-1 record in 2010 dual-match play.
Feb. 12, 2010
By: Lindsey Williford, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 13th-ranked University of Tennessee women's tennis team fell to the No. 3 Northwestern Wildcats, 6-1, in the opening round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships on Friday.
Defending champion Northwestern got off to a strong start in doubles play as the tandem of Samantha Murray and Kate Turvy defeated Tennessee juniors Jennifer Meredith and Maria Sorbello, 8-6, at the No. 3 position. NU then clinched the doubles point with another 8-6 victory by Maria Mosolova and Brittany Wowchuk over junior Rosalía Alda and Zsófia Zubor.
The nation's No. 1 combo of senior Caitlin Whoriskey and sophomore Natalie Pluskota pulled out a 9-8 win over the Wildcat's Lauren Lui and Elena Chernyakova, preventing Northwestern from completing the doubles sweep.
The Wildcats did not slow down in singles play, as Lui dropped Pluskota, 6-1, 6-2, to give Northwestern a 2-0 lead In the contest. Stacey Lee then followed with a 6-1, 6-2 defeat of UT's Katie Lee at the sixth roster spot, putting NU within one win of securing a berth into the second round.
Sorbello, ranked No. 51 in singles, was able to slow the Wildcat attack momentarily, securing the Lady Vols' lone point of the competition. After losing the first set to Murray, 4-6, Sorbello won the second with her own, 6-4, score. The third set went back-and-forth before the game score eventually settled at 6-6 and into a match-deciding tiebreaker which Sorbello was able to win to claim a 7-6 set victory. Friday's win gives Sorbello a team-best, 4-1 record in dual-match play and increases her consecutive wins streak to three.
NU's 12th-rated Mosolova was able to avenge her opening round loss to No. 6 Whoriskey in the 2009 ITA All-American Tournament with a straight-set triumph. Mosolova dropped only four games en-route to a, 6-2, 6-2, win, to clinch the team victory and send Northwestern into the second round.
Like Sorbello, UT's Alda also went three sets against her respective opponent. Unfortunately, the outcomes were not the same as Alda was overcome by the Wildcats' No. 85 Turvy, 6-2, 0-6, 6-1.
The Lady Vols' final competitor, Zubor, saw her string of nine consecutive wins end with a loss to Northwestern's Wowchuk, 6-4, 6-1.
With the win, Northwestern improves to 5-0 this season, while Tennessee falls to 4-1. The Cats also hold a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series against UT.
The Indoor Championships will continue with championship and consolation play through Monday, Feb. 15. The Lady Vols will next face 16th-ranked Michigan in Saturday's consolation round at 9 a.m., while NU takes on No. 4 Florida in the tournament's second round.
At the conclusion of Tennessee's stay in Madison, the Lady Vols will have a few days to rest before a trio of road contests, beginning with a noon battle against No. 28 Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 20.
#3 Northwestern 6, #13 Tennessee 1
ITA National Team Indoor Championships
February 12, 2010
1: #12 Maria Mosolova (NU) def. #6 Caitlin Whoriskey (UT) - 6-2, 6-2
2: #51 Maria Sorbello (UT) def. #48 Samantha Murray (NU) - 4-6, 6-4, 7-6
3: #85 Kate Turvy (NU) def. Rosalía Alda (UT) - 6-2, 0-6, 6-1
4: Lauren Lui (NU) def. Natalie Pluskota (UT) - 6-1, 6-1
5: Brittany Wowchuk (NU) def. Zsófia Zubar (UT) - 6-4, 6-1
6: Stacey Lee (NU) def. Katie Lee (UT) - 6-1, 6-2
Order of finish: (4*, 6, 2, 1, 3, 5)
1: #1 Caitlin Whoriskey/Natalie Pluskota (UT) def. Lauren Lui/Elena Chernyakova (NU) - 9-8
2: Maria Mosolova/Brittany Wowchuk (NU) def. Rosalía Alda/Zsófia Zubor (UT) - 8-6
3: Samantha Murray/Kate Turvy (NU) def. Jennifer Meredith/Maria Sorbello (UT) - 8-6
Order of finish: (3, 2, 1)
* Clinching point