Feb. 20, 2011
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 11-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team closed out its stay at the 2011 ITA Division I National Women's Team Indoor Championships with a 4-1 loss to No. 9-ranked Miami on Sunday at the Boar's Head Tennis Club.
The Hurricanes (6-2) snapped Tennessee's 15-match doubles winning streak, taking victories at No. 1 and 2 doubles to earn the doubles point.
"The doubles point would have been key today," Co-head coach Mike Patrick said. "We had three girls play pretty well in singles. Rosalía (Alda) had a good win, Kata (Szekely) was on a good roll in the third set and Millie (Nichols) was close to match point. We learned a lot this weekend. It exposed a few weaknesses we have."
From there, 10th-ranked Bianca Eickhorn took down Natalie Pluskota at No. 1 to put UM ahead, 2-0. Senior Rosalía Alda cut the deficit to 2-1 with a victory over No. 63 Anna Bartenstein at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-2.
That was as close as Tennessee would come. Bistra Otashliyska topped Whitney Wofford at No. 6 singles, 7-6, 6-1. No. 115 Gabriela Mejia defeated Maria Sorbello, 7-5, 6-3 at No. 4 singles to clinch the victory for Miami.
Matches at No. 3 and 5 singles went unfinished.
UT (6-3) went 0-3 on the weekend. Patrick said that his team simply needs to rest up and prepare for Southeastern Conference play, which begins on March 4 at Auburn.
"Hopefully we can get healthy in those two weeks," Patrick said. "We'll play day-by-day but the six that are remaining will try to make the best of this two weeks."
Kata Szekely and Jennifer Meredith won their seventh consecutive match of the season at No. 3 doubles. That ties the season-best winning streak by a UT doubles team, previously recorded by Rosalía Alda and Millie Nichols from Sept. 24-Oct. 17.
After trying several different combinations at the No. 3 spot, it appears that Patrick has found a winning pair.
"Jen is such a great competitor," Patrick said. "She and Kata both have great hands they've done a great job. All of our doubles teams have done a great job."
Tennessee will be off next weekend before traveling to the Plains to face Auburn on March 4.
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#9 Miami 4, #11 Tennessee 1
1. #10 Bianca Eickhorn (MIA) def. #39 Natalie Pluskota (TENN) 6-2, 6-0
2. Rosalia Alda (TENN) def. #63 Anna Bartenstein (MIA) 6-3, 6-2
3. Danielle Mills (MIA) vs. Kata Szekely (TENN) 6-2, 5-7, 0-0, unfinished
4. #115 Gabriela Mejia (MIA) def. Maria Sorbello (TENN) 7-5, 6-3
5. Melissa Bolivar (MIA) vs. Millie Nichols (TENN) 3-6, 6-6, unfinished
6. Bistra Otashliyska (MIA) def. Whitney Wofford (TENN) 7-6, 6-1
1. #42 Bianca Eickhorn/Anna Bartenstein (MIA) def. #48 Natalie Pluskota/Millie Nichols (TENN) 8-4
2. Melissa Bolivar/Gabriela Mejia (MIA) def. Rosalia Alda/Maria Sorbello (TENN) 9-8 (7-4)
3. Kata Szekely/Jennifer Meredith (TENN) def. Brittany Dubins/Kayla Rizzolo (MIA) 8-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,2,6,4)