Sophomore Katie Lee
March 5, 2010
By: Lindsey Williford, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 11 University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team (7-4, 1-0 SEC) opened the Southeastern Conference schedule with a victory for the third consecutive season. The Big Orange dominated Auburn 6-1 in the Friday evening contest at Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center. This match was UT's first at home since a 4-3 win over Vanderbilt on Jan. 30.
Despite only having five active players, Tennessee still managed to snap Auburn's four-game win streak, behind strong doubles play and an even better performance in singles.
"It's tough not being able to play a full lineup," Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "Everyone who did play, however, stepped up to challenge and pulled us to a big win."
The Lady Vols claimed the doubles point for the ninth time this season, even though they had to forfeit the third position. The fact Auburn already had an advantage before play began, didn't seem to faze the Big Orange. Senior Caitlin Whoriskey and junior partner Maria Sorbello quickly evened the score after defeating AU's Myrthe Molenveld and Caroline Thornton, 8-2.
All eyes then turned to the second court where the 33rd-rated combo of junior Rosalía Alda and senior Zsófia Zubor were engaged in a tight battle with Auburn's Fani Chifchieva and Jil Hastenrath. The two teams matched each other game-for-game, until the set was tied, 6-6. At that point, it was all UT; as Alda and Zubor secured the final two games to win, 8-6 and put the Orange and White up, 1-0.
Singles play began with Auburn winning the No. 6 contest because of a Tennessee forfeit. That was only victory the Tigers would achieve, as the Lady Vols rolled through the remaining five matches.
UT increased its lead to 2-1 when 10th-ranked Whoriskey earned a 6-3, 6-1 win on court one against No. 76 Chifchieva. She moved her team-best season record to 20-8.
At court two, Sorbello also won easily. The No. 47 singles player in the country dropped only two games en route to her 6-0, 6-2 triumph of AU's Molenveld.
Zubor won the No. 3 contest, 6-3, 6-1, over Thornton to clinch the team win for the Lady Vols.
Alda snagged Tennessee's fifth point on the evening, by pulling out a hard-fought win over Daniela Vukadinovic, 7-5, 6-4.
It would be UT sophomore Katie Lee finishing with the most dramatic triumph of the evening, however. The Australia native was locked in close match with Paulina Schippers from Auburn. Lee took set one, 6-4, but Schippers proved she wasn't going down without a fight, winning the second frame, 6-2. With the competition tied at one set apiece, both players entered into a 10 point-tiebreaker. It would be Lee emerging as the victor in the super tiebreaker. 1-0 (10-7), marking her first win of the 2010 dual season.
"I'm very proud of Katie and the way she kept herself in the match, mentally and physically," Patrick said. "Hopefully she will continue to play smart and confident tennis in future games."
The Lady Vols play their second SEC contest of the season on Sunday with a 1 p.m. home match versus No. 50 Alabama. The Crimson Tide fell to Georgia, 4-3, on Friday to move to 6-4 on the season (0-1 SEC).
No. 11 Tennessee 6, No. 36 Auburn 1
1: No. 10 Caitlin Whoriskey (UT) def. No. 76 Fani Chifchieva (AU) - 6-3, 6-1
2: No. 47 Maria Sorbello (UT) def. Myrthe Molenveld (AU) - 6-0, 6-2
3: Rosalía Alda (UT) def. Daniela Vukadinovic (AU) - 7-5, 6-4
4: Zsófia Zubor (UT) def. Caroline Thornton (AU) - 6-3, 6-1
5: Katie Lee (UT) def. Paulina Schippers (AU) - 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (10-7)
6: Jil Hastenrath (AU) - Win by Forfeit
Order of finish: (6, 1, 2, 4*, 3, 5)
1: Caitlin Whoriskey/Maria Sorbello (UT) def. Myrthe Molenveld/Caroline Thornton (AU) - 8-2
2: No. 33 Rosalía Alda/Zsófia Zubor (UT) def. Fani Chifchieva/Jil Hastenrath (AU) - 8-6
3: Cosmina Ciobanu/Colleen Rielley (ND) - Won by forfeit
Order of finish: (3, 1, 2)
* Clinching point