March 8, 2013
KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee women's tennis team picked up its fourth straight sweep of Mississippi State Friday night and in doing so earned its first SEC victory of 2013 at the Goodfriend Tennis Center.
The Lady Vols (3-5, 1-1 SEC) also won their ninth straight over Mississippi State (5-5, 0-3) and now hold a 34-4 series lead including a 15-1 mark in Knoxville against the Bulldogs.
"I thought we played excellent in doubles and we came out really focused and played well in the singles," said co-head coach Mike Patrick. "We had some superior performances against some good players. I am pleased and we look forward to going out there and getting ready for our first outdoor match on Sunday."
Tennessee got off to a fast start clinching the doubles point with a sweep of Mississippi State. Fifth-ranked Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely and the doubles pair of Mimi Fotopolous and Sarah Toti clinched the doubles point for the Lady Vols with 8-0 sweeps of the Bulldogs to start the day off.
The victory was Szekely's 88th career doubles win, putting her in a tie for 12th place with Natalie Pluskota (who she won 17 matches with in 2012) and Olympian Manisha Malhotra on the all-time list.
UT continued to shine in doubles play as each Lady Vol earned a first set victory. Tiffany Tavares was the first one to finish, tacking on Tennessee's second point of the day and cruising to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Mississippi State's Rosaline Dion at No. 6 singles. Fotopoulos followed suit on court five with a 6-1, 6-3 victory of her own to give the Lady Vols a 3-0 edge in the match.
It was Henderson on court four who clinched it for Tennessee with a 6-0, 6-2 victory at No. 4 singles earning the fourth point of the match.
Tennessee's No. 1-3 singles players had a tougher go at it but, kept the wins coming when Szekely came back from a second set loss to win it in the third set tiebreak 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (4).
Williams grinded out a two-set win on court three coming back 4-5 and 5-6 second set scores to even things up at six-all and force a second set tiebreak. Williams was down early, but battled back to finish with a 6-2, 7-6 (6) victory.
On court one, Mississippi State's Georgiana Patrasc also forced a third set tiebreak, by using a second set tiebreak victory. But Boren could not be denied and came back to earn a 6-2, 7-6 (6), 1-0 (9) win to conclude the sweep.
"They [MSU] are getting better, they have done a good job and have brought in some really quality players," said Patrick. "It was a sweep, but it wasn't too easy there at the end. You ask those top three players if it was easy, they played their tails off today. I am really proud of our girls and hopefully we can carry that momentum into the match on Sunday."
The Lady Vols will look to keep the momentum going when they return to action on Sunday in their final match of the homestand against Ole Miss at 1 p.m.
Tennis Match Results
Mississippi State vs Tennessee
Mar 08, 2013 at Knoxville, Tenn.
(Goodfriend Tennis Center)
#62 Tennessee 7, Mississippi State 0
1. #21 Brynn Boren (UT) def. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 1-0 (11-9)
2. #43 Kata Szekely (UT) def. Alexandra Perper (MSU) 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (10-4)
3. Caitlyn Williams (UT) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
4. Joanna Henderson (UT) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU) 6-0, 6-2
5. Mimi Fotopoulos (UT) def. Lien Van Geel (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
6. Tiffany Tavares (UT) def. Rosaline Dion (MSU) 6-1, 6-1
1. #5 Brynn Boren/Kata Szekely (UT) def. Alexandra Perper/Naomi Tran (MSU) 8-0
2. Caitlyn Williams/Joanna Henderson (UT) def. Georgiana Patrasc/Petra Ferancova (MSU) 8-3
3. Sarah Toti/Mimi Fotopoulos (UT) def. Lien Van Geel/Rosaline Dion (MSU) 8-0
Mississippi State 5-5, 0-3 SEC
Tennessee 3-5, 1-1 SEC; National ranking #62
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,5,4,2,3,1)