March 23, 2011
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 21-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team recorded its second shutout of the season Wednesday, topping No. 71 Ohio State, 7-0, at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center.
Rain in the Knoxville area meant the match had to be played indoors. Today was UT's first time indoors in nearly a month and co-head coach Mike Patrick said there was a bit of an adjustment period for his squad.
"It was a matter of us adapting," Patrick said. "While we hadn't been indoors in a couple of weeks, (Ohio State) played inside on Sunday. They were more into playing indoors and came out strong. There's definitely a different mindset playing inside versus outside and it took us a few games into it. Once we got into that mindset, we were fine."
Rosalía Alda on UT's 7-0 victory over Ohio State
UT (11-4, 3-0) overcame early deficits at No. 2 and 3 doubles to sweep all three contests. Jennifer Meredith and Kata Szekely's victory was their 13th consecutive doubles win, the longest active streak in the Southeastern Conference.
Momentum from doubles play carried over to singles and Tennessee never looked back, winning the first set on six courts en route to its 11th consecutive victory over the Buckeyes.
"We got on fire at a couple of spots," Patrick said. "They're hurting a little bit and we jumped on them. Tennis is all about momentum and we had it."
Freshman Millie Nichols recorded her 21st victory of the 2010-11 campaign, topping Tiffany Dittmer, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 6 singles. Senior Rosalía Alda made the score 3-0 with an impressive, 6-0, 6-2, win at No. 2 singles.
Senior Maria Sorbello clinched the victory for the Big Orange with a 6-0, 6-3, defeat of Cami Hubbs at No. 5 singles. Junior Natalie Pluskota took her match in straight sets from the top singles spot, while Szekely and freshman Brynn Boren each claimed their victories in third set match tiebreakers.
Tennessee hits the road to face No. 12-ranked Arkansas on Friday. Patrick said that facing the Razorbacks on their home court is never an easy task.
"They're going to be tough," Patrick said. "Fayetteville is a tough place to play and they've got a good team, which is a bad combination for anyone who goes there. We're going to compete hard and we'll put it all out there and see what happens."
First serve for that match is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. Live scoring will be available at www.arkansasrazorbacks.com.
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#21 Tennessee 7, #71 Ohio State 0
1. #42 Natalie Pluskota (TENN) def. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Rosalía Alda (TENN) def. Kara Cecil (OSU) 6-0, 6-2
3. #36 Brynn Boren (TENN) def. Gabby Steele (OSU) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5)
4. Kata Szekely (TENN) def. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) 2-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-3)
5. Maria Sorbello (TENN) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 6-0, 6-3
6. Millie Nichols (TENN) def. Tiffany Dittmer (OSU) 6-0, 6-0
1. #59 Natalie Pluskota/Millie Nichols (TENN) def. Cami Hubbs/Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 8-5
2. Rosalía Alda/Maria Sorbello (TENN) def. Gabby Steele/Fidan Manashirova (OSU) 8-4
3. Kata Szekely/Jennifer Meredith (TENN) def. Noelle Malley/Kara Cecil (OSU) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,2,5,1,4,3)