March 27, 2011
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 21-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team won its third match in five days on Sunday, topping No. 56 LSU, 7-0, at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center.
After knocking off No. 12 Arkansas, 6-1, in Fayetteville on Friday, Tennessee showed very little fatigue. Co-head coach Mike Patrick thought his team was solid from start to finish
"We had great focus today," Patrick said. "We did a great job as a team on Friday and it carried over. They got some confidence from that win and are starting to believe in themselves a little bit."
Maria Sorbello discusses Sunday's match
Tennessee (13-4, 5-0) was utterly dominant, sweeping all three doubles matches to take the doubles point.
That momentum carried over to singles, where the Big Orange took all six matches in straight sets. Freshman Millie Nichols started the scoring, recording her fourth 6-0, 6-0 victory of the dual match season at No. 6. Minutes later, Maria Sorbello put Tennessee ahead 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Yvette Vlaar.
Rosalía Alda clinched the victory for the Lady Vols with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Olivia Howlett at No. 2 singles.
Junior Natalie Pluskota notched her second consecutive victory over a top-60 opponent, defeating No. 56 Whitney Wolf, 6-1, 6-3. Pluskota knocked off No. 22 Anouk Tigu of Arkansas on Friday.
Patrick knows that every SEC match is critical for postseason seeding and he's pleased with how his team has battled so far in league play.
"Winning on the road isn't easy and we picked up a good road win (at Arkansas)," Patrick said. "We've got some tough opponents coming up, but we're competing well.
"We're in a good position for the postseason. That said, we're in a tournament sport where they only remember what you do at the end. Hopefully, we can get ourselves playing our best tennis at the end of the season and make a run."
UT returns to the court on Friday when it hosts Ole Miss at Barksdale Stadium. First serve for that contest is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.
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#21 Tennessee 7, #56 LSU 0
1. #42 Natalie Pluskota (TENN) def. #56 Whitney Wolf (LSU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Rosalía Alda (TENN) def. Olivia Howlett (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
3. #36 Brynn Boren (TENN) def. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
4. Kata Szekely (TENN) def. Keri Frankenberger (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
5. Maria Sorbello (TENN) def. Yvette Vlaar (LSU) 6-2, 6-2
6. Millie Nichols (TENN) def. Alexus Coats (LSU) 6-0, 6-0
1. #59 Natalie Pluskota/Millie Nichols (TENN) def. Whitney Wolf/Olivia Howlett (LSU) 8-5
2. Rosalía Alda/Maria Sorbello (TENN) def. Yvette Vlaar/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) 8-2
3. Kata Szekely/Jennifer Meredith (TENN) def. Alexus Coats/Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 8-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,4,2,5,1,3)