April 7, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On Senior Day at Barksdale Stadium, it was fitting that University of Tennessee senior Kata Szekely captured the match winning point for the women's tennis team in a 4-0 victory over Louisiana State University.
"It was amazing," said Szekely. "During the match I was looking around and was like `oh I can actually clinch it today.' It was a great feeling to get the team win."
After winning the first set by a 6-4 score, Szekely was down 2-5 in the second set before she started a comeback that couldn't have been scripted any more perfectly.
The senior forged ahead to knot the game at five-all and force a second set tiebreaker that she handedly won 7-2 to finish out her last match at home by a 6-4, 7-6 (2) score.
"I knew I could come back," said Szekely. "In almost every game I lost I had a game point. It was not like I was so far off from coming back. Sonia just told me to stay positive, keep working, get up to the ball and be aggressive."
"It was huge for her," said co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick. "It was the icing on the cake. She wanted to do so well this weekend and sometimes that is a great thing and sometimes that is a difficult thing and she really pulled through. I am so proud of her."
With the victory, the Lady Vols improve to 10-8 on the year and 7-4 in SEC action while LSU drops to 8-14 and 1-12 in conference play. The Lady Vols finish out their home schedule with an 8-1 record.
Tennessee rolled in doubles action giving up just five games to the Tigers en route to earning the first point of the day.
The third ranked team in the nation of Brynn Boren and Szekely got the first win of the day for the Lady Vols downing their LSU opponents in an 8-1 win, their ninth straight. The nine straight doubles victories for the duo ties a season high recorded from Oct. 19 to Nov. 8, 2012.
The duo has accounted for 34 doubles wins this season, 10th all-time on the UT single season doubles list.
The momentum continued into singles play for Grace as she bested Caroline Hudson 6-1, 6-1 on court six for her second ever SEC victory and third win of the season to give Tennessee a 2-0 lead.
Boren, ranked 21st in the country, added to the lead when she captured a 6-1, 6-3 win over No. 114 Kaitlin Burns on court one setting up Szekely's match winning finish.
"Words can't really describe it," said Hahn-Patrick. "Kata exemplifies everything that you want in a student-athlete. As far as character she is phenomenal, work ethic, leader she just has everything. She is the whole package. She has been awesome for our program."
"And for us to go 2-0 this weekend, with difficult conditions today with the wind it just shows that we can compete and play hard no matter what the outdoor conditions are," continued Hahn-Patrick. "Sometimes it is not about who is the better team or the better tennis player. It is just about who can out fight and play through the conditions."
The Lady Vols will round out the 2013 regular season next weekend with a three match road trip beginning Thursday night at Tennessee State. The weekend will continue at Alabama on Friday at 4 p.m. ET and will finish at Auburn Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET
Louisiana State vs Tennessee
Apr 07, 2013 at Knoxvile, Tenn.
#28 Tennessee 4, #59 Louisiana State 0
1. #28 Brynn Boren (UT) def. #114 Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 6-1, 6-3
2. #38 Kata Szekely (UT) def. Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
3. Caitlyn Williams (UT) vs. Mary Jeremiah (LSU) 5-7, 4-5, unfinished
4. Mimi Fotopoulos (UT) vs. Ariel Morton (LSU) 4-6, 6-1, 0-1, unfinished
5. Tiffany Tavares (UT) vs. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 7-6 (7-2), 1-6, 1-0, unfinished
6. Jesse Grace (UT) def. Caroline Hudson (LSU) 6-1, 6-1
1. #3 Brynn Boren/Kata Szekely (UT) def. Mary Jeremiah/Ariel Morton (LSU) 8-1
2. Sarah Toti/Mimi Fotopoulos (UT) vs. Keri Frankenberger/Ebie Wilson (LSU) 6-2, unfinished
3. Caitlyn Williams/Jesse Grace (UT) def. Kaitlin Burns/Ella Taylor (LSU) 8-2
Louisiana State 8-14, 1-12 SEC; National ranking #59
Tennessee 10-8, 7-4 SEC; National ranking #28
Order of finish:
Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,1,2)