May 27, 2010
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
Tennessee Duo Breezes in NCAA Doubles OpenerATHENS, Ga. - The nation's No. 1-ranked doubles duo of Caitlin Whoriskey and Natalie Pluskota had little trouble in its opening round contest of the 2010 NCAA Doubles Championships on Wednesday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Facing Denise Dy and Joyce Ardies of Washington, Whoriskey and Pluskota fell behind in the first set before evening things at 4-4 with a critical service break. From there, they started to pull away from the 21st-ranked duo.
Though the match was never in jeopardy, Tennessee Co-Head Coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick admits that the first set was a little tense for her.
"I was nervous for them, but I knew they would start picking it up," Hahn-Patrick said. "They got off to a slow start but once they got their momentum, they were just rolling."
Pluskota said she knew they would break the Huskies, it was only a matter of when.
"We were a little off, but we bounced back," Pluskota said. "As soon as we got the break we knew were going to be okay. Once we won the first set, we relaxed a little bit and started playing our game."
Whoriskey and Pluskota advance to the NCAA round of 16 for the second consecutive year. They will face No. 18 Anna Redecsi/Selma Salkovic of DePaul, who moved on thanks to a three-set victory over No. 41 Holly Dowse/Emma Hayman of the College of Charleston.That match is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
Redecsi and Salkovic are 30-7 on the year and 7-4 against top-100 foes.
These two teams met up in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Indoor Tournament, where Whoriskey and Pluskota pulled out an 8-6 victory.
Last year, Whoriskey and Pluskota reached the NCAA Semifinals before falling to Lindsay Burdette and Hillary Barte of Stanford.
Whoriskey Cruises Past Gilchrist, into Round of 16
Tennessee senior Caitlin Whoriskey advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Championships courtesy of a 6-4, 6-1 win over Nadja Gilchrist of Georgia on Thursday morning.
Trailing 3-0 in the first set, Whoriskey held serve and followed it up with a service break of the No. 48-ranked Gilchrist and never looked back, taking 11 of the next 13 games to reach the round of 16 for the first time in her career.
""I was down 3-0 in the very first set," Whoriskey said. "I got a bit nervous again, but I calmed down and started hitting the shots I wanted to and tried not to force anything. From that point on, I think you could say I was dominating."
Though this was her first meeting against Gilchrist, she was able to get a scouting report from teammate Maria Sorbello, who defeated Gilchrist in three sets on April 17.
"I knew she played hard and flat, so we came up with a game plan to try to get her to hit more balls," she said. "Maria played her in the past and beat her when she made her hit a lot. In the second set, I just tried to make her hit at least five balls on each point. I wanted to keep her moving and keep her from setting up and really ripping the ball. I felt like I did that well in the second set."
With the win, Whoriskey assumes sole possession of 12th place on the all-time Tennessee singles wins list with 92. She passes Paula Juels, who went 91-71 from 1990-94. With a victory in her next contest, Whoriskey can move into a three-way tie for 10th with Debbie Moringiello and Blakeley Griffith.
The East Sandwich, Mass. native will face No. 8 Laura Vallverdu of Miami, who defeated No. 33 Mallory Burdette of Stanford in straight sets. Vallverdu and Whoriskey faced off on Jan. 16, with Vallverdu winning 6-1, 6-4. That match will begin at 11 a.m. ET on Friday.
Live video and results of all matches will be available at NCAA.com.
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