Senior Caitlin Whoriskey and sophomore Natalie Pluskota
Oct. 8, 2009
WHORISKEY DOWNS NATION'S NO. 1 PLAYER AT ALL-AMERICAN TOURNAMENT
By: Lindsey Williford, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. - University of Tennessee senior Caitlin Whoriskey definitely made the most of what seemed like a bleak situation. A wild card entry, she couldn't seem to catch a break after drawing the nation's No. 1 collegiate women's tennis player, Maria Mosolova of Northwestern, in round one of the Riviera/Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Tournament, held in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Whoriskey would deliver the most impressive victory of the day, however, dropping only four games in a quick, straight-set victory over 2008 ITA All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year, Mosolova, 6-3, 6-1. The East Sandwich, Mass., native will take on Danielle Lao from Southern California at 11 a.m. PDT on Friday.
"I've really been training hard in the two weeks since our tournament at Furman and it paid off today," Whoriskey said. "I had everything working for me, and I think I was able to take her by surprise a little bit. (Mosolova) is a great player and I was very fortunate to have come out on top today. Hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the week."
Elsewhere in singles action, Lady Vol sophomore Natalie Pluskota, an automatic entry, did not have much better luck with her draw as she took to the court against Southeastern Conference foe and No. 2-ranked Chelsey Gullickson from Georgia in the first round. She would fight hard as well, but came up just short, falling in three tough sets, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5. The tournament is double elimination so Pluskota will move into the consolation bracket of the main draw where she will face Clemson's Josipa Bek, who is currently ranked ninth in the nation.
"We had about as tough a draw as you can get, but we definitely made the most of it," UT Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "Natalie gave it her all and Caitlin's win is big. They proved that they are two of the top players in the country when they are on top of their game. For Caitlin to go out and win like she did today speaks volumes about the improvement she made over the summer. The same goes for Natalie. She went out there and played toe-to-toe with one of the best players in the country."
In doubles, the seventh-ranked Big Orange pairing of Whoriskey and Pluskota got off to a successful start at the tournament, dropping only two games in its first-round matchup. The Lady Vols claimed an 8-2 victory over the 15th-ranked Notre Dame combo of Kristy Frilling and Kali Krisik.
The win propels the Tennessee tandem into a rematch with the country's No. 2 team of Hilary Barte and Lindsay Burdette from Stanford. The two squads previously met in the NCAA Semifinals at the end of last season, with the Cardinal coming out on top in a third-set tiebreaker, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4).
Doubles No. 7 Caitlin Whoriskey/Natalie Pluskota (UT) def. No. 15 Kristy Frilling/Kali Krisik (ND) - 8-2
Doubles No. 7 Caitlin Whoriskey/Natalie Pluskota (UT) vs. No. 2 Hilary Barte/Lindsay Burdette (Stanford) - 9 a.m. PDT
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