Lady Vols off to Fast Start on Home Courts

Oct. 26, 2012

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee won 8 of 9 matches against NC State and Kentucky on Friday to open the Lady Vol Classic at Goodfriend Tennis Center.

Playing on their home indoor courts, the Lady Vols won two doubles matches against Kentucky before winning six singles matches in straight sets over NC State.

"We had two freshman come out and do a good job and we had a lot of people coming back from injuries, so it was a good day to get a lot of first days going," Tennessee co-head coach Mike Patrick said. "It feels good to get that under our belt and we've got a few days ahead to continue to improve."

The format of the Lady Vol Classic is similar to a dual match with the six singles matches played across the courts in order of strength. And much like a dual match, momentum counted. The Lady Vols took control early against NC State and never let go.

Freshman Tiffany Tavares got things going in singles for the Lady Vols in her first career match in Knoxville, defeating Christy Sipes 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 5 position.

Matches started ending quickly after that, with senior Kata Szekely running her singles winning streak to seven matches with a victory on court 2 and sophomore Caitlyn Williams picking up a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Nicole Martinez on court 3.

Playing next to each other on courts 4 and 6, freshman Mimi Fotopoulos and sophomore Joanna Henderson finished within minutes of each other. Henderson won the last five games in the second set to beat Chloe Smith 6-3, 6-3 at No. 6, and Fotopoulos earned a 6-4, 6-1 win against Rachael James-Baker.

Junior Brynn Boren ended the day by earning her fifth ranked win in singles this season, beating No. 19 Joelle Kissell 7-5, 6-3 on court 1.

Boren, ranked 18th, has played a full slate of matches this fall but it isn't over yet. After this weekend, she and Szekely will make the final preparations for the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. Boren is using this weekend to put in some final matches before the season finale in New York.

"I'm working on some fine tuning, working on some new aspects of my game, just trying to get ready for National Indoors," Boren said.

The Lady Vols also won 2 of 3 doubles matches vs. Kentucky in the afternoon.

Henderson and Williams breezed through their No. 2 match with an 8-1 victory against Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff and Khristina Blajkevitch. Boren and Szekely, recent winners of the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships, won at the No. 1 position 8-3 vs. Caitlin McGraw and Jessica Stiles.

While the Lady Vols took a loss at No. 3 doubles, the match signaled the important return of sophomore Sarah Toti.

Toti, who played No. 5 singles for the Lady Vols as a freshman, took the court for her first collegiate match since tearing her ACL in the spring against Arkansas. She and Fotopoulos lost 8-4 to Kentucky freshmen Nadia Ravita and Kirsten Lewis.

"That was really exciting to get Sarah back out there after her rehab time of six months," Patrick said. "She's going to help us a lot come springtime. It's fun for our whole team and gives us a lot of energy."


Matches continue Saturday at 10 a.m. as NC State takes on Kentucky in singles matches. The Lady Vols play NC State in doubles at 1 p.m. and then takes on Ohio State in singles at 2 p.m.

Live video streaming and a live blog will be available at

Lady Vol Classic
Day 1 Tennessee Results
Kentucky vs. Tennessee

1. Brynn Boren/Kata Szekely, UT, def. Caitlin McGraw/Jessica Stiles, UK, 8-3
2. Joanna Henderson/Caitlin Williams, UT, def. Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff/Khristina Blajkevitch, UK, 8-1
3. Nadia Ravita/Kirsten Lewis, UK, def. Sarah Toti/Mimi Fotopoulos, UT, 8-4

Tennessee vs. NC State

1. #18 Brynn Boren, UT, def. #19 Joelle Kissell, NC State, 7-5, 6-3
2. #28 Kata Szekely, UT, def. Elisha Hande, NC State, 6-4, 6-4
3. Caitlyn Williams, UT, def. Nicole Martinez, NC State, 6-0, 6-2
4. Mimi Fotopoulos, UT, def. Rachael James-Baker, NC State, 6-4, 6-1
5. Tiffany Tavares, UT, def. Christy Sipes, NC State, 6-2, 6-4
6. Joanna Henderson, UT, def. Chloe Smith, NC State, 6-3, 6-3





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