Jan. 16, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 24 University of Tennessee women's tennis team will open the spring portion of its 2009 schedule this weekend when it travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., to compete in the Michigan Invitational. The Lady Volunteers will take on participants from No. 9 Duke, No. 12 Vanderbilt and No. 19 Michigan in the three-day competition set to take place at the U-M Varsity Tennis Center, Jan. 17-19.
"We are extremely excited about getting out on the court and seeing where we are as a team," UT Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "We will be facing players from three of the toughest teams in the nation this weekend, so we should be able to gain some valuable experience that will help prepare us for rest of the season."
Each team will play three rounds of doubles and three rounds of singles. There will be eight flights in singles and four flights in doubles. Each day will consist of eight doubles matches and 16 singles matches. The third set will be played to completion in singles. Points will be allotted for each win based on a decreasing point value to determine the champion (singles and doubles) at the end of the weekend.
The Big Orange will first hit the courts at 10 a.m. on Sat., Jan. 17, when it will square off in singles play against individuals from the Duke squad. UT will then open doubles play at 1 p.m. against Michigan players. The following day, Tennessee will face off with Southeastern Conference and in-state foe Vanderbilt in singles action beginning at 10 a.m. before matching up against Duke in doubles three hours later. The Lady Vols will wait until Noon on the final day of the tournament before it takes the court against the Commodores in doubles action. They will then close out their stay at the competition with a round of singles play against Michigan.
UT, which finished the 2008 campaign ranked No. 24 in the country with a 15-10 record after advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, returns five letterwinners from last season's roster. Senior Samantha Orlin enters the competition ranked 77th nationally, while junior Caitlin Whoriskey came in at No. 92 in the initial Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll.
Live stats and video for the tournament this weekend can be found at either www.UTLadyVols.com or www.MGoBlue.com.
Following the action this weekend, the Lady Vols will next be in action when they travel to the Prairie State for their first dual-match of the season, a 1 p.m. showdown against No. 37 Illinois on Sat., Jan. 24. From there, the Orange and White will move on to West Lafayette, Ind., to square off with Purdue at 2 p.m. the next day.