A Pair of Aces

Jan. 25, 2013


By: Nick Carner

One is from Hungary. The other, from California.

Despite roughly 6,000 miles between their hometowns, senior Kata Szekely (Hungary) and junior Brynn Boren (California) have their tennis games pretty-well synchronized.

Fresh off an undefeated doubles performance at the UVA Winter Invitational, the Lady Vols' pair enters the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Lincoln, Neb., with some considerable momentum.

The Szekely/Boren duo has won 12 of their last 13 matches and overall the pair owns a 20-3 record, including a 3-1 mark against top-ten opponents this season.

Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said he is pleased with their results to this point.

"They've had a phenomenal start to the year," Patrick said. "They've only lost three times; they've played a lot of matches against some of the best people in the country. They're one of the premier teams in the country."

However, the success on the court wasn't immediate. With 2013 being their first season as partners, both Boren and Szekely indicated it took some time to adjust. They dropped their first match of the year 8-2 to a UNC duo at the Furman Fall Classic back in September.

"Honestly, at the very beginning, we didn't play very well," Szekely said. "It was the first tournament with each other, so we were still getting used to each other's game styles. We learned a lot from that tournament. We came home and talked to the coaches to better understand what we need to do to improve."

In addition to heeding the coaches' advice and plenty of practicing, Boren said living with Szekely helped with getting acclimated to each other's game.

"We're roommates, so we know each other like the back of our hands," Boren said. "It definitely helps knowing what to say to each other to get a point across. We practiced a lot, just trying to see what clicked and what didn't. We had to build the chemistry and get used to each other."

The Lady Vols, ranked 23rd in the country, will face the 17th ranked, host-team Huskers in the first round of the ITA Kickoff on Saturday, January 26.

The winner from the regional advances to Charlottesville the weekend of February 7-10 for the National Indoor Team Championship.

Tennessee could be poised for a victory as Boren and Szekely are ranked in the top-25 for singles and doubles, while Nebraska doesn't have a player ranked for either category.





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