Feb. 3, 2010
By: Lindsey Williford, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - After tallying a perfect 3-0 record at the UT-hosted Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend tournament this past weekend to help propel the 11th-ranked University of Tennessee women's tennis team (4-0) to the ITA Indoor Team National Championships, junior Maria Sorbello was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, the league announced on Wednesday.
Behind Sorbello's strong play, the Lady Vols defeated No. 30 Texas, 4-3, on Friday, before dispatching No. 21 Vanderbilt, 4-3, on Saturday. The victory over the Commodores gave Tennessee a berth in the quarterfinals of the ITA Indoors, in Madison Wis., from Feb. 12-15.
It's the Big Orange's for the first appearance at the national tournament since 2004.
Sorbello, an Australia native, was perfect in the team's victories over Texas and Vanderbilt, claiming a pair of singles wins at the No. 2 position and a doubles win at the No. 3 spot. She improved her overall singles record to 13-4, including a 3-1 mark in dual-match play, with wins over No. 27 Krista Damico, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, from Texas, and Vanderbilt's 31st-ranked Catherine Newman, 6-1, 6-4. The win over Damico marked her second match-clinching victory of the season and the defeat of Newman is her third against a nationally-ranked opponent.
Sorbello also teamed up with fellow junior Jennifer Meredith for the first time all season to help the Lady Vols earn the doubles point against the Commodores. The duo dropped the Vanderbilt combo of Keilly Ulery and Catherine Newman, 8-2.
Before this weekend, Sorbello combined with her fellow Australian, sophomore Katie Lee, to earn triumphs over pairs from No. 33 Illinois and East Tennessee State. Despite playing with two different partners, Sorbello is 3-0 since the beginning of 2010 dual play.
Before Tennessee heads to the ITA Indoor Championships, the team will meet No. 55 Virginia Tech at noon on Sunday in Blacksburg, Va.