Feb. 17, 2011
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 11-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team will hit the road this weekend to compete in the 2011 ITA Division I National Women's Team Indoor Championships, held at the Boar's Head Tennis Club from Feb. 18-21.
The Lady Vols, who are off to the program's best start in 21 years, earned a spot in the field by defeating No. 17 Ole Miss in the championship match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Knoxville, Tenn on Jan. 31.
Tennessee has drawn No. 6 Duke in the first round. That match will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The tournament is single-elimination, but there is a consolation draw for the losers of first round matchups.
UT has been utterly dominant in doubles play of late. The Lady Volunteers have a record of 14-2 in dual match competition and have not dropped a doubles contest since the season opener on Jan. 23 at Illinois.
Junior Natalie Pluskota's return to the singles lineup has also been a major key for the Orange and White. Pluskota debuted in the Campbell/ITA singles rankings this week at No. 39. In doubles, she is ranked among the top-50 with two different partners: she and Brynn Boren are No. 44, while she and Millie Nichols are 48th nationally.
Senior Rosalía Alda can achieve a major milestone this weekend. With three doubles wins, she can become only the seventh Lady Vol to reach the 100-win plateau.
Not to be outdone, co-head coach Mike Patrick is chasing a milestone of his own. Patrick, the winningest coach in school history, is currently sitting on 399 career victories in his 24 years at Tennessee. His win total currently ranks him third among active SEC coaches, behind Georgia's Jeff Wallace and South Carolina's Arlo Elkins.
This marks Tennessee's second consecutive trip to the ITA Team Indoor Championships. Last year, the Big Orange was bounced in the first round by then-No. 2 Northwestern.
Live scoring will be available here.
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