Sophomore Natalie Pluskota
Feb. 19, 2010
By: Lindsey Williford, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 10 University of Tennessee women's tennis team (5-2) will hit the road this weekend for a pair of contests against Big Ten foes. The Lady Vols will first battle the No. 21 Ohio State Buckeyes at the Stickney Tennis Center at Noon on Sat., Feb. 20, before trekking to Bloomington, Ind., for an 11 am showdown against the 37th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers the following day.
The contest against Ohio State on Saturday will be the first since Feb. 26, 2006, that saw the Lady Vols emerge victorious, 5-2. The lone Buckeye player to earn a singles ranking in the latest ITA poll was senior Kristen Flower who is slotted at No. 67 after going 8-2 in dual action this spring. As a team, the Buckeyes are off to the second best start in school history at 9-1, including five wins over ranked opponents.
Indiana, like Tennessee, is looking to get back in the win column after a tough, 4-2, home loss to DePaul this past weekend. While the Hoosiers do not have anyone in the singles or doubles rankings, the team moved eight spots to No. 37 for its highest rating of the 2009-10 season. The last time UT squared off against IU, the Lady Vols claimed a 7-0 win on Feb. 20 last season and holds a slight, 15-12, edge all-time against Indiana.
The Orange and White moved to No. 10 in the recent ITA polls, while seniors Caitlin Whoriskey and Zsófia Zubor, along with juniors Rosalía Alda and Maria Sorbello also shifted in the singles and doubles versions.
Whoriskey, recently named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, dropped to seventh in singles but still remains at No. 1 in the doubles list alongside sophomore partner Natalie Pluskota. Entering the doubles poll for the first time this spring is the duo of Zubor and Alda. The 20th-ranked pair have a 5-1 mark in dual-play and are 16-4 overall this season.
Sorbello also made a big leap, rising to a career-best No. 38 in singles. Previously 58th, the Australia native made the move after victories over the 31st- and 48th-ranked players in the land. Overall, she is 14-6 on the season, with a 4-3 dual-match tally.
Live scoring for this weekend's contests will be available at www.UTLadyVols.com or at www.IUHoosiers.com.
The Lady Vols will remain on the road next weekend when they travel to Notre Dame, Ind., to face-off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Sun., Feb. 28 at 10 am. It will be UT's final tune-up before the start of conference play on Fri., March 5 versus Auburn.