Feb. 27, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In the latest installment of "Net Exchanges," University of Tennessee sophomore Maria Sorbello took a few minutes to sit down with UTLadyVols.com to answer some questions about the team's early success and her transition to life in Knoxville. One of two Australia natives on the UT roster, Sorbello has helped the Lady Vols jump out to their best start to a season since 2001 with wins in six of their first seven matches. She holds an impressive 17-8 doubles record, including a perfect 3-0 record when paired with junior Zsófia Zubor in dual-match play, to go along with a 6-6 singles record. Currently in the middle of an 11-day layoff, the Big Orange will return to action on Fri., March 6, when it opens the Southeastern Conference portion of its schedule against No. 65 Mississippi State at 3:30 p.m. at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. It will then host No. 53 Ole Miss at 1 p.m. two days later.
TEN QUESTIONS WITH Maria Sorbello
The team is off to its best start since 2001. To what do you attribute this early success?
"It's an awesome start! I think the early success comes from the team being so pumped up every time we go out to play. Also, everyone is healthy."
What made you decide to choose Tennessee?
"I chose Tennessee because when I started training at Fancutts Tennis Academy, all I heard about was this college in America that was incredibly good at tennis, so I knew I wanted to come here! No really, I came because of the color orange!!!"
What has been the most difficult in your transition from life in Australia to Tennessee?
"Well, probably the fact that if I wanted to go home it would take me two days to get there by plane, but other than that, I miss the weather at home. I have never been in weather so cold or seen snow before."
Who has been the most helpful in your transition?
"Probably my teammates Rosalia (Alda) and Zsófia (Zubor). This year though, I also have Katie (Lee). Now I have someone from the same country that understands what it's like being so far away from home."
How does it feel to be training with Katie Lee again?
"It's good. I haven't trained with her for nearly two years. For her to come in half way through the year is a hard thing to do, but she's doing very well."
What do you miss most about Australia?
How did you first get involved in tennis?
"My brothers started so I was made to play too."
What are your goals for the rest of this season, both individually and as a team?
"Individually, I want to continue improving my game and, for the team, we want to win the SEC."
What is the best advice that you have ever received?
"Don't let anyone stand in your way of achieving what you want." My dad tells me that every time I talk to him.
What do you consider your greatest tennis accomplishment so far?
"Winning the Australian School Championships three years in a row."
What is your favorite thing about Tennessee so far?
"The country atmosphere."
GETTING TO KNOW Maria Sorbello
Clowny or Mary
Favorite place to eat in Knoxville:
Christmas (it's also my birthday!)
Favorite tennis racquet:
Babolat Pure Drive
"Little Miss Sunshine"
Favorite vacation spot:
Whitsunday Islands in Australia
Favorite class at UT:
History of Rock
Who has been the most inspirational person to you in your tennis career and why?
The Fancutt Family, because they have taught me not only about tennis but life lessons.
What is your "must have" accessory?
What would you do with a million dollars?
I would buy a private jet to fly home and invest the rest.
Where is your dream vacation spot?
What was the last song you listened to?
"Show Me What I'm Looking For," by Carolina Liar
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
What is something most people don't know about you?
In Australia, I live on a farm that is one minute from the beach and two minutes from the city. All in one!
If you could be a Disney character, which one would you be?