March 3, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - After holding steady at No. 22 for four consecutive weeks, the University of Tennessee women's tennis team has achieved its highest ranking in over five years, jumping to No. 12 in the most recent Campbell's/Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, released Tuesday afternoon. The Lady Volunteers have not been ranked higher since claiming a placement of 10th in the nation in the 2004 preseason poll.
With wins in six of its first seven matches, the Big Orange is off to its best start to a season since 2001 when it opened the year 14-1 en route to a 25-4 overall record and a berth in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships. UT is the second-highest rated Southeastern Conference squad in the first computerized rankings of the season, coming in behind just No. 2 Georgia.
In the singles portion of the poll, junior Caitlin Whoriskey was the lone Tennessee representative, earning a national ranking of No. 57. Playing in the top positions in both the singles and doubles lineups, the East Sandwich, Mass., native is second on the team with a 14-9 singles record that includes a squad-best five victories over ranked opponents. In doubles action, Whoriskey has amassed a 14-8 mark despite having played with three different partners this year.
In the doubles rankings, the duo of Whoriskey and sophomore Maria Sorbello earned placement as the No. 41-ranked pairing in the country, while the Tennessee tandem of sophomore Jennifer Meredith and freshman Natalie Pluskota made its entrance into the poll at No. 48.
Although it has yet to compete together this spring, the combination of Whoriskey and Sorbello put together a strong fall slate, going 7-4 with three of those wins coming against ranked opponents. Meredith and Pluskota, meanwhile, have been nearly perfect, amassing a 12-1 record, including a perfect 4-0 mark in dual-match play.
The Big Orange will open the SEC portion of its schedule this Friday when 57th-ranked Mississippi State makes the trip to Rocky Top for a showdown at 3:30 p.m. UT will then host No. 70 Ole Miss at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Both matches will be contested at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in Knoxville and live stats will be available at www.UTLadyVols.com.
Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top-25
3. Notre Dame
6. Miami (Fla.)
8. Georgia Tech
10. Southern California
15. North Carolina
16. Arizona State
17. Florida State
21. Wake Forest
22. Fresno State
24. Texas A&M
25. Boise State