March 10, 2011
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 21-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team returns home this weekend to host Southeastern Conference foes Kentucky and Vanderbilt on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Tennessee (7-3, 1-0) earned a 6-1 victory in its SEC opener at Auburn on March 6. The win gave co-head coach Mike Patrick 400 career wins at Tennessee. UT took the doubles point by sweeping all three doubles contests and proceeded to win five of six singles matches, all in straight sets.
UT played at No. 34 Alabama on Friday, but the match was suspended because of inclement weather with Alabama leading, 1-0. To this point, no makeup date has been announced.
This weekend's matches will be played outdoors, weather permitting. Tennessee got some outdoor experience at Auburn, but has yet to play a match in Barksdale Stadium this season. At the newly-renovated Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center, UT is 4-0 for the year.
The No. 3 doubles duo of Jennifer Meredith and Kata Szekely has been a stalwart for the Lady Volunteers during dual match play. Meredith and Szekely are 8-0 on the year and have been a major catalyst for Tennessee taking the doubles point in eight of 10 matches this season.
Senior Rosalía Alda has 99 career doubles victories and can become just the seventh player in school history to eclipse 100 doubles wins.
Kentucky (3-8, 1-1) enters Friday's match on a high note, having defeated Mississippi State, 6-1, on Sunday, UK's first SEC win since April 5, 2009. Tennessee has won two straight against the Wildcats and leads the all-time series, 20-15.
No. 8-ranked Vanderbilt (8-2, 2-0) should present UT with one of its toughest tests of the 2011 season thus far. These two teams are fairly familiar with one another, having played four times last season. Most recently, UT eliminated Vanderbilt in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, 4-1.
VU opened SEC play last weekend by sweeping Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Vandy junior Chelsea Preeg was named SEC Player of the Week on Tuesday for her efforts against MSU and UM.
The Lady Vols lead the all-time series against Vandy, 32-20.
Live scoring for both matches will be available on UTLadyVols.com
Fans are reminded to follow the Lady Vols on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UTLadyVols.