March 19, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 12 University of Tennessee women's tennis team (9-2) will close out the non-conference portion of its schedule this weekend as it takes on the University of Central Florida (8-5) at 2 p.m. in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, March 20 before returning to Knoxville where it will take a crack at No. 2 Notre Dame (14-2) at 1 p.m. two days later at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. Live scoring for both matches will be available at www.UTLadyVols.com.
This past weekend, the Lady Volunteers split a pair of Southeastern Conference matches while playing on the road for the first time in over a month. The Big Orange opened with a 5-2 triumph over No. 22 South Carolina on Friday afternoon before suffering its first SEC setback with a loss to 23rd-ranked Florida on Sunday by an identical score.
Sophomore Jennifer Meredith and junior Zsófia Zubor provided most of the highlights for the Orange and White over the weekend, picking up a pair of wins at the fifth and sixth singles positions, respectively. Junior Caitlin Whoriskey was the lone member of the UT squad to defeat a ranked singles opponent, taking out South Carolina's No. 33 Gira Schofield, 6-3, 7-5, on center court in its win over the Gamecocks. She also teamed up with freshman Natalie Pluskota to down the No. 45-ranked doubles pairing of Natasa Vuckovic and Ana Marija Zubori, 8-6, in the victory as well.
For the season, Zubor leads Tennessee with an 18-6 overall singles record, including a team-best 9-2 mark in dual-match play, while Meredith, Pluskota and senior Samantha Orlin are all tied for second with 17 wins. Whoriskey, meanwhile, tops the squad with six wins over ranked opponents and has put together a 6-5 record from the top singles position to earn a ranking of No. 48 in the nation.
The East Sandwich, Mass., native has also been impressive in doubles play, accumulating a 17-9 record while playing with three different partners. She is part of two nationally-rated doubles pairings as she teams up with Pluskota to form the 32nd-rated duo and with sophomore Maria Sorbello to create the No. 59-ranked tandem. Whoriskey and Pluskota have only been paired together since Feb. 8, but have put together a 6-1 record, including three wins over ranked opposition.
Following their showdown with No. 2 Notre Dame on Sunday, the Lady Vols will be back in action next week when they travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to take on No. 21 Arkansas on Friday, March 27. Two days later, UT will return home to square off with the 23rd-ranked LSU Tigers at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. Both matches are slated to begin at 1 p.m. ET.