KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee women's tennis team returns home this weekend after a four-match spring break trip.
The Lady Vols are set to face the two newest SEC members in Missouri and Texas A&M. UT and Mizzou will square off Friday, March 28 at 4 p.m. while Tennessee takes on the seventh-ranked Aggies Sunday at Noon.
Tennessee enters the match with an 8-9 record, 2-5 in SEC action after going 3-1 last week. Missouri is 6-15 overall and 0-7 in conference action, while the Aggies are 13-3 and 6-1 in conference play.
Though No. 23 UT earned a 3-1 match lead, No. 58 Missouri tallied the final three points of the match to earn a comeback 4-3 victory.
The doubles point turned out to be the deciding factor in the match as the Tigers eked out the Lady Vols on courts two and three 8-6 to get the first point of the day.
Missouri finished the match off with three straight wins, including two three-set match victories to close things out.
Despite two singles victories, UT fell 4-2 to the nation's third-ranked team Texas A&M at the Mitchell Tennis Center last season.
The Lady Vols made things interesting by knotting the match at two-apiece after Tiffany Tavares downed Sun 6-2, 6-0 at No. 5 singles followed by a win by No. 38 Szekely over No. 68 Cristina Stancu, 6-2, 6-2 on court two.
The win was Szekely's sixth over a ranked opponent and extended her winning streak to six matches.
- The Lady Vols are coming off of a doubleheader sweep of Murray State and Western Kentucky and a split on the weekend with No. 11 Vanderbilt and No. 28 Kentucky.
- Tennessee won each of the doubleheader matches by a 7-0 score and came back to edge out Kentucky 4-3 on their home court
- Ashlee Boles ensured Tennessee went undefeated on the day coming back from a 6-7 first set loss to eke out a 7-6 second set win and force a third set tiebreak which she won 10-6
- Tiffany Tavares clinched the match winning point for the Lady Vols over Kentucky for the second time in as many weeks.
- The Lady Vols entered the 2014 season with 198 wins in SEC play
- The Lady Vols notched their first SEC win of the season with a 4-2 comeback victory over South Carolina on Sunday, March 16
- And with another comeback victory on March 23 at Kentucky, Tennessee tallied its 200th SEC victory, since beginning conference play.
- In the lone meeting with Missouri last season the Lady Vols dropped a tough 4-3 match on the road.
- Missouri enters the match with a 6-15 record and are looking for their first conference victory (0-7).
- The Tigers have no ranked players.
- The Lady Vols and Texas A&M have met eight times in the past with Tennessee leading the series 6-2.
- UT holds a 3-1 edge in Knoxville, with the last meeting coming in 1995.
- Tennessee and Texas A&M met every season from 1989-96. They met for the first time in 17 seasons last year in the first meeting as conference foes.
- Texas A&M have three players ranked in singles, Cristina Stancu (No. 12), Saska Gavrilovska (No. 62), and Anna Mamalat (No. 109).
- The Aggies have one ranked doubles squad in Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu (No. 39).
LADY VOLS IN 2014
- The Lady Vols enter this weekend's competition ranked No. 39 in the country, up two spots from last week's 47th place ranking.
- Co-Head Coaches Mike Patrick and Sonia Hahn-Patrick are in their 17th season together leading the Lady Vols. They have compiled a 290-167 record together.
- The Lady Vols currently have one player ranked in singles play, freshman Eve Repic who is ranked 94th in the country.
- With the return of Caitlyn Williams to the line up, Williams and Henderson, who have combined for an 8-2 record this season, 1-1 in the spring, are currently ranked No. 75 in the nation.
- The Lady Vols have six fresh faces on the team this season in freshmen Ashlee Boles (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Laurence Guevremont (Montreal, Quebec), Brittany Lindl (Panama City, Fla.), Victoria Olivarez (Virginia Beach, Va.), Ambika Pande (Gurgaon, India), and Eve Repic (Oakville, Ontario).
- Tennessee boasts a diverse squad that represents four different states, two provinces of Canada and four different countries.
- Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick, in his 27th year at the helm of the Tennessee women's tennis program captured his 500th career victory on Sunday, Feb. 16 vs. Chattanooga.
- Patrick, who is in his 30th season coaching tennis at the collegiate level has earned 505 career victories, 449 of those coming at UT and 297 of them alongside co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick
- Patrick became just the 10th Division I coach to reach the 500-win plateau.
- Patrick currently ranks sixth among active NCAA Division I coaches in wins
- Patrick has also coached in 807 career matches over the course of his career with his 800th career match played coming in his home state of Mississippi vs. Ole Miss on March 7, 2014