March 31, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - University of Tennessee junior netter Caitlin Whoriskey has been named the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week after leading UT to a dominating 7-0 shutout over No. 21 LSU on Sunday with wins over ranked opponents in both singles and doubles play. The East Sandwich, Mass., also earned the highest singles ranking of her career, moving up to No. 32 in the Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, released Tuesday morning.
After the Big Orange dropped a hard-fought, 4-3, decision to 23rd-ranked Arkansas on Friday, Whoriskey stole the show against the Tigers, defeating the highest ranked opponent of her career, No. 15 Megan Falcon, in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. The win marked her seventh of the season over a ranked opponent and 14th of her career. Whoriskey also joined forces with freshman Natalie Pluskota in doubles play to hand the No. 14-rated Tiger team of Falcon and Mykala Hedberg just its fourth loss of the season and first in dual-match play with an 8-5 triumph.
Those victories were the highlight of UT's 7-0 sweep over LSU, in which the Big Orange did not drop even a single set while winning all seven singles contests, as well as all three doubles matchups. The 7-0 sweep was Tennessee's third of the season and first in league play. The Big Orange previously accomplished the feat against then-No. 44 Indiana on Feb. 20 and the University of Central Florida on March 20. The last time the Lady Vols downed an SEC opponent by a 7-0 score was against Alabama on March 30, 2008.
Whoriskey, who is now 17-13 on the season, including a 7-7 mark from the No. 1 singles position, moved up 16 spots in the most recent Campbell/ITA singles poll, from 48th to No. 32. Her previous high in the individual rankings came on Sept. 4, 2008, when she was rated as the 37th-best player in the nation.
She also found her name listed twice in the doubles portion of the rankings, as she is rated at No. 39 with Pluskota and at No. 65 with sophomore Maria Sorbello. Since joining forces against Virginia on Feb. 8, the Tennessee tandem of Whoriskey and Pluskota has put together a 7-3 mark, which includes four wins in six tries over ranked opponents. 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.
As a team, the Lady Vols remained at the No. 13 spot in the poll for the second consecutive week. UT is 11-4 overall this season and sports a 4-2 mark in Southeastern Conference action.
The Orange and White will take its final road trip of the season this weekend when it travels to the Yellowhammer State to take on SEC Western Division foes No. 17 Alabama and 31st-ranked Auburn. UT will square off with the Crimson Tide at 4 p.m. ET in Tuscaloosa on Friday, April 3, before making a quick jaunt to Auburn to face the 31st-ranked Tigers just two days later.
Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 25
3. Notre Dame
5. Miami (Fla.)
6. Georgia Tech
7. Southern California
14. Fresno State
17. Florida State
18. North Carolina
21. Arizona State
Complete team, singles and doubles rankings can be found at www.ITATennis.com.