March 31, 2011
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 16-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team will be welcoming a pair of Southeastern Conference foes to Rocky Top this weekend, as it plays host to Mississippi State on Friday and No. 27 Ole Miss on Sunday.
UT (13-4, 5-0) is riding a three-match winning streak thanks to a strong effort last week. The Lady Vols swept a trio of ranked foes, sandwiching a 6-1 win at No. 12 Arkansas between home shutouts of No. 71 and No. 56 Ohio State.
Last week, Tennessee took the doubles point from all three opponents and notched 17 of a possible 18 singles victories. The No. 3 doubles duo of Jennifer Meredith and Kata Szekely continued its outstanding play, extending its SEC-best winning streak to 15 matches. Senior Rosalía Alda moved into a tie for sixth place in school history with her 105th career doubles win on Sunday.
In the latest round of the Campbell/ITA Division I Women's Tennis Rankings, UT has three singles players among the top 100. Junior Natalie Pluskota is the highest-rated Lady Vol at No. 31, while freshman Brynn Boren comes in at No. 37. Alda rounds out the group, ranking No. 94 in the country.
The doubles team of Pluskota and freshman Millie Nichols currently ranks 43rd in the ITA rankings.
This weekend, the Big Orange will be looking to extend its eleven-match home winning streak. The Lady Vols haven't dropped a home contest since falling to Florida on April 9, 2010.
Tennessee's first opponent will be Mississppi State. The Bulldogs currently sit at 2-10 and 0-6 in the SEC. UT has won 31 of 35 all-time meetings with MSU, including the last five in a row.
Sunday's contest against Ole Miss (9-6, 2-4) will be a rematch of a meeting from Jan. 31. UT topped the Rebels, 5-2, in an ITA Kick-Off Weekend final. The victory propelled the Big Orange to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
UT boasts a 23-13 all-time lead in the series against Ole Miss.
First serve for Friday is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET, while Sunday's match will begin at 1 p.m. ET. Both matches will be played outdoors at Barksdale Stadium, weather permitting.
A live blog and live scoring for each contest will be available at UTLadyVols.com.