Sophomore Katie Lee won her fourth straight singles match on Friday.
April 2, 2010
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
OXFORD, Miss.--The No. 14-ranked Tennessee women's tennis team dropped a road contest, 5-2, to No. 35 Ole Miss at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in Oxford, Miss. on Friday.
The Lady Vols (11-6, 5-2 SEC) struggled out of the gate, dropping the doubles point for the first time in SEC play this season.
Kata Szekely and Jennifer Meredith dropped the No. 3 doubles match, 8-2 to Abby Guthrie and Laura van de Stroet of Ole Miss. Shortly thereafter, the 22nd-ranked Tennessee tandem of Rosalía Alda and Zsófia Zubor lost to Connor Vogel and Gabby Rangel, 8-5, clinching the point for the Rebels.
Though UT failed to pick up the doubles point, its No. 1 doubles team continued to play well. The talented duo of Caitlin Whoriskey and Maria Sorbello bested the nation's No. 13 doubles pair, Kristi Boxx and Karen Nijssen, 8-4. Whoriskey and Sorbello, ranked No. 66 in the latest ITA poll, are a perfect 10-0 on the year.
"Ole Miss played well at second and third doubles," Tennessee co-head coach Mike Patrick said. "We've had to win at one and two all year and you can't always do that. Anytime we've lost the doubles point this season, it's been bad. Ole Miss played competitively and we didn't adjust. Our players were a little stubborn."
In singles play, Ole Miss (10-4, 4-3 SEC) recorded a victory in the first decision, a 6-4, 6-2 win by junior Laura van de Stroet over Jennifer Meredith, pushing the Rebs' advantage to 2-0.
Whoriskey got the Orange and White on the board and extended her singles winning streak to four as she topped Boxx, 6-3, 6-2. The nation's 11th-ranked player also reached the 25-win plateau for the first time in her four years at Tennessee.
The next three matches all went the way of the Rebels. Vogel defeated Alda at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-4, and Zubor fell to Guthrie in fourth singles, 6-3, 6-3. Guthrie's victory would clinch the match for Ole Miss. The Rebels also picked up a win at the second singles slot, as Nijssen topped No. 67 Maria Sorbello in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
Sophomore Katie Lee, celebrating her 19th birthday, recorded the Big Orange's only other victory. The Brisbane, Australia native topped Gabby Rangel in three sets at the sixth singles position, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. Lee has reeled off a career-best four straight victories and her 6-1 record in SEC play is tied with Whoriskey for tops on the team. V
"Katie has been very tough," Patrick said. "Today, she played a good player and outworked her. That's what our other girls need to do, try to outwork their opponents. Katie knows her limitations and she's been very determined and done a great job of outworking her opponents in SEC competition."
The Lady Vols will travel to Starkville, Miss. to take on Mississippi State at 1 p.m. CT Sunday. The Bulldogs (9-8, 1-6) lost, 4-3, to No. 13 Georgia on Friday and have dropped six straight SEC contests.
Live scoring will be available on UTLadyVols.com. Fans are also reminded to follow the Lady Vols on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/UTLadyVols.
No. 35 Ole Miss 5, No. 14 Tennessee 2
1. No. 11 Caitlin Whoriskey (UT) def. Kristi Boxx (OM) - 6-3, 6-2
2. Karen Nijssen (OM) def. No. 67 Maria Sorbello (UT) - 6-4, 6-3
3. Connor Vogel (OM) def. Rosalia Alda (UT) - 6-3, 6-4
4. Abby Guthrie (OM) def. Zsofia Zubor (UT) - 6-3, 6-3
5. Laura van de Stroet (OM) def. Jennifer Meredith (UT) - 6-4, 6-2
6. Katie Lee (UT) def. Gabby Rangel (OM) - 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
Order of Finish: (5, 1, 3, 4*, 2, 6)
1. No. 66 Whoriskey/Sorbello (UT) def. No. 13 Kristi Boxx/ Karen Nijssen (OM) 8-4
2. Connor Vogel/Gabby Rangel (OM) def. Rosalía Alda/Zsófia Zubor (UT) 8-5
3. Guthrie/van de Stroet (OM) def. Meredith/Szekely (UT) 8-2
Order of Finish: (3, 2, 1)
*indicates clinching point