Tennessee seniors Zsofia Zubor and Caitlin Whoriskey
April 8, 2010
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--The No. 16-ranked Tennessee women's tennis team will play host to SEC Eastern Division rivals, No. 4 Florida and No. 15 South Carolina, this weekend at Barksdale Stadium.
Though Tennessee (12-6, 6-2 SEC) is currently fourth in the SEC East, the Lady Vols are only two games behind top-seeded Florida and UT closes the season by facing all three teams that it trails.
Tennessee split a pair of matches in Mississippi last weekend, dropping a 5-2 decision to Ole Miss on Friday before rebounding to shut out Mississippi State, 7-0, on Sunday.
Caitlin Whoriskey and Maria Sorbello, ranked No. 66 in the ITA poll, moved to a perfect 11-0 on the year in doubles play, winning both matches on the weekend. Freshman Kata Szekely also earned her first-ever dual match singles victory, defeating Danielle Terpko of Mississippi State, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday.
First up for the Big Orange are the Gators (18-8, 8-0) at 4 p.m. Friday at Barksdale Stadium (formerly the Varsity Tennis Courts). UF boasts three nationally ranked players, led by freshman Allie Will. A three-time SEC Freshman of the Week honoree, Will is ranked No. 9 in the latest ITA poll. Also cracking the rankings are freshman Lauren Embree (No. 14) and senior Marrit Boonstra (No. 79).
Will and Boonstra also combine for the nation's No. 5 doubles squad. Florida has reeled off nine straight victories, eight of which have come against ranked opponents. During this stretch, Florida hasn't dropped more than one overall point in any of these contests.
Co-head coach Mike Patrick thinks that Friday's match will be a good measuring stick for his team.
"Florida is one of the elite teams in the country," Patrick said. "(Fans) are going to see two or three of the best players in the country. They're going to pose a great challenge for us. We look forward to playing them at home. When you play the best, you see where your weaknesses are. It will be a good test."
Sunday, the Orange and White will host against the Gamecocks (14-4, 7-1 SEC) in another critical league matchup at 1 p.m.
UT co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick said that the senior leadership has been invaluable to the Lady Vols this season.
"They've been a key part of our team," Patrick said. "Their sophomore year, they won a national championship in doubles and they've carried that experience on the national level with them for the last two years.
"Both of them have played tons of matches, so they know exactly what to do in the midst of battle and they've done a great job preparing the younger girls for the long season."
Whoriskey and Zubor sit at fifth and sixth, respectively on Tennessee's career doubles victory list. Whoriskey is also in a four-way tie for 15th on the all-time singles win list with 85.
If fans can't attend, live scoring for both matches will be available on UTLadyVols.com. Fans are also reminded to follow the Lady Vols on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UTLadyVols.