April 14, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For the third time this season, junior women's tennis player Caitlin Whoriskey has been selected as the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week. The East Sandwich, Mass., native led Tennessee to wins over No. 23 Kentucky and No. 17 Vanderbilt this past weekend to set up a showdown with No. 2 Georgia at Noon on Saturday for a share of the Southeastern Conference regular season championship and the No. 1 seed at the SEC Tournament.
The 5-8 junior was perfect in both matches, winning both of her singles contests in straight sets and joining forces with freshman Natalie Pluskota to pick up a pair of doubles wins over ranked opponents. The award marks her third of the season as she also earned the honors once this fall and again on March 31, following the team's 7-0 win over No. 21 LSU.
Whoriskey opened the weekend with a strong effort against the Wildcats on Friday. She first teamed up with Pluskota clinch the doubles point for UT with a come-from-behind, 9-7, victory over the 40th-ranked UK combo of Caroline Lilley and Carolina Escamilla, before putting the Orange and White up 2-0 on the scoreboard with 6-4, 6-1, triumph over Escamilla at the No. 1 singles position.
The only ranked singles player on the Tennessee roster at No. 32, Whoriskey picked up her team-high eighth win of the season over a nationally-ranked opponent in the match against Vanderbilt, downing 62nd-rated Catherine Newman, 6-0, 6-2, on center court. That victory followed yet another doubles win, as she and Pluskota had already taken out the No. 49-ranked Commodore pairing of Heather Steinbauer and Jackie Wu.
For the season, Whoriskey now holds a 19-15 overall singles record, including a 9-9 mark from the top position in the lineup while playing against the opposing teams' best players. She has also accumulated a 21-12 record in doubles play and has been involved in all 10 of UT's wins over ranked opponents this year. With the two doubles wins this weekend, Whoriskey moved into a tie for 15th on the Lady Vol career doubles wins chart with 68 victories during her three years at Rocky Top.
Tennessee will close out the regular season this Saturday when No. 2 Georgia makes the trip to Rocky Top. The Bulldogs have already clinched a share of the SEC title, but the Big Orange will look to join them on the podium as the two squads will square off at Noon at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in Knoxville. The Lady Vols will honor their lone senior, Samantha Orlin in a pre-match ceremony and live scoring will be available at www.UTLadyVols.com.
No. 39 Caitlin Whoriskey/Natalie Pluskota (UT) def. No. 40 Caroline Lilley/Carolina Escamilla (UK) - 9-7
No. 39 Caitlin Whoriskey/Natalie Pluskota (UT) def. No. 49 Heather Steinbauer/Jackie Wu (VU) - 8-3