April 14, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - While the University of Tennessee women's tennis team held strong at No. 13 in the Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings for the fourth straight week on Tuesday, the Lady Vol pairing of junior Caitlin Whoriskey and freshman Natalie Pluskota jumped 21 spots in the doubles poll to No. 18 in the country after picking up a pair of wins over ranked opponents this weekend.
The Big Orange has won five straight matches, including a 7-0 victory over then-No. 23 Kentucky on Friday and 5-2 triumph over then-17th-ranked Vanderbilt on Sunday. UT will square off 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 upcoming SEC Tournament.
The duo of Whoriskey and Zubor improved its ranking from 39th in the country to No. 18 after tallying a pair of wins over ranked opponents last weekend. The Lady Vol pairing first defeated the Kentucky combo of Caroline Lilley and Caroline Escamilla, ranked No. 40 at the time, by a score of 9-7, before downing the then-No. 49-rated Vanderbilt team of Heather Steinbauer and Jackie Wu, 8-3. The Tennessee tandem is now 10-4 on the season with seven of those victories coming over ranked opponents.
Also earning a national doubles ranking was the UT combination of Whoriskey and sophomore Maria Sorbello which came in at No. 84. Although they have yet to compete together this spring, Whoriskey and Sorbello put together a strong fall slate, going 7-4 with three of those wins coming against ranked opponents.
Whoriskey also found her name in the singles portion of the rankings, moving to No. 48 in the nation. The East Sandwich, Mass., put together a pair of strong performances last weekend, winning both of her matches in straight sets. She first took out Escamilla, 6-4, 6-1, before defeating Vanderbilt's 62nd-ranked Catherine Newman, 6-0, 6-2. For the season, Whoriskey 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.
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.