Lady Vols Rack Up All-SEC Accolades

April 21, 2009

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The good news just keeps rolling in for the 10th-ranked University of Tennessee women's tennis team. Just hours after earning their highest ranking in over five years, the Lady Vols were well represented in the Southeastern Conference postseason awards, as co-head coaches Mike Patrick and Sonia Hahn-Patrick were named the league's coaches of the year, junior Caitlin Whoriskey was tabbed to the All-SEC First Team and senior Samantha Orlin and freshman Natalie Pluskota claimed spots on the conference's second team. Pluskota was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team as well.

"This is a very exciting day for Lady Vol tennis," Patrick said. "All of these awards and the new ranking are tributes to the hard work that our whole team has put in this entire season. While Sonia and I are extremely humbled to have been selected out of such a talented and successful group of coaches, all of the credit goes to our players because they were the ones out on the courts.

"I could not be happier that Caitlin, Sam and Natalie have been recognized for their accomplishments this year," Patrick said. "The SEC is one of the toughest conferences in the country and they have all played major roles in our success this season."

The award is the third of Patrick's career and marks Hahn-Patrick's second. The husband-wife combination also picked up the same accolades in 2001, while Patrick earned the honor as the head coach at the University of Kentucky in 1986 as well.

The Big Orange finished the regular season with a 15-5 (.750) record, its best winning percentage since going 22-7 (.759) in 2003. The squad finished second in the ultra-competitive SEC Eastern Division and will be the No. 3 seed at this week's SEC Tournament in Fayetteville, Ark.



A second team All-SEC member last season, Whoriskey becomes the first Lady Vol to earn All-SEC First Team honors since Blakeley Grifith accomplished the feat in 2007. Ranked No. 45 in the nation, the East Sandwich, Mass., native sports a 19-16 overall record from the top position in the singles lineup, including a team-high eight wins over ranked opponents. She also paired up with Pluskota at No. 1 doubles, where the duo put together a 10-4 record and won seven SEC matches en route to a ranking of No. 20 in the country.

The only senior on the UT roster, Orlin is tied for the team lead with a 24-9 singles record, which includes an 8-3 mark in the SEC while playing at No. 3 singles. The Miami, Fla., product has recorded two wins over ranked opponents this season and reached as high as No. 77 in the national singles rankings on Jan. 6. Orlin also has a pair of match and doubles clinching victories this spring and won eight straight singles matches from Jan. 31-April 10. The award is the first of her career.

A two-time SEC Freshman of the Week honoree, Pluskota becomes the first UT rookie in program history to earn first or second team All-SEC laurels. The 5-10 right-hander from Newnan, Ga., ranks second on squad with a 22-14 singles record, has put together an impressive 8-3 mark at the second singles position in SEC play and has a total of three wins over nationally-ranked opponents. She has been stellar in doubles as well, going 26-9 despite having paired up with three different partners.

The Lady Vols will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., this week to open postseason play at the SEC Tournament. UT will be the third seed at the competition and is set to square off with either No. 22 South Carolina or No. 25 Kentucky at 2:30 p.m. CT on Friday, April 25 at the Billingsley Tennis Center.

Coaches of the Year: Mike Patrick AND Sonia Hahn-Patrick, TENNESSEE
Player of the Year: Aurelija Miseviciute, Arkansas
Freshman of the Year: Chelsey Gullickson, Georgia
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Aurelija Miseviciute, Arkansas

All-SEC First Team
Aurelija Miseviciute, Arkansas*
Fani Chifchieva, Auburn*
Alex Haney, Auburn
Marrit Boonstra, Florida*
Joanna Mather, Florida
Anastasia Revzina, Florida
Nadja Gilchrist, Georgia
Monika Dancevic, Georgia
Chelsey Gullickson, Georgia
Megan Falcon, LSU*
Kristi Boxx, Ole Miss
Ana Marija Zubori, South Carolina
Caitlin Whoriskey, TENNESSEE

All-SEC Second Team
Tiffany Welcher, Alabama
Ela Kaluder, Arkansas
Anouk Tigu, Arkansas
Jessica Alexander, Florida
Cameron Ellis, Georgia
Yvette Hyndman, Georgia
Naoko Ueshima, Georgia
Karen Nijssen, Ole Miss
Gira Schofield, South Carolina
Samantha Orlin, TENNESSEE
Natalie Pluskota, TENNESSEE
Catherine Newman, Vanderbilt
Jackie Wu, Vanderbilt

All-Freshman Team
Joanna Mather, Florida
Chelsey Gullickson, Georgia*
Nadja Gilchrist, Georgia
Kristi Boxx, Ole Miss
Natalie Pluskota, TENNESSEE




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