May 7, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 10th-ranked University of Tennessee women's tennis team (17-6) will open the NCAA Tournament at home for the sixth time in program history when it welcomes in-state foe East Tennessee State (17-6) to Knoxville at Noon on Saturday, May 9, at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. The Lady Volunteers will look to remain perfect at home in NCAA competition, having won all 11 of their previous contests at Rocky Top.
No. 22 South Carolina and 40th-ranked Wake Forest will open play with a 9 a.m. contest on Saturday. The winners of both matches will then square off at 1 p.m. on Sunday for the right to advance to the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas, May 15-19.
General admission tickets will be $5, while student tickets will be $3 with ID. Children two-and-under will be admitted free of charge. Tickets may be purchased the day of the match at the gate and no advance tickets will be sold. Tickets will be sold as single day admissions and pass outs will be allowed. Gates will open one hour prior to the beginning of the match.
The NCAA Tournament appearance marks UT's 15th straight and 19th overall selection. The Big Orange sports a 24-18 all-time record in the competition, including a 12-4 tally in first round matchups and an 8-6 mark in second round contests. Last season, the Lady Vols traveled to Atlanta, Ga., where they advanced to the second round of the tournament with a 4-0 triumph over Illinois, before bowing out to Georgia Tech the following day.
Tennessee is led by Southeastern Conference Coaches of the Year Mike Patrick and Sonia Hahn-Patrick. Thus far this season, the husband-wife combo has led the UT squad to just the second SEC Tournament final appearance in school history and eight league wins, the team's most since 2003.
In addition, three players earned individual accolades from the league, with junior Caitlin Whoriskey taking home All-SEC First Team honors and senior Samantha Orlin and freshman Natalie Pluskota being named to the second team. Pluskota also claimed a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Live results for each match and a tournament central web page can be found at www.UTLadyVols.com.