May 19, 2010
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
ATHENS, Ga. - Prior to this season, the Tennessee women's tennis team set a goal of reaching the round of 16 in the 2010 NCAA Championships.
Mission accomplished, courtesy of a 4-1 victory over No. 28 Vanderbilt in the second round last weekend.
However, with that goal now in the rear view mirror, the Lady Vols are far from satisfied. They are set to face No. 4 overall seed Michigan (24-4) in the NCAA Round of 16 on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. The match will be held at the Henry Feild Courts at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The match will mark the fifth time that the Orange and White has played in Athens in the past month. UT earned its first road victory over Georgia since 1996 on April 17, and followed that up with a run to the 2010 SEC Championship Final, also held in Athens.
That familiarity could pay big dividends for the Lady Vols against a Michigan squad that has won 18 of its previous 19 matches.
Though the two teams haven't faced off in a dual match in two seasons, UT does have experience against the Wolverines this year. Tennessee faced off against UM's singles lineup on Jan. 17 and its doubles lineup on Jan. 18 as part of the Michigan Invitational.
In singles play, Michigan went 4-2 against the Lady Vols, though one victory was earned by default. The Maize and Blue also took both of the doubles matches.
Tennessee holds a 9-3 edge over Michigan in the all-time series. Furthermore, the Orange and White is 51-7 (.879) against Big Ten foes over the past 11 years. During UT Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick's tenure at Rocky Top, the Lady Vols have put together a dominating 72-14 (.837) record over Big Ten teams, after going 8-9 in the years prior to his arrival.
The Big Orange will certainly need a strong effort to knock off the Wolverines, who are playing in the 2nd Sweet 16 matchup in school history, while Tennessee is in its first in six years and 10th overall. Michigan reached this round by defeating archrival Ohio State, 4-0, in a second round contest in Ann Arbor, Mich.
UT is led by First Team All-SEC selection and ITA Ohio Valley Region Senior Player of the Year, Caitlin Whoriskey. She will be looking to avenge a 7-5, 6-1 defeat suffered at the hands of No. 19 Denise Muresan of Michigan on Jan. 17.
Live video and scoring will be available at NCAA.com
Fans are reminded to follow the Lady Vols on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UTLadyVols