July 23, 2009
ATLANTA, Ga. - Four University of Tennessee women's tennis players made the trip down I-75 last week to compete in the Norman Wilkerson Tennis Experience, a $10,000 International Tennis Federation Women's Circuit tournament at the Sugar Creek Tennis Center in Atlanta, Ga. Rising senior Caitlin Whoriskey led the way, win three qualifying matches to reach the main singles draw, while rising junior Maria Sorbello and soon-to-be sophomores Natalie Pluskota and Katie Lee also participated in the tournament.
Whoriskey also teamed up with Southern Cal junior Maria Sanchez to reach the quarterfinals of the main doubles draw. The duo first downed the pairing of Georgia Tech sophomore Irina Falconi and native Australian Julia Moriarty, 6-2, 3-6 (10-8), before falling to the fourth-seeded team of Kaitlyn Christian and former USC standout Lindsey Nelson, 6-4, 7-5.
In the singles portion of the competition, Whoriskey was seeded ninth in the qualifying singles draw, earning a bye in the opening round. Her three teammates, meanwhile, all saw action, with Pluskota and Sorbello moving on to the quarterfinals. A native of Newnan, Ga., Pluskota easily dispatched Alexis King, 6-3, 6-1, while Sorbello was perfect in her contest against Sindy Cespedes from Columbia, tallying a 6-0, 6-0, triumph. Lee was not quite as fortunate, however, falling to Erica Krisan, a junior at South Alabama, 6-3, 6-1.
Although Sorbello was knocked out of the tournament in the quarterfinals, 6-3, 7-5, by Caryssa Peretz, Whoriskey and Pluskota were both able to continue their winning ways. After Whoriskey avenged Lee's loss to Krisan with a, 6-4, 7-5, victory, Pluskota took out University of Virginia sophomore Emily Fraser, 6-2, 6-0. The two Lady Vols added wins in the semifinal round as well to earn a chance to play for a spot in the main singles draw. While Whoriskey wasted little time defeating Alabama sophomore Courtney McLane, 6-2, 6-3, Pluskota was forced to come from behind in her match after dropping the first set. She was able to right herself though and came away with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, win over Kayla Rizzolo.
In the finals of the qualifying draw, Whoriskey made quick work of the eighth-seeded Hilary Barte, a rising junior at Stanford, 6-2, 6-4, to advance to her third main singles draw of the summer. Pluskota's run in the tournament would come to an end, however, with a 7-5, 6-3, defeat at the hands of rising Vanderbilt senior Catherine Newman.
Whoriskey added one more victory in the main draw, downing yet another former USC star, Jewel Peterson, in three sets, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1. For the second straight tournament, however, she was eliminated from the competition by the fourth-seeded Alison Riske, a Vanderbilt recruit, 6-1, 6-1.
A member of the USTA Summer Collegiate Team, Whoriskey will continue her tour of professional events this week, as she will make the trek to Lexington, Ky., to compete in the $50,000 Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships.
QUALIFYING SINGLES DRAW
(9) Caitlin Whoriskey (USA) - Bye
Natalie Pluskota (USA) def. Alexis King (USA) - 6-3, 6-1
Maria Sorbello (AUS) def. Sindy Cespedes (COL) - 6-0, 6-0
Erica Krisan (USA) def. Katie Lee (AUS) - 6-3, 6-1
MAIN SINGLES DRAW
Caitlin Whoriskey (USA) def. Jewel Peterson (USA) - 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1
(4) Alison Riske (USA) def. Caitlin Whoriskey (USA) - 6-1, 6-1
MAIN DOUBLES DRAW
Caitlin Whoriskey/Maria Sanchez (USA) def. Irina Falconi (USA)/Julia Moriarty (AUS) - 6-2, 3-6 (10-8)
(4) Kaitlyn Christian/Lindsey Nelson (USA) def. Caitlin Whoriskey/Maria Sanchez (USA) - 6-4, 7-5