Aug. 16, 2010
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - As is typically the case, the University of Tennessee women's tennis team faces a challenging schedule for the upcoming season, as co-head coaches Mike Patrick and Sonia Hahn-Patrick announced the 2010-11 slate on Thursday afternoon.
"We've always had a challenging schedule," Mike Patrick said. "That's no different this year. It's built to make our kids grow up in a hurry. We have some really tough matches in the spring, especially at the end of the season. Hopefully we're ready come tournament time."
After a successful spring 2010 campaign that saw the Lady Vols advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women's Tennis Championships for the first time in eight years, UT is set to compete against 13 squads from last year's NCAA field.
Alda and Sorbello were both All-SEC Second Team selections last season as each recorded career highs in victories. Alda enters the season in 13th place in school history with 80 doubles wins.
"Our program is always going to go as our seniors go," Patrick said. "Last year, our two seniors had great years. Hopefully this year, our three seniors will be playing their best tennis. I know they have high goals for the season and I'm excited to see how they lead this year."
The fall tournament schedule gets underway with the SEC Coaches' Tournament from Sept. 10-12 in Auburn, Ala. From there, UT will compete in two additional tournaments, including the Furman Fall Classic and the Wake Forest Tournament.
The Lady Vols will host the ITA Ohio Valley Regional at the Knoxville Racquet Club from Oct. 14-18. Top finishers will advance to the National ITA Indoors, played in New York City from Nov. 4-7.
After finishing up tournament play with the Michigan Tournament from Jan. 15-17, the Big Orange will open dual match play in Champaign, Ill., against Illinois. Tennessee will then christen the newly-renovated Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, held from Jan. 30-31. The construction added two more indoor courts, giving the Lady Vols a full complement of six and putting the program's indoor facility on par with that of any school in the nation.
UT's non-conference schedule includes tilts with Big Ten powers Indiana on Feb. 12 and Ohio State on March 23, as well as a March 19 rematch of last season's NCAA Quarterfinal contest against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish toppled the Lady Vols in that meeting, ending Tennessee's season.
After non-conference play concludes, the Orange and White will compete in a full 11-match SEC schedule, taking on some of the nation's best teams, including last year's NCAA runner-up, Florida. Senior Day for the Lady Vols will take place on April 16 against border rival Georgia.
The University of Tennessee will also serve as the host institution for the 2011 SEC Tennis Championships, running from April 21-24. From there, UT is hoping to advance to its 16th straight NCAA Tennis Tournament. The first and second rounds will be held at campus sites from May 13-15, with 16 teams advancing to the 2011 NCAA Championships in Palo Alto, Calif., on May 19-24. The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will then take place from May 25-30.
Fans are reminded to follow the Lady Vols on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UTLadyVols