Aug. 17, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee women's tennis team faces yet another challenging schedule for the 2009-10 season. Matches against 15 NCAA tournament participants, including two Final Four teams, highlight the team's slate.
"I'm excited for this year's team and as always, our schedule is tough so it helps prepare us for the SEC Championships in March," UT Co-Head Coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick said.
The fall season opens Sept. 11 with the Lady Vols traveling to Nashville, Tenn., for the SEC Coach's Tournament. Senior Caitlin Whoriskey and sophomore Natalie Pluskota will compete in both the singles and doubles draw of the prestigious Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, Oct. 8 - 11. Pluskota received an automatic berth into the tournament last week by winning the singles title at the International Tennis Association/United States Tennis Association National Summer Championships. Whoriskey competed with fellow senior Zsófia Zubor to win the All-American doubles title two years ago. Four more tournaments, including the St. Mary's Tournament, Nov. 6 - 8, at UT's Goodfriend Tennis Center, round out the fall 2009 slate.
For the second straight season, the spring portion of the schedule is set to begin at the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 16, and ends at SEC foe and No. 3-ranked Georgia, Apr. 17. The much anticipated home match versus South Carolina will take place Apr. 11. USC knocked out the Lady Vols in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Championships after UT claimed a pair of wins earlier in the season. Overall, Tennessee will face 18 opponents, nine of which finished the 2009 campaign ranked among the top-25 teams in the nation by the ITA.
In order to be successful, the Lady Vols will need to continue their winning ways from summer play and look for seniors Zubor and Whoriskey to lead the other five returning players and one incoming freshman, Kata Szekely.
"Our players had much success throughout the summer and I know they will continue to be confident," Hahn-Patrick said. "We look forward to the leadership of our two seniors and know they will help keep everyone focused on what they want to achieve this year."