UT Sophomore Natalie Pluskota
Sept. 8, 2009
By: Lindsey Williford, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - When the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the preseason individual rankings, the University of Tennessee women's tennis team was well represented as the Lady Vol tandem of senior Caitlin Whoriskey and sophomore Natalie Pluskota found itself at the No. 7 spot in the doubles portion of the poll. Whoriskey also found her name in the singles rankings, landing at No. 27, the highest placement of her career.
The Tennessee tandem of Whoriskey and Pluskota found much success this past season and over the summer. The duo won 15 matches in 2009, with 12 coming against nationally-ranked opponents. The pairing of Pluskota and Whoriskey also received ITA All-America honors after advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championships. During summer play the two reached the finals at Hilton Head Pro Circuit Tournament.
This fall, they will pair up once again to compete in the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. The tournament is set to take place Oct. 3-11 at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Both Whoriskey and Pluskota will compete in the main singles draw as well after receiving wild card and automatic berths, respectively. Pluskota earned the automatic selection by winning the singles title at the ITA/United States Tennis Association National Summer Championships in August.
In addition to the doubles rating, Whoriskey was able to secure the highest singles ranking of her career, coming in at No. 27 after her stellar play during the spring and summer seasons. She has competed in the NCAA Singles Championships in each of the past two seasons and became the first Lady Vol in school history to earn a spot on the prestigious USTA Summer Collegiate Team this past June.
The East Sandwich, Mass., native notched key victories at multiple USTA Pro Circuit events over the summer. At the Brownsville Women's $10,000 Tournament, Whoriskey reached the second round of the main draw by defeating the No. 1 seed with a dominating, 6-1, 6-4 victory. She would finish off a strong summer by advancing to the singles finals at the $10,000 Heartland Clinic USTA Women's Classic in St. Joseph, Mo. Her path to the Heartland finals included a 6-3, 7-6 (3) triumph over the tournaments' seventh-seeded Kaitlyn Christian.
The Lady Vols will kick off the 2009-10 campaign this weekend when they make the short trip to Nashville to take part in the Southeastern Conference Coaches Fall Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr., Tennis Center, Sept. 11-13.