Sept. 20, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- The University of Tennessee women's tennis team will kick off the 2012-13 season at the 26th annual Furman Fall Classic this weekend at the Mickel Tennis Center on the campus of Furman University in Greenville, S.C.
The tournament will feature eight teams, in a flighted competition (i.e. no team winner; individual flight champions for singles and doubles).
Doubles play will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, followed by singles action at 1 p.m. Play will continue on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m. each day.
COMPETING AGAINST THE BEST
Seven of the teams competing in the tournament this weekend are ranked in the top 40 in the 2012 final ITA Collegiate Tennis rankings:
North Carolina, 8th
South Carolina, 31st
Florida State, 40th
The eight-team field also includes 12 singles players and six doubles teams ranked in the preseason ITA Collegiate Tennis rankings:
Mary Anne Macfarlane (Alabama) - 11
Brynn Boren (Tennessee) - 18
Lauren McHale (North Carolina) - 24
Zoe De Bruycker (North Carolina) - 26
Kata Szekely (Tennessee) - 28
Alexa Guarachi (Alabama) - 36
Marie Casares (Vanderbilt) - 59
Lauren Mira (Vanderbilt) - 61
Jaklin Alawi (South Carolina) - 63
Caroline Price (North Carolina) - 71
Francesca Segarelli (Florida State) - 81
Beatrice Gumulya (Clemson) - 83
Alexa Guarachi-Mary Anne Macfarlane (Alabama) - 17
Brynn Boren-Kata Szekely (Tennessee) - 34
Antonia Foehse-Yasmeen Ebada (Alabama) - 47
Ashleigh Antal-Marie Casares (Vanderbilt) - 51
Beatrice Gumulya-Yui-Lynn Miao (Clemson) - 53
Amy Sargeant-Francesca Segarelli (Florida State) - 56
9 a.m. Friday
No. 34 Brynn Boren/Kata Szekely, UT vs. Whitney Kay/Ashley Dai, UNC
Caitlyn Williams/Joanna Henderson, UT vs. Jaklin Alawi/Dominika Karakova, South Carolina
9 a.m. Friday
Tiffany Tavares/Mimi Fotopolous, UT vs. Daneika Borthwick/Mia Vriens, FSU
1 p.m. Friday
No. 18 Brynn Boren, UT vs. Daneika Borthwick, FSU
1 p.m. Friday
Mimi Fotopolous, UT vs. Ximena Siles, South Carolina
1 p.m. Friday Tiffany Tavares, UT vs. Katherine Oudin, FU
2:30 p.m. Friday Kayla McMurray, UT vs. Romy Koelzer, Clemson
3 p.m. Friday
Joanna Henderson, UT vs. Leyla Erkan, FSU
STRONG LEADERS FOR A YOUNG SQUAD
This season's squad features one senior, two juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen. The team is led by All-American senior Kata Szekely, who reached the semifinals of the NCAA doubles tournament last season alongside three-time All-American Natalie Pluskota.
This year, Szekely and Boren have paired up in doubles and enter the season ranked 34th in the nation.
The duo is also returning to the singles scene after reaching the round of 32 at NCAAs. Boren is ranked 18th entering the 2012-13 season while Szekely has a No. 28 ranking.
The UT sophomore class missed much of its first season on Rocky Top.
Jesse Grace joined the team in January of 2012 taking part in 17 singles and 14 doubles matches in the second half of the season.
Sarah Toti will return to action later in the fall as she continues to rehab her right knee after suffering an ACL tear during doubles play of the Lady Vols' home match against Arkansas on March 25.
Caitlyn Williams was held out of the fall and limited throughout the season due to injuries in 2011-12. However, she finished the season ranked No. 25 in the country with Natalie Pluskota in the doubles rankings.
Joanna Henderson is the only incoming sophomore to have played the whole season for the Lady Vols winning 11 matches during her rookie year in singles and earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors twice. However, Henderson played with four different doubles partners in 2011-12.
The Lady Vols will have two new faces on the squad in Mimi Fotopolous and Tiffany Tavares.
Tavares was the top-ranked recruit in the state of Nevada also advanced to the state championship during her sophomore season and the semifinals as a junior. Tavares also recorded back-to-back Southern Zone Regional Tennis Tournament titles as a junior and senior. Tavares' commitment marks the second consecutive year that Tennessee has signed Nevada's top-ranked prospect.
Fotopolous, a five-star recruit, was a two-time National High School Tennis All-American and captured the last two 6A Kansas state singles championships, going undefeated in both 2010 and 2011. Losing just three matches in her high school career, Fotopoulos was also the runner-up in the 2008 and 2009 Kansas singles state championships.