Sept. 25, 2011
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Junior Kata Szekely and freshman Sarah Toti each won singles titles in their respective flights at the Furman Fall Classic on Sunday, as the Lady Vols compiled 19 combined singles and doubles wins in their season-opening weekend.
"It's a great win for both of them," co-head coach Mike Patrick said. "What a way to start your college career to come play in a tournament with a bunch of top-30 teams and win it against a real quality opponent for Sarah. For Kata, it was the same thing. It was another quality opponent, but she just outworked her and played really hard. I'm really proud of her."
Szekely started 3-0 for the second time in three years, capturing the flight three championship by defeating No. 68 Dijana Stojic (USC) in three sets (4-6, 6-1, 6-4). The win marked her highest-ranked win at Tennessee and improved her record against nationally-ranked foes to 3-4.
"I improved a lot since last year," Szekely said. "Hard work pays off every time so I'm really happy. I think I fought really hard all weekend when I was in tough situations."
Toti started her Tennessee career with a perfect 3-0 record, including a pair of wins against ranked opponents. After knocking off No. 96 Katie Popova (USC) on Saturday, Toti locked up the flight four singles title with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) victory over No. 66 Chelsea Preeg of Vanderbilt.
"It definitely does (give me confidence)," Toti said. "I haven't played tournament matches in a while. Tournaments are a really good way to gauge where you're at against other schools. In matches, it shows what you need to work on because that's where you bring out the best or worst in you. It definitely was able to highlight some areas I need to work on."
After beating two ranked players Saturday, including No. 6 Zoe De Bruycker (UNC), senior Natalie Pluskota fell in the flight one championship 6-1, 6-4, to No. 27 MaryAnn Macfarlane (UA).
Freshman Joanna Henderson exited the weekend with a 2-1 start to her rookie season at UT, including wins in her final two contests. On Sunday, Henderson recorded a straight-set victory against Furman's Kelly Sullivan 6-4, 6-3, to finish fifth in flight five.
By default, sophomore Brynn Boren finished third in the second flight. In a consolation match, Boren faced No. 31 Anya Morgina (USC). After taking set one 6-3, Brynn lost the final two hard-fought sets 4-6, 5-7.
Sophomore Kayla McMurry fell to 1-2 after falling 1-6, 6-7 (3) to Furman's Susan Bitetti.
"It was a great first weekend," Patrick said. "We came out here and played great competition, won a couple of flights and competed well in every flight. I'm really happy with the girls' progress to this point."
Tennessee returns to action next weekend in Pacific Palisades, Calif., for the ITA All-American Championships. Szekely will be the first Lady Vol in action on Saturday in prequalifying singles.
Furman Fall Classic
SINGLES DRAW FLIGHT ONE
Natalie Pluskota (UT) def. Anya Morgina (USC) 6-1, 6-2
Pluskota def. Zoe De Bruycker (UNC) 6-2, 6-3
MaryAnn McFarlane (UA) def. Pluskota 6-1, 6-4
SINGLES DRAW FLIGHT TWO
Brynn Boren (UT) def. Lauren McHale (UNC) 7-6 (5), 6-1
Jaklin Alwai (USC) def. Boren 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
SINGLES DRAW FLIGHT THREE
Kata Szekely (UT) def. Margaret Boyette (FU) 6-2, 6-0
Szekely def. Caroline Price (UNC) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
Szekely def. Dijana Stojic (USC) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
SINGLES DRAW FLIGHT FOUR
Sarah Toti (UT) def. Laura Slater (UNC) 6-2, 6-2
Toti def. Katie Popva (USC) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
Toti def. Chelsea Preeg (VU) 6-3, 7-6 (2)
SINGLES DRAW FLIGHT FIVE
Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Joanna Henderson (UT) 6-2, 6-3
Henderson def. Michele Stanford (FU) 6-1, 6-3
Henderson def. Kelly Sullivan (FU) 6-4, 6-3
SINGLES DRAW FLIGHT SIX
Emily Zabor (UA) def. Kayla McMurry (UT) 6-1, 6-1
McMurry def. Megan Gornet (VU) 6-3, 7-6 (4)
Susan Bitetti (FU) def. McMurry 6-1, 7-6 (3)
Anya Morgina (USC) def. Boren 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 (UT)
DOUBLES DRAW FLIGHT ONE
Natalie Pluskota/Joanna Henderson (UT) def. Alex Moreno Kaste/Katherine Oudin (FU), 8-1
Jenny Wu/Lauren Mira (VU) def. Pluskota/Henderson (UT), 8-3
Pluskota/Henderson (UT) def. Dijana Stojic/Jaklin Alawi (USC), 9-7
DOUBLES DRAW FLIGHT TWO
Brynn Boren/Sarah Toti (UT) def. Leyla Erkan/Noemie Scharle (FSU), 8-6
Boren/Toti (UT) def. Alexa Guarachi/Antonia Foehse (UA), 8-4
Ashleigh Antal/Chelsea Preeg (VU) def. Boren/Toti (UT), 8-2
DOUBLES DRAW FLIGHT THREE
Mary Anne Macfarlane/Emily Zabor (UA) def. Kata Szekely/Kayla McMurry (UT), 8-5
Szekely/McMurry def. Adriana Pereira/Dina Guzairova (USC), 8-5
Szekely/McMurry def. Nelly Radeva/Morgan Gornet (VU), 8-2