Oct. 16, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The color orange will be well represented in the singles main draw quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional on Monday after Tennessee senior Natalie Pluskota, junior Kata Szekely and sophomore Brynn Boren all won a pair of matches Sunday at the Racquet Club of Memphis to advance.
Overall, the Lady Vols combined for an undefeated day in nine attempts.
"When you have three of your players in the quarters, that's a great thing," co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick. "You definitely want them to continue on. If you end up where they play each other, that's a good day. Hopefully, they'll continue to progress."
Before the Lady Vols swept through the second and third rounds of singles play Sunday, Pluskota and Szekely continued their dominance in the doubles bracket.
After winning each of their two matches with ease Saturday, the sixth-seeded duo advanced to the tournament's semifinals with an 8-2 victory over Stefanie Mikesz and Mariya Slupska (Memphis). Semifinals are scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. ET, and UT's formidable pair will face Manuela Velasquez and Amelia Harris (Louisville).
"Kata and Nat really went with a goal and a mission of really staying aggressive of trying to get an early lead and they did a great job," Hahn-Patrick said. "In singles, each day they're trying to get themselves to play more and more aggressive. We're trying to play to win."
Six of UT's eight singles victories Sunday came in straight sets, including both of Pluskota's. The top seed at the regional, Pluskota advanced easily with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Butler's Stephanie McLoughlin and a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Purdue's Lynda Xepoleas.
Boren, who won the singles title at this event last year, advanced after victories over Indiana's Kayla Fujimoto (7-6 , 2-6, 6-3) and Kentucky's Jessica Stiles (6-1, 6-3).
Szekely, seeded 11th, moved to 7-1 with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Christie Guarazzi (Miami [Ohio]) and a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory against Jennifer Rabot (Purdue), who was seeded sixth in the draw and is ranked 106th. Szekely is 3-0 against ranked opponents this season.
Freshman Sarah Toti rebounded from her first singles loss at Tennessee with a pair of wins in the tournament's back draw. Toti advanced to the bracket's quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-1 decision against Cincinnati's Ashleigh Witte and a 6-1, 6-4 win over Xavier's Andrea Wolf.
All quarterfinals matches in the singles draw are scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, while the semifinals are slated for 7 p.m. ET.
The three Lady Vols remaining in the main draw will all play student-athletes from Memphis in the quarterfinals. Pluskota will face eighth-seeded Slupska, Szekely will play second-seeded and 78th-ranked Courtney Collins and Boren will go against Mikesz.
Toti is scheduled to play at 9:30 a.m. ET on Monday against Kentucky's Stephanie Fox, who also advanced with a pair of straight-set wins.
The tournament runs through Tuesday, with the winners advancing to the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships (Nov. 3-6) in New York.
Follow @LadyVol_Tennis on Twitter for up-to-date results.
USTA/ITA OHIO VALLEY REGIONAL
SINGLES MAIN DRAW - Sunday
#29 Natalie Pluskota (UT) def. Stephanie McLoughlin (Butler) 6-0, 6-1
Pluskota (UT) def. Lynda Xepoleas (Purdue) 6-2, 6-2
#31 Brynn Boren (UT) def. Kayla Fujimoto (IU) 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3
Boren (UT) def. Jessica Stiles (Kentucky) 6-1, 6-3
Kata Szekely (UT) def. Christie Guarazzi (Miami [Ohio]) 6-0, 6-1
Szekely (UT) def. #106 Jennifer Rabot (Purdue) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
DOUBLES MAIN DRAW - Sunday
Natalie Pluskota/Kata Szekely (UT) def. Stefanie Mikesz/Mariya Slupska (Memphis) 8-2
SINGLES BACK DRAW - Sunday
Sarah Toti (UT) def. Ashleigh Witte (Cincinnati) 6-2, 6-1
Toti (UT) def. Andrea Wolf (Xavier) 6-1, 6-4