Oct. 17, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Tennessee Lady Vols tennis team inched closer to punching a few tickets to New York as sophomore Brynn Boren advanced to the singles main draw title and senior Natalie Pluskota and junior Kata Szekely earned a spot in the doubles championship of the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional on Monday at the Racquet Club of Memphis.
Pairing together for the first time in their careers this week, Pluskota and Szekely have dominated their way to the doubles final, including Monday's 8-2 win over Manuela Velasquez and Amelia Harris (Louisville). None of the duo's matches have been closer than 8-3.
"They complement each other well," co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick said. "They're upperclassmen so they know each other's personalities and game styles. It was just a matter of putting them together and getting used to playing with each other. They've done a great job of adapting very quickly and playing to win."
Pluskota and Szekely will face Tiffany Welcher and Alyssa Hibberd (Memphis) Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET for the right to advance to the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
Boren, who won the singles title at last year's event, defeated a pair of Memphis Tigers to make it back to the championship. After a 5-7, 6-0, 6-3 decision against Stefanie Mikesz and a 7-5, 7-6 (5) win over #78 Courtney Collins, the second-seeded Boren will square off against #100 Jackie Wu (Vanderbilt), who defeated Pluskota 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the semifinals. The singles final is also scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
"Winning the tournament last year, I think she has a wealth of experience for how to pace yourself during long days for multiple days in a row," Hahn-Patrick said. "Each day she has played better and gotten stronger. I think the experience definitely helped her in her matches today."
Earlier in the day, Pluskota advanced to the semifinal with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Mariya Slupska (Memphis) before falling to Wu, while Szekely lost to Collins 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.
After advancing to the singles back draw quarterfinals on Sunday, freshman Sarah Toti lost in three sets to Kentucky's Stephanie Fox, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. However, Toti will return to Knoxville with five wins in her first seven matches as a Lady Vol.
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 SEMIFINALS - Monday
#31 Brynn Boren (UT) def. #78 Courtney Collins 7-5, 7-6 (5)
#100 Jackie Wu (Vanderbilt) def. #29 Natalie Pluskota (UT) 7-6 (5), 6-4
DOUBLES MAIN DRAW SEMIFINALS - Monday
Natalie Pluskota/Kata Szekely (UT) def. Manuela Velasquez/Amelia Harris (Louisville) 8-2
SINGLES MAIN DRAW QUARTERFINALS - Monday
Pluskota (UT) def. Mariya Slupska (Memphis) 6-1, 6-1
Boren (UT) def. Stefanie Mikesz (Memphis) 5-7, 6-0, 6-3
#78 Collins (Memphis) def. Kata Szekely (UT) 6-3, 7-5
SINGLES BACK DRAW QUARTERFINALS - Monday
Stephanie Fox (Kentucky) def. Sarah Toti (UT) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3