The UT women’s tennis team competed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Ohio Valley Regional in Cincinnati, Ohio, last Friday through Monday.
The team was led by senior Caitlin Whoriskey, who won the singles title on Monday. Whoriskey entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and didn’t lose a set until the championship match. Ranked No. 27 in the nation, Whoriskey defeated Vanderbilt’s Jackie Wu 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7) to earn the victory. UT co-head coach Mike Patrick was pleased with both players’ performances in the hard-fought match.
“Both Caitlin (Whoriskey) and Jackie (Wu) gave it their all in this match,” he said. “Everyone could tell early on this was going to be a fight to the finish.”
However, Patrick was even more pleased with the play of his senior leader. The win gives Whoriskey an automatic berth in the ITA National Indoor Championships in November.
“I’m so proud of her,” he said. “She has worked so hard, not just this fall but her whole time at UT, so to see her win this her senior year is something special.”
The Lady Vol tandem of Maria Sorbello and Kata Szekely advanced to the semifinals of the doubles draw before losing to Vanderbilt’s Wu and Chelsea Preeg 3-8. Szekely, the tournament’s No. 8 seed in singles, lost in three sets in the quarterfinals to Vanderbilt’s No. 3 seed Catherine Newman 2-6, 6-4, 2-6.
The No. 1-seeded doubles team of Rosalia Alda and Zsofia Zubor fell in the quarterfinals to the Commodore duo of Heather Steinbauer and Erica Robertson, 6-8. Both Alda (6-7, 6-4, 0-6) and Zubur (4-6, 2-6) were defeated in quarterfinal matches in singles competition. No. 4 Sorbello also lost in the quarterfinal round to Steinbauer 2-6, 0-6.
The tournament got off to an excellent start for the Lady Vols as they won all seven of their opening round matches on Friday. Whoriskey defeated MTSU’s Taylor Coffey 6-0, 6-0. Alda upset No. 13-seed Michelle Sammons of Purdue 6-1, 6-2. Szekely defeated Megan Matter of Indiana 6-1, 6-1. Zubor defeated Anouk Faure of Eastern Kentucky 6-2, 6-2, and Sorbello defeated Miami’s Hendreika Honibal 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. In doubles, Zubor and Alda defeated Natalie Araya and Marietta Bigus of MTSU 7-6, and Sorbello and Szekley defeated Evansville’s Kate Chybowski and Theodora Kotsiou 6-1.
The team’s next matches are the ITA Indoor Championships from Nov. 5 to Nov. 8 in Charlottesville, Va., and the St. Mary’s Tournament from Nov. 6 to Nov. 8 in Knoxville. The team will then take the rest of the year off before resuming play in January. The remaining schedule includes matches against Virginia, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Indiana and fellow SEC schools. Co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick believes the matches against top competition will help the team toward the end of the season.
“Our schedule is tough, so it helps prepare us for the SEC Championships in March,” she said.