The Lady Vol tennis team was on the brink of losing back-to-back games last Sunday in Bloomington, Ind. as they faced off against the Indiana Hoosiers.
Tennessee junior Joanna Henderson, however, was determined to return to Knoxville with a win.
After having lost a close 4-3 matchup to the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, Henderson made sure history didn't repeat itself and broke the 3-3 tie against the Hoosiers by winning the third set in her singles match and subsequently giving the Lady Vols a 4-3 victory.
The win over Indiana not only put the young Tennessee team back at .500 with a 4-4 record, but also provided a big confidence boost following their tough loss to Ohio State.
"With Indiana, we were really excited about that after the loss to Ohio just for a good comeback and to get back to being .500," said Tiffany Tavares, who won both her singles matches against Ohio State and Indiana last weekend. "It was really important for us to go out there with good energy and we did and we had Joe, our upperclassmen, clinch it for us. It was awesome."
Tavares also believed that her team was a couple of points away from defeating Ohio State and was overall proud of how close her team made the match.
"Overall, we are happy with how close we were able to make it instead of just going down with an easy loss."
The sophomore was not the only women's tennis player to go undefeated in her singles matches last weekend, however, as both freshmen, Eve Repic and Brittany Lindl, won their singles matches against Ohio State and Indiana. Both of Repic's singles matches were against ranked competion, making it already the fifth time she has defeated a ranked tennis player.
Despite the Lady Vols impressive performances in the singles competition, they still continued to struggle in the doubles matches, losing both doubles points over the weekend.
Regardless of the loss to Ohio State, the Lady Vols made progress last weekend in reaching co-head coach Mike Patrick's goal of improving over the course of the the season.
"We are a work in progress," Patrick said. "Every week we go out there and analyze what we need to get better at and we come back and try to improve and keep getting better. Pretty pleased with the way we are progressing and there is just no way to shortcut the process."
Patrick emphasized the importance of every player's role on the team, and Tavares agreed.
"It is not really about our individual wins, If I win it doesn't matter," Tavares said. "You know what, my team lost against Ohio and that doesn't feel good for me. So individually, I know we are all trying hard, but it is really about if our team gets the win. That is what I really care about."