The Lady Vols tennis team will start this weekend's upcoming matches on an upbeat note after a comeback win against Kentucky on March 23.
Tennessee rallied to beat the Wildcats, 4-3, on Sunday in Lexington, with sophomore Tiffany Tavares clinching the win for the second time in two weeks.
"It was really exciting to turn around and do it again," Tavares said. "I was able to do it a week ago or so, and it was just fun to get to do it again. It wasn't like I had a really long, exciting match. They only had four indoor courts, so I was last match on, but it felt good to pull it out anyway."
In doubles, Joanna Henderson and Caitlyn Williams fell 8-4 to Kentucky's CeCe Witten and Caitlin McGraw, and Eve Repic and Laurence Guevremont lost 8-3 to Nadia Ravita and Aldila Sutjiadi. Brittany Lindl tied up the score with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Kirsten Lewis.
The lead continued to volley between the Vols and the Wildcats, as Tennessee's Eve Repic scored a 6-4, 6-3 win over Ravita, and Kentucky's Kelsey Dieters advanced 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 over Guevremont.
The Lady Vols weren't finished, however, as Victoria Olivarez came out 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to top Caitlin McGraw.
Following her match-clinching victory, Tavares hopes that the team can take the winning mentality into this weekend's matches against Missouri and Texas A&M.
"I think we have good momentum coming out of the Kentucky match," Tavares said. "I think all of our players showed up and played really hard that day. It's always nice to play at home, and they've never played here. They don't know anything about our courts. I think that'll be a huge plus for us."
The Lady Vols take on the Tigers at 4 p.m. today and the No. 7 Aggies on Sunday at noon inside the Goodfriend Tennis Center.
Co-head coach Mike Patrick is eager to see what the weekend holds for the team, and Tavares in particular after seeing her level of play the past few weeks.
"It's got to be a big confidence boost," Patrick said. "She played really smart tennis. She was very competitive in the Vandy match, too. I'm proud of her. She's improving. The whole team is getting better, you can see them getting better.
"We're getting a lot of experience and it's a lot of fun for them to see their hard work paying off."