Lady Vol Tennis Wins 21st Straight Over Auburn, 4-3
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -
Despite finishing with just two tandems in doubles and four players in
singles, the 22nd-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team overcame
injuries and picked up its second consecutive win, defeating Auburn,
4-3, Friday at Barksdale Stadium.
It was the same old story, but with a different result.
real proud of the girls," co-head coach Mike Patrick said. "We've faced
a lot of adversity in the last few weeks. To win a conference match
already giving away a point is really tough to do. Our veteran kids
came out and did a good job. Jesse did a good job in doubles, helping
Brynn pull that out. That gave us the momentum to win."
Caitlyn Williams out of both lineups, the Lady Vols defaulted the third
spot in doubles and the sixth position in singles to Auburn (8-10, 3-6
But the Lady Vols wouldn't let the match be scripted
out. It was the seventh time Tennessee played with an incomplete
singles lineup, but the first time the Lady Vols pulled out a win.
Lady Vols (13-9, 4-5 SEC) still managed to pull out the doubles point
for the 19th time in 22 matches to make it a 1-1 tie heading into
After Joanna Henderson was forced to retire in the opening set (ankle), however, Tennessee fell behind 2-1.
Brynn Boren, Jesse Grace, Natalie Pluskota and Kata Szekely all picked up the slack, winning their first sets.
did a great job today, just as Natalie and Kata did," Patrick said.
"Those three have done an awesome job. To play under the circumstances
that we are is not easy. Our back is against the wall. We needed to try
to get this win and they did it. They've done everything they can do."
and Szekely, who cruised in doubles, 8-2, to improve to 13-1 (6-0)
together, each won in singles by a 6-1, 6-3 margin back-to-back to give
Tennessee a 3-2 lead.
Pluskota's victory over No. 118 Jen
Pfeifler was her third consecutive win, moving to 3-1 in SEC play. With
her last career home match looming Sunday vs. No. 11 Alabama, she's
savoring the moment.
"Recently, it's starting to hit me a lot
more than it has in the past," Pluskota said. "I think for a while I
just didn't want to believe it and now it's becoming more of a reality.
It's unfortunate but at the same time it's great. I've had a great time
at UT and it's not over yet. We're going to have a great match Sunday
and keep moving forward."
Boren led 5-1 in her first set
before Emily Flickinger rallied to tie it at 5. Boren went on to win
eight of the next 10 games, taking the match 7-5, 6-2.
marked the second straight match in which she's provided the clinching
point as she set a career-high with her seventh consecutive win.
also helped clinch the doubles point for the 11th time this season.
Teaming with Grace, the duo reeled off four of their last five games to
knock off No. 36 Paulina Schippers and Pfeifler.
win put Tennessee ahead 4-2, Grace found herself on the losing end of a
three-set loss, falling 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (8) to Schippers.
But in the end, the 4-3 result was what the Lady Vols as a whole strived for.
always good to win," Pluskota said. "It takes everybody to be on the
same page to come up with four points. It's always good to win and more
importantly, we came out with a team win today which always feels
The Lady Vols have won consecutive matches for
the first time since winning their last four in the month of February.
It was also Tennessee's 21st consecutive win over Auburn, its longest
active streak against any opponent.
"It's been up and down,"
Pluskota said. "I've been battling injuries and things like that. We've
done the best we can to have a really good season. We've done great
thus far and we still have a little ways to go. Hopefully, it will keep
looking up from this point forward."