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No. 15 Lady Vol Tennis Slated to Face Pair of Top-25 Foes in No. 22 South Carolina and No. 23 Florida This Weekend
Thursday, 03/12/2009
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(n/a) University of South Carolina-Lancaster Team Page

UT Will Face No. 22 South Carolina at 2 p.m. on Friday and No. 23 Florida at 1 p.m. on Sunday
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 15 University of Tennessee women’s tennis team (8-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) will hit the road for the first time in over a month this weekend, as it puts its five-match winning streak on the line against No. 22 South Carolina (74, 1-1 SEC) and No. 23 Florida (7-5, 1-1 SEC). The Lady Vols will square off with the Gamecocks at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 13, at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C., before making the trek to the Sunshine State for a 1 p.m. showdown with the Gators at the Ring Tennis Complex two days later. Live scoring for both matches will be available at
The Big Orange opened the SEC portion of its schedule with a pair of wins over Magnolia State schools last weekend, downing No. 57 Mississippi State, 5-2, on Friday and No. 70 Ole Miss, 6-1, on Sunday at the UT Varsity Courts in Knoxville. With eight wins in its first nine matches, the Big Orange is off to its best start since 2001 when it opened the year 14-1 en route to a 25-4 overall record and a berth in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships.
Freshman Natalie Pluskota continued to impress during her rookie campaign, picking up a pair of wins at both the No.1 doubles and No. 2 singles positions en route to earning her second SEC Freshman of the Week award. The Newnan, Ga., native improved her singles record to a team-best 17-8, including a stellar 8-1 mark in dual-match action, with wins over Olesya Tsigvintseva, 6-1, 6-1, and No. 62 Karen Nijssen, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. She has now won five consecutive singles contests dating back to UT’s match against No. 29 Virginia on Feb. 8. The win over Nijssen marked her second career triumph over a ranked opponent.
Pluskota also teamed up with junior Caitlin Whoriskey to help the Orange and White win the doubles point for the fourth and fifth consecutive matches. Against the Bulldogs, the Tennessee tandem defeated Natalia Mayuk and Tsigvintseva, 8-3, before downing the No. 28-ranked Rebel duo of Kristi Boxx and Nijssen, 8-6. The Lady Vol pairing is now a perfect 5-0 from the top position in the doubles lineup since joining forces against Virginia on Feb. 3.       
Following their match against the Gators on Sunday, the Lady Vols will remain in the Sunshine State for a 2 p.m. matchup with the University of Central Florida (7-4) on Friday, March 20.  The Orange and White will then return to Rocky Top to close out the non-conference portion of its schedule against No. 4 Notre Dame (13-1) at the Goodfriend Tennis Center on Sunday, March 22. First serve is set for 1 p.m.