KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee women's tennis team jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead after clinching the doubles point and never looked back en route to a 4-0 sweep of Virginia Commonwealth in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
With the victory the No. 31 Lady Vols improve to 13-11 on the season and hand No. 38 VCU its first loss since February 24 snapping a 13 match win streak. VCU finishes its season with a 16-5 record.
"It is the first round of the NCAA match, we haven't played in couple of weeks and we got off to a good start in the doubles," said co-head coach Mike Patrick. "In singles, we had some matches that went pretty quick for them, but they were competitive in a lot of spots. It was a good first match for us and we are looking for our opportunity to play Carolina tomorrow."
The first round victory over the Rams marks the second straight season that the Lady Vols have swept VCU to begin the NCAA Tournament. UT improves to 3-0 over VCU, with all three wins coming in NCAA action.
Tennessee took the doubles point with a couple of victories on courts one and two. The No. 5 ranked doubles pair of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely came away with an 8-2 victory on court one to start things off followed by an 8-3 win by Joanna Henderson and Sarah Toti on court two.
The doubles point captured by the Lady Vols was the first point given up by VCU since April 9.
The doubles win was also the 99th of senior Szekely's career. The duo have combined for 37 doubles wins in 2012-13 combined which currently ranks in a tie with Paula and Peta Kelly for seventh on the UT Single Season Doubles Wins chart.
Caitlyn Williams kept the momentum going for Tennessee with an easy 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles followed by a 6-0, 6-1 victory on court five by Mimi Fotopoulos to extend the match lead to 3-0.
It was the senior Szekely who captured match point for the Lady Vols using a 6-1, 7-6 (1) victory to seal the deal.
"We have to be really good tomorrow," said Patrick. "Carolina is a good team, they have prepared well and they have had a super season so for us to be competitive we are going to have to bring our `A' game."
The Lady Vols will return to action tomorrow in the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will face the winner of the North Carolina/South Carolina State match to take place Friday afternoon.
#31 Tennessee 4, #38 VCU 0
1. #24 Brynn Boren (UT) vs. #76 Cindy Chala (VCU) 3-6, 4-3, unfinished
2. #35 Kata Szekely (UT) def. Yukako Noi (VCU) 6-1, 7-6 (7-1)
3. Caitlyn Williams (UT) def. Josefin Hjertquist (VCU) 6-0, 6-1
4. Joanna Henderson (UT) vs. Salome Kvitashvili (VCU) 4-6, 1-5, unfinished
5. Mimi Fotopoulos (UT) def. Olga Terteac (VCU) 6-0, 6-1
6. Tiffany Tavares (UT) vs. Olga Barscheuskaya (VCU) 7-5, 5-2, unfinished
1. #5 Brynn Boren/Kata Szekely (UT) def. Olga Barscheuskaya/Yukako Noi (VCU) 8-2
2. Joanna Henderson/Sarah Toti (UT) def. Cindy Chala/Josefin Hjertquist (VCU) 8-3
3. Caitlyn Williams/Jesse Grace (UT) vs. Salome Kvitashvili/Olga Terteac (VCU) 3-7, unfinished
VCU 16-5; National ranking #38
Tennessee 13-11; National ranking #31
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (3,5,2)
Tennessee advances to NCAA second round Saturday vs. UNC-SCSU winner.