March 6, 2011
AUBURN - The Auburn women's tennis team took on No. 18 Tennessee to close out the opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play for the two teams, at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. Tennessee won 6-1. Auburn is now 2-9 (0-2 SEC) on the season.
"I think we did a good job of fighting at a lot of positions and I think we put ourselves in a position to win a lot of those singles matches," head coach Tim Gray said. "I don't think we did great in doubles, but in the singles we did significantly better and that is what we are going to have to do. If we can continue with this mind set, I like our chances. We just have to that every single time we step out on the court."
Tennessee took the doubles points with wins on all three courts. On court two Auburn's Plamena Kurteva and Paulina Schippers fell to the Lady Vols' Rosalia Alda and Maria Sorbello, 8-1. Then on court three the Tiger's Caroline Thornton and Taylor Schreimann took on Tennessee's Kata Szekely and Jennifer Meredith, losing, 8-1. The loss clinched the doubles point for the Lady Vols.
To finish off doubles action Auburn's Olivia Bennett and Jacquline Kasler faced-off against the No. 64 duo of Natalie Pluskota and Millie Nichols, with the Vols' taking the match, 8-3.
In singles action, Kasler fell Sorbello, 6-0, 6-2. In the No. 1 singles match the Tiger's Schippers lost to No. 52 Pluskota, 6-4, 6-2. With a win on court three, Szekely defeated Thornton, 6-3, 6-4 to clinch the win for Tennessee.
On court six Schriemann took on the Vols' Whitney Wofford and lost, 7-6, 6-2. Kurteva fought hard in the first set against Nicholes, losing 7-5, then in the second set she lost, 6-3.
For the second match in a row Bennett played a close match, this time against No. 103 Alda. Bennett dropped the first set 7-5, but came back and won the second set, 7-5 (5). To decide the match they played a match tie-breaker, in which Bennett won, 10-6. This is the first ranked opponent Bennett has defeated in her career.
"Olivia Bennett is doing a great job. We told her to go out there and not play with fear and that is what she did." said Gray. "She got a little shaky at one point during the match tie-breaker, but she did a great job of stepping up. I think she is going to learn from this," Coach Gray said about Bennett's performance."
Up next for the Tigers is a road trip to South Carolina on Friday and then to Gainesville on Sunday for a meeting with Florida. Live stats will be available on auburntigers.com.
1. #53 Natalie Pulskota (UT) def. Paulina Schippers (AU) 6-4, 6-2
2. Olivia Bennett (AU) def. #103 Rosalia Alda (UT) 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 (10-6)
3. Kata Szekely (UT) def. Caroline Thornton (AU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Maria Sorbello (UT) def. Jacqueline Kasler (AU) 6-0, 6-2
5. Millie Nichols (UT) def. Plamena Kurteva (AU) 7-5, 6-3
6. Whitney Wofford (UT) def. Taylor Schreimann (AU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
1. #64 Natalie Pulskota/Millie Nichols (UT) def. Olivia Bennett/Jacqueline Kasler (AU) 8-3
2. Rosalia Alda/Maria Sorbello (UT) def. Plamena Kurteva/Paulina Schippers (AU) 8-1
3. Kata Szekely/Jennifer Meredith (UT) def. Caroline Thornton/Taylor Schreimann (AU) 8-1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,1,3,6,5,2)