April 5, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - Ending its 2009 home season, the No. 29 Auburn women's tennis team (11-8, 3-4 SEC) suffered a 5-2 loss at the hands of No. 13 Tennessee (13-4, 6-2 SEC).
The afternoon began with head coach Tim Gray and the rest of the Auburn squad honoring seniors Alex Haney and Whitney Chappell. Both served as three-year captains for the team.
"We had some opportunities today," Gray noted. "We did a much better job at two and three doubles. We had some chances to go up and we let them slip away. Tennessee did well to stay in it. They came out with great energy in singles and we didn't match it, but we turned it around. I think that pride took over as we won on one and two. Tennessee is a good team, but I felt like today wasn't our best performance."
To start competition, the Vols took the early lead as they claimed wins on courts two and three. Auburn's top pair of Alex Haney and Whitney Chappell found the only doubles win of the afternoon, topping the No. 39 duo of Caitlin Whoriskey and Natalie Pluskota, 9-8 (7-4). The No. 34 senior couple moves to 8-2 overall as they finish their home season.
In singles, the Vols found wins on courts three, four and five to earn the match victory.
Tennessee built the lead to 3-0 quickly with wins in the three and five spots. Samantha Orlin defeated Auburn's Chappell, 6-0, 6-1, and Rosalia Alda topped Daniela Vukadinovic, 6-0, 6-2, to give the Vols the first two singles match-ups.
The clinching point was decided on court four, as Jennifer Meredith topped Myrthe Molenveld, 6-2, 6-3.
Next to finish was Zsofia Zubor, who beat Auburn's Jil Hastenrath, 6-3, 6-2, on court six.
With the match already in Tennessee's hands, Chifchieva rose to provide the first Auburn win as she defeated No. 32 Whoriskey, 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7), in the super tiebreaker.
Senior Haney ended her senior home season with a three-set victory over Pluskota, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Haney is the all-time singles leader in Auburn tennis history with 111 wins in her career. She is the second All-American in school history.
"It's exciting to end with a win," Haney expressed. "It shows all the work that I've put in over the past years and I'm glad to see it pay off for me today."
With the loss, the Auburn women fall to 11-8 overall and 3-4 in conference action. Tennessee moves to 13-4 and 6-2 in the SEC.
With the home season at an end for the Tigers, their next competition will come next weekend as they travel to face No. 30 South Carolina and No. 16 Florida.
#13 Tennessee 5, #29 Auburn 2
1. #6 Fani Chifchieva (AU) def. #32 Caitlin Whoriskey (TEN) 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7)
2. #39 Alex Haney (AU) def. Natalie Pluskota (TEN) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. Samantha Orlin (TEN) def. Whitney Chappell (AU) 6-0, 6-1
4. Jennifer Meredith (TEN) def. Myrthe Molenveld (AU) 6-2, 6-3
5. Rosalia Alda (TEN) def. Daniela Vukadinovic (AU) 6-0, 6-2
6. Zsofia Zubor (TEN) def. Jil Hastenrath (AU) 6-3, 6-2
1. #34 Alex Haney/Whitney Chappell (AU) def. #39 Caitlin Whoriskey/Natalie Pluskota (TEN) 9-8 (7-4)
2. Rosalia Alda/Zsofia Zubor (TEN) def. Myrthe Molenveld/Daniela Vukadinovic (AU) 8-3
3. Maria Sorbello/Jennifer Meredith (TEN) def. Fani Chifchieva/Jil Hastenrath (AU) 8-6
Tennessee 13-4, 6-2 SEC; National ranking #13
Auburn 11-8, 3-4 SEC; National ranking #29
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,5,4,6,1,2)
Match played indoors
Official: Ken Smith