Lady Vols Topple Crimson Tide in the Sunday Sweep
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Ending regular season action on a high, the Tennessee women’s tennis team defeated Alabama, 4-0, Sunday afternoon at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility.
Tennessee (13-8, 7-6 SEC) jumped out of the gate with a solid double point. In the field 2.76and-ranked Esther Adeshina and Rebeka Mertena dominated the last four games after a 2-2 start to secure the first doubles winner, 6-2. Shortly after, on court 1, 17andRanked Tenika McGiffin and Daria Kuczer won the dubs with a 6-3 win over Petra Sedlackova/Anna Parkhomenko.
“I’m happy with the performance today,” said assistant head coach Jarryd Chaplin. “I think the girls played a pretty complete game because the games that got up early were able to finish. The ones that were down came back to a draw. I was happy with the performance.”
Eleanor Molinaro bounced back well and earned the first singles point at the afternoon Lady Vols. She took on Ansley Cheshire on Court 6 and won 6-2, 6-1 for her 12and double win of the season and seventh in SEC play.
Elza Tomase set the tone early on Court 3, shutting out Alabama’s Anna Parkhomenko, 6-0, in the first set. The two clashed in the second set, but a big, powerful serve late in the game sent the outstanding Lady Vol freshman to victory, 6-4, for Tennessee’s third point of the day.
Kuczer won the match for Tennessee on Court 4. The first set was a battle, the two went back and forth throughout the early games, but at 5-5 Kuczer earned a massive break and would serve the set; she didn’t falter, calmly winning a 7-5 victory in the first set. In the second, she took over the game, hitting her runs and keeping the ball on the court. She beat Anne Marie Hiser, 6-1, to dismiss the victorious Lady Vols with the deciding point.
If the game had been played, Tennessee would fight on the other three courts. Adeshina had just sent her match to a third set on Court 5, McGiffin played a first set that lasted over 70 minutes. She and UA’s Ola Pitak had just finished the first game of the second period when the game ended. Mertena was also one game away from winning the second set to force a third.
“Very quick return for us,” Chaplin continued. “We’re going back to Knoxville for a few days and then heading to Gainesville. As far as SEC tournament preparation goes, Sunday was a good day for the Vols.”
Full results from Sunday’s game are available below.
The Lady Vols travel to Gainesville, Fla. for the 2022 SEC Tournament at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex. Tennessee is set for a rematch with the Crimson Tide as the two face off in the second round at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 21. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
60 FOR DARIA
Senior Daria Kuczer earned him 60and career double win in victory with McGiffin. She leads the Lady Vols in career doubles wins in doubles matches with 42.
Tennessee will face the same opponent in its first round of the SEC Tournament that it did in the regular season finale for the first time since 2005. That year, the Lady Vols beat Georgia at home before winning. face the Bulldogs in the conference postseason tournament in Alabama.
#26 Tennessee 4, #45 Alabama 0
1. #87 Petra Sedlackova (UA) against #30 Rebeka Mertena (TENN) 6-3, 3-5, unfinished
2. Ola Pitak (UA) against #52 Tenika McGiffin (TENN) 7-6 (9-7), 0-1, unfinished
3. #111 Elza Tomase (TENN) def. Anna Parkhomenko (UA) 6-0, 6-4
4. Daria Kuczer (TENN) def. Anne Marie Hiser (UA) 7-5, 6-1
5. Kasia Pitak (UA) against. Esther Adeshina (TENN) 6-2, 4-6, unfinished
6. Eleanor Molinaro (TENN) def. Ansley Cheshire (UA) 6-2, 6-1
Order of arrival: 6,3,4
1. #17 Daria Kuczer/Tenika McGiffin (TENN) def. Petra Sedlackova/Anna Parkhomenko (UA) 6-3
2. #76 Rebeka Mertena/Esther Adeshina (TENN) def. Ola Pitak/Kasia Pitak (UA) 6-2
3. Anne Marie Hiser/Sydney Orefice (UA) vs. Elza Tomase/Kylie Duckworth (TENN) 5-4, unfinished
Order of arrival: 2.1