The Tennessee Lady Vols tennis team had an impressive first day in Indiana at the Notre Dame Invitational with three singles wins and two doubles wins on Friday against Minnesota and DePaul, respectively.
Head coach Alison Ojeda understands that, despite the team’s success, they cannot underestimate their opponents in future rounds of play.
"I am proud of the way we came out and competed this morning," Ojeda said. "We played against a good, fast and hard hitting Minnesota team who did not let up at all. For our girls to stay focused and tactically make adjustments shows our mental strength and maturity. I am looking forward to getting some rest and coming back out in the morning."
Redshirt Junior Gabby Schuck was not only victorious in her quick singles against the Gopher’s Tina Kreinis 6-3, 6-2, but she was also strong with her doubles partner, Sophomore Tenika McGiffin, winning against DePaul’s Keisha Closuing and Alina Kuzmenkova 7-5, and continuing their winning streak together as partners.
"I am really proud of everyone on how well we competed today,” Schuck said, “We are continuing to get better every match and we are all feeding off of one another's energy. We played some really solid, focused tennis and I am excited to keep that going the rest of the tournament and the year.”
McGiffin, a sophomore from Australia, was the only singles player who had to go three sets to win. After falling short to Minnesota’s Bita Mancera in the first set 3-6, she fought back the next two sets and prevailed 6-4, 6-3.
Victorious partners Johanna Silva and Kylie Duckworth, beat the Blue Demons’ Aspasia Avgeri and Maddie Yergler 6-3. This was their first time as a doubles team. Silva credited this to unconditional hard work.
"We had a really good day today. We set our goals for today and executed them well. All of the hard work on specific things in practice are paying off and everybody was able to step up their game,” Silvia said.
Silva was also successful in singles on the first day, cruising past Minnesota’s Tiffany Huber 6-2, 6-4.
The Tennessee women’s tennis team will continue their schedule on Saturday with singles and doubles matches against Notre Dame and Ohio State.