Staff Report: SPORTS

The No. 26 Lady Vols tennis team finished its regular season with an impressive 4-0 sweep over Alabama in Tuscaloosa this Sunday afternoon. Tennessee dominated the entirety of the match, with each player winning in just two sets.

“I was happy with the performance today,” associate head coach Jarryd Chaplin said.

“I thought the girls played a pretty complete match because the matches that got up early were able to finish. The ones that were down, got back to even. The doubles was back-and-forth, then we kind of pulled away. Again, I was happy with the performance.”

Lady Vols Esther Adeshina and Rebeka Mertena were the first to strike in doubles after closing out a 6-2 victory on court two.

Tennessee’s Daria Kuczer and Tenika McGiffin followed in a similar fashion clinching a 6-3 win, securing the doubles point and putting the Lady Vols up 1-0 over the Crimson Tide. Kuczer was able to earn her 60th career doubles win and is now leading the Lady Vols with 42 career doubles victories in dual matches.

The Lady Vols carried the momentum from doubles straight into singles play, starting with Eleonora Molinaro. Molinaro secured her 12th dual win of the season after a 6-2, 6-1 match on court six, giving UT a second point on the board.

Tennessee’s Elza Tomase took her first set on court three with ease, winning 6-0 over Alabama’s Anna Parkhomenko. The next set proved more competitive, consisting of long rallies and tough serves, yet Tomase battled it out for a 6-4 victory, making the score 3-0 for Tennessee.

UT’s Daria Kuczer was looking to get the sweep on court four after winning an aggressive first set, 7-5. Kuczer was dominant in the second set, only giving up one point to her opponent Anna Marie Hiser for a 6-1 victory. This singles win made the score 4-0, clinching the Tennessee sweep over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Lady Vols are set to travel to Gainesville, Florida for the 2022 SEC Tournament facing the same Crimson Tide team in the second round on Thursday, April 21.

“Very quick turnaround for us,” Chaplin said. “We get back to Knoxville for a couple of days then head down to Gainesville. As far as preparation going into the SEC Tournament, Sunday was a good day for the Vols.”

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