Tennessee had a very successful piece of individual play during the fall of 2021 and the Tar Heel Invitational earlier this month. Five Lady Vols currently have 10 or more wins in singles action and the team amassed 10 wins over ranked opponents in singles, with wins over number 5 and number 19 ranked opponents. on the double side, Tenika McGiffin and Daria Kuczer took a massive win at the Tar Heel Invitational, beating North Carolina’s top-ranked Elizabeth Scotty and Fiona Crawley.
Fans can follow the Lady Vols opener with live stats available here, the password for the stats window is “CLTWTennis”.
HEAD COACH ALISON OJEDA
About the preparations for the season opener…
“The pre-season training camp has proved incredibly valuable to our program. Every player on our team has improved individually in multiple areas of their game, now it’s time to compete and have fun.”
On the Charlotte 49ers…
“We are delighted to be hitting the road for Queen City. Charlotte is a good team who will push us to perform, so I am happy to play them in their place.”
Ojeda is entering her sixth year as Tennessee head coach. The Lady Vol For Life has racked up 129 career victories and 84 as the head coach of the UT.
EXPLORE THE 49ERS
Charlotte also plays the season opener on Friday, the 49ers were scheduled to host App State and Charleston Southern last Sunday, January 16, but both games were postponed due to weather.
Charlotte is led by Anthony Davison who is in his fourth year at his alma mater. Charlotte has been 28-1 at home since he took over the program in June 2018.
The 49ers return five 10-win singles players, including their top player, Rocio Safont, who scored 18-3 a season ago. Last year’s No. 1 Ruxi Schech also returns for the 49ers.
Charlotte set a record 21-7 a season ago, finishing the year as number 53 in the Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings. The 49ers won a program-record 16 games at home and earned the No. 4 place in the Conference USA tournament, their highest as a league member.
Three Lady Vols are ranked in the most recent ITA singles charts. Senior Rebecca Mertena tops the list at number 14. McGiffin submitted at number 41 while Elza Tomase is No. 56. Each ranking is the highest for the three singles players.
The duo of McGiffin and Olivia Symons are ranked No. 39 in the ITA doubles rankings. It is Symons’ first appearance in the rankings, with McGiffin reaching a career-best eighth in February 2020.
LET’S BEGIN IT (HA), LET’S BEGIN IT (IN HERE)!
Tennessee is 34-11 in program history in season openers. The Lady Vols have only been a true road team twice since 2010, winning both matches. Tennessee has also opened the season twice on a neutral field since 2010.
SAME GUY, NEW TITLE
Jarryd Chaplin Entering his third year at Rocky Top, he was promoted to Associate Head Coach in June 2021.
The match marks the first-ever meeting between the Lady Vols and 49ers.
The Lady Vols continue their weekend in the Tar Heel State as they travel north to Winston-Salem, NC to take on Wake Forest Sunday, January 23 at 11 a.m. If Tennessee falls to the Demon Deacons, it will face Davidson at 3 p.m.