Women’s Tennis Central: #22 Tennessee at Furman, #10 NC State

Women’s Tennis Central: #22 Tennessee at Furman, #10 NC State

After making its home opener and picking up two wins on Wednesday, Tennessee’s No. 22 women’s tennis team is back on the road as they spend the weekend in the Carolinas, taking on Furman on Friday at 3 p.m. at the Mickel Tennis Center, and No. 10 NC State on Sundays at 1 p.m. at the JW Isenhour Tennis Center.

The Lady Vols (3-1) overtook West Carolina in their home opener just a day ago, beating the Catamounts, 5-2, in the opener before posting a 4-0 win in the afternoon session. Rebeka Mertena continued her dominant playing streak, coming off a pair of ranked singles wins at the ITA Kickoff Weekend with a 36-3 aggregate score between singles and doubles on Wednesday afternoon.

Daria Kuczer and Lauren Anzalotta were perfect in the singles on Wednesday, each 2-0, while Ashtin Hara and Leyla Britez Risso each earned their first double collegiate doubles victory.

Tennessee’s will make their first trip to Greenville to face Furman on the road in 36 years as the Lady Vols last played Furman on Oct. 29, 1986. On the other hand, UT and NC State have been frequent foes these as of late, facing off four more times since the start of the 2021 season. Tennessee hosted the Wolfpack last February and played in the Raleigh Regional in the first and second rounds of the 2022 NCAA Tag Team Championship.

Live stats from Friday’s game at Furman can be found HERE. Additionally, Sunday’s contest at NC State will be streamed and can be viewed HERE, while live stats can be accessed HERE.

“I’m looking forward to this weekend, we have two opportunities to play NCAA championship caliber teams. Furman usually wins their conference (SoCon) and is a team we face in the first round of the tournament. NC State is a team who will play in these last rounds of the tournament. Both are very good and will help us to continue to really improve. That is our main objective at the moment.”

Furman is 0-4 to start the season, after losing both games at ITA Kickoff Weekend in Raleigh and falling on the road to No. 4 Duke and at home to Iowa.

Furman is a very strong team, as noted by Coach Ojeda, who consistently sits atop the Southern Conference. The Paladins haven’t lost a SoCon game in seven years, since the 2015 season.

FU is led by first-year head coach Michelle Dasso, a former Duke assistant, having spent the previous seven seasons under Adam Herendeen.

NC State enters the weekend 2-1 after falling in the ITA Kickoff Regional Final against Vanderbilt, 3-4. The Wolfpack faced stiff competition to start the year, however, beating South Carolina 6-1 on the road in their season opener before shutting out Illinois 4-0 in the first. Raleigh Regional game.

Before taking on the Lady Vols on Sunday, NCSU will host No. 15 Oklahoma on Saturday at noon.

NC State sits 10th in the ITA’s team rankings, released Feb. 1, and has six players ranked overall — four singles teams and two doubles teams. The list of players ranked on NC State can be found below.

Alana Smith – No. 13
Amelia Rajecki – No. 23
Abigail Rencheli – No. 25
Sophie Abrams – No. 97

Nell Miller/Amelia Rajecki – No. 8
Sophie Abrams/Abigail Rencheli – No. 60

Tennessee holds an all-time record of 11-0 against Furman and is 2-0 against the Paladins in Greenville, South Carolina. The game will be UT’s first road showdown against Furman since 1986.

The Lady Vols also lead the all-time series with NC State, 5-4, although the Wolfpack have won each of the past four meetings. Tennessee will seek its first victory in Raleigh since 1985.

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