Jan. 23, 2005
DURHAM, N.C. - The 18th-ranked Lady Vol tennis team fell to No. 8 Duke on Sunday afternoon, 4-3. Tennessee junior Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla. / Buchholz H.S.), ranked 50th nationally, won the singles No. 1 match in straight sets, defeating No. 56 Jackie Carleton, 6-3, 6-2. With the win, Maharaj (8-6) improved to 3-5 against ranked competition in 2004-05. She had defeated the first two ranked opponents she faced this season and then dropped the next five before today's convincing victory.
Sophomore Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) topped No. 108 Jennifer Zika, 7-5, 6-3. The win was the first for Griffith (8-5) over a ranked opponent this season. She had previously fallen to then-No. 96 Saras Arasu of Duke on Oct. 21, 2004, by 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 scores in the first round of the Wilson ITA Regional Tournament and by 6-4, 6-4 tallies on Saturday versus No. 37 Kendall Cline of North Carolina.
In doubles play today, Griffith and freshman Bryce Marable (Darien, Ill. / Hinsdale South H.S.) won at No. 3, topping Duke's duo of Tory Zawacki and Arasu, 8-3. Griffith and Marable were down 2-1 before roaring back for the win.
The 50th-ranked Tennessee pair of Maharaj and senior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson County H.S.) dropped the No. 1 match to No. 42 Carleton and Katie Blaszak, 8-2. At No. 2, junior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) and freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) fell to the Blue Devil team of Kristin Cargill and Zika, 8-4, clinching the doubles point for Duke.
The first concluded match of singles action saw Schutte drop her contest at the No. 6 position, 6-2, 6-2, to Clelia Deltour. Schaub then fell at No. 5 to Cargill, 6-3, 7-5, as Duke took a commanding 3-0 advantage.
Maharaj then earned her victory at No. 1 to cut Duke's lead to 3-1. Griffith kept the Lady Vol comeback going, cutting the Blue Devils' advantage to 3-2 with her victory at the third position.
The Blue Devils however clinched the match when No. 115 Blaszak defeated Marable, 7-6, 6-4, at the No. 2 position.
No. 107 Jones won the final match of the day, topping Zawacki in the fourth position, 7-6, 6-2, making the final score: Duke 4, Tennessee 3.
Next up for the Lady Vols are another pair of challenging road matches, facing No. 47 Purdue at 1 p.m. on Saturday and No. 33 Illinois at 1 p.m. CST next Sunday.
#8 Duke 4, #18 Tennessee 3
1. #42 Jackie Carleton/Katie Blaszak (D) def. #50 Sabita Maharaj/Ashley Robards (T) 8-2
2. Kristin Cargill/Jennifer Zika (D) def. Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (T) 8-4
3. Bryce Marable/Blakeley Griffith (T) def. Tory Zawacki/Saras Arasu (D) 8-3
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
1. #50 Sabita Maharaj (T) def. #56 Jackie Carleton (D) 6-3, 6-2
2. #115 Katie Blaszak (D) def. Bryce Marable (T) 7-6, 6-4
3. Blakeley Griffith (T) def. #108 Jennifer Zika (D) 7-5, 6-3
4. #107 Vicki Jones (T) def. Tory Zawacki (D) 7-6, 6-2
5. Kristin Cargill (D) def. Melissa Schaub (T) 6-3, 7-5
6. Clelia Deltour (D) def. Ghizela Schutte (T) 6-2, 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 5, 1, 3, 2, 4