No. 86 Sabita Maharaj upset No. 81 Linda Tran in today's match.
Jan. 24, 2004
The 10th-ranked University of Tennessee women's tennis team fell to the Indiana Hoosiers by a score of 4-3 in their first dual match of the season. Indiana, ranked 75th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) team rankings, improves to 3-0 this year after defeating Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio) last weekend.
Things started out well for the Lady Vols, as they captured the doubles point by winning two of the three tandem matches. Sophomore Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla.) and junior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky.) continued their strong play by upending IU's Sarah Batty and Martina Grimm by a 9-7 count. Last weekend, Maharaj and Robards defeated two seeded pairs en route to an appearance in the doubles championship match at the Freeman Memorial Championships in Las Vegas. Lady Vol junior Breanna Kray (Surrey, B.C., Canada) and sophomore Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio), meanwhile, clinched the doubles point for Tennessee with an 8-6 triumph over Dora Vastag and Laura McGaffigan.
Indiana, however, bounced back two take a 2-1 lead as Karie Schlukebir defeated junior Majen Immink (Kent, U.K.), 6-3, 6-4, and McGaffigan downed freshman Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va.), 6-3, 6-3. UT's Maharaj, ranked 86th by the ITA, registered an upset of 81st-ranked Linda Tran, however, to even the match at two points apiece. Unfortunately, IU would win the next two matches, as #48 Vastag upset 13th-ranked senior Tammy Encina, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, and Batty downed #96 Robards, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, to clinch the match for Indiana. Lady Vol freshman Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K.) finished the day by taking out IU's Grimm, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, however, that was not enough to alter the outcome of the match as UT fell by a 4-3 count.
Tennessee had won nine consecutive meetings against Indiana, including a 7-0 defeat of the Hoosiers last season in Knoxville. The all-time series between UT and IU is now even at 11 wins apiece.
The Lady Vols will attempt to rebound on Sunday, as they take on 48th-ranked Ohio State at 11 a.m. in Columbus, Ohio. After returning from the road swing, Tennessee opens its home season against two more Big Ten foes, as No. 41 Purdue pays a visit on Fri., Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. and No. 23 Illinois comes to town on Sun., Feb. 2 at 1 p.m.
#10 Tennessee at #75 Indiana
January 24, 2004
Final score: IU 4, UT 3
1) #48 Dora Vastag (IU) def. #13 Tammy Encina (UT); 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
2) #86 Sabita Maharaj (UT) def. #81 Linda Tran (IU); 6-2, 7-5
3) Sarah Batty (IU) def. #96 Ashley Robards (UT); 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
4) Laura McGaffigan (IU) def. Blakeley Griffith (UT); 6-3, 6-3
5) Karie Schlukebir (IU) def. Majen Immink (UT); 6-3, 6-4
6) Victoria Jones (UT) def. Martina Grimm (IU); 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
order of finish: 5, 4, 2, 1, 3, 6
1) #24 Schlukebir/Tran (IU) def. #49 Encina/Immink (UT); 8-1
2) Maharaj/Robards (UT) def. Grimm/Batty (IU); 9-7
3) Schaub/Kray (UT) def. Vastag/McGaffigan (IU); 8-6
order of finish: 1, 3, 2