Jan. 30, 2005


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - For the second time in as many days, the 18th-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team saw its result come down to the final singles match. Yesterday, junior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) won the final match in UT's 4-3 win over No. 47 Purdue. Today, sophomore Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College) topped No. 33 Illinois' Brianna Knue, 0-6, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 4 singles to give UT (2-2) the 4-3 victory over the Fighting Illini (2-2).

In doubles play, Illinois took the first two completed matches to clinch the doubles point. At No. 1, the Fighting Illini pair of Cynthya Goulet and Emily Wang topped UT's 51st-ranked tandem of junior Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla. / Buchholz H.S.) and senior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson County H.S.) by an 8-1 count. Illinois then clinched the doubles point when Knue and Macall Harkins topped freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) and Schaub at No. 2, 8-5.

A few minutes later, the Lady Vol pair of sophomore Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) and freshman Bryce Marable (Darien, Ill. / Hinsdale South H.S.) topped UI's Alejandra Cudra and Momei Qu in No. 3 doubles, 8-4.

After the first set of singles, it looked bleak for Tennessee as the Fighting Illini, already with the 1-0 overall advantage, claimed four of the six first sets.



In the first singles match to be completed, Griffith easily won, defeating Qu, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 3 to tie the overall score, 1-1.

Schaub took care of business early, winning the No. 5 singles match over Cuadra, 6-4, 6-3, to give the Lady Vols a 2-1 advantage. In the first set, the first two-game lead by either player came with the final 6-4 score.

Then came a pair of dramatic second sets at Nos. 1 and 2 singles. Maharaj, ranked 50th nationally, rebounded in the second set for a 5-2 advantage but was not able to force the contest to a third set, falling to No. 111 Goulet, 6-2, 7-6 (7-0).

At No. 2, Marable brought the second-set tiebreaker out about as far as it would go, finally dropping her match to Harkins, 6-3, 7-6 (12-10). Marable took a 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker but Harkins came roaring back to tie it, 6-6. Marable had four set points and Harkins had two before the UI player put the match away.

In a quick three-set match at No. 6 singles, Robards tied the overall score at 3-all after winning her first singles match of the 2004-05 campaign, coming back and taking control in a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Wang. That would set the stage for Jones' dramatics.

The Lady Vols next play their first home contest of the season, taking on No. 20 Michigan at 1 p.m. on Feb. 13.

#18 Tennessee 4, #33 Illinois 3
Singles competition:
1.#111 Cynthya Goulet (ILL) def. #50 Sabita Maharaj (UT)6-2, 7-6 (7-0)
2.Macall Harkins (ILL) def. Bryce Marable (UT)6-3, 7-6 (12-10)
3.Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. Momei Qu (ILL)6-2, 6-0
4.#107 Victoria Jones (UT) def. Brianna Knue (ILL)0-6, 6-4, 6-1
5.Melissa Schaub (UT) def. Alejandra Cuadra (ILL)6-4, 6-3
6.Ashley Robards (UT) def. Emily Wang (ILL)4-6, 6-1, 6-2
Doubles competition:
1.Cynthya Goulet/Emily Wang (ILL) def. #51 Ashley Robards/Sabita Maharaj (UT)8-2
2.#54 Brianna Knue/Macall Harkins (ILL) def. Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (UT)8-5
3.Bryce Marable/Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. Alejandra Cuadra/Momei Qu (ILL)8-4

Match Notes:
Tennessee 2-2; National ranking #18
Illinois 2-2; National ranking #33
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,5,1,2,6,4)



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