Feb. 6, 2004
The No. 23 University of Tennessee women's tennis team was edged out by 14th-ranked William & Mary, 4-3, in consolation play at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships on Friday afternoon.
The match epitomized the competitive history of meetings between UT and W&M, as the all-time series between the two squads is now knotted at five wins apiece. The victory improves William & Mary's record to 5-3 this season, while the Lady Vols fall to 3-3.
The Orange and White struck first in doubles play, as freshman Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va.) and junior Breanna Kray (Surrey, B.C., Canada) cruised by the Tribe's Emily Mowery and Lingda Yang, 8-3, at the No. 3 position. The win improved Kray's doubles record to 4-0 in dual matches this season and 2-0 while paired with Griffith.
William & Mary, however, bounced back to win the final two matches en route to seizing the doubles point. First, W&M's Kate Boomershine and Lena Sherbakov recorded an 8-6 win over sophomore Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla.) and junior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky.) at No. 2 doubles. Finally, UT senior Tammy Encina (Miami Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio) put up a strong challenge against the 11th-ranked duo of Megan Muth and Amy Wei at the No. 1 spot, but ultimately fell by a count of 8-6.
Despite a valiant effort in singles play, Tennessee was unable to recover from dropping the doubles point. Although three Lady Vols were able to claim singles victories, that number was one too few as the Tribe posted a 4-3 win.
Tennessee's triumphs came at the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 positions, thanks to Robards, Griffith and freshman Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K.). Robards, who owns a singles ranking of 96th, recorded a 6-7(3), 6-3, (10-3) win over Wei, while Griffith notched a 7-6(3), 6-2 victory over Boomershine, and Jones breezed by Mowery by a score of 6-0, 6-2.
For William & Mary, 76th-ranked Muth defeated 13th-ranked Encina, 7-6(1), 6-1, at No. 1 singles, Sherbakov downed 86th-ranked Maharaj, 2-6, 6-0, 6-2, at the No. 2 spot, and Yang claimed a 6-2, 7-6(4) victory in the No. 6 position over Kray, who was playing in her first singles contest of the dual match season.
The Indoor Championships will continue with championship and consolation play through Sunday. The Lady Vols will next face 64th-ranked Wisconsin in Saturday's consolation round, while William & Mary takes on No. 45 BYU.
After returning from the tournament, Tennessee battles No. 73 Wake Forest on Sat., Feb. 14 in Winston-Salem, N.C., before returning home to face No. 10 North Carolina at 1 p.m. on Sun., Feb. 15.
#23 Tennessee vs. #14 William & Mary
ITA National Team Indoor Championships
February 6, 2004
Final score: W&M 4, UT 3
No. 1 #76 Megan Muth (W&M) def. #13 Tammy Encina (UT), 7-6(1), 6-1
No. 2 Lena Sherbakov (W&M) def. #86 Sabita Maharaj (UT), 2-6, 6-0, 6-2
No. 3 #96 Ashley Robards (UT) def. Amy Wei (W&M), 6-7(3), 6-3, (10-3)
No. 4 Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. Kate Boomershine (W&M), 7-6(3), 6-2
No. 5 Victoria Jones (UT) def. Emily Mowery (W&M), 6-0, 6-2
No. 6 Linda Yang (W&M) def. Breanna Kray (UT), 6-2, 7-6(4)
Order of finish: 2, 4, 6, 1*, 5, 3
No. 1 #11 Muth/Wei (W&M) def. Encina/Schaub (UT), 8-6
No. 2 Boomershine/Sherbakov (W&M) def. Maharaj/Robards (UT), 8-6
No. 3 Griffith/Kray (UT) def. Mowery/Yang (W&M), 8-3
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1*
* Clinching point