Crystal Cleveland chases down a volley
Feb. 8, 2003
The No. 11 University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team came out on the short end of a 4-3 decision for the second time in three days at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Madison, Wis., on Saturday. The 14th-ranked Wildcats of Northwestern edged the Orange and White after No. 9 UCLA snuck past UT by the same score during the opening round on Thursday. The Lady Vols completed their stay at the indoors with a 1-2 record and are now 5-2 overall. Northwestern improved to 6-4 with the victory and finished with a 2-1 showing in Madison.
Like the Big Orange's match with UCLA, the doubles point was the deciding factor in the contest. The Lady Vols picked up a victory at the No. 3 hole courtesy of senior Crystal Cleveland and sophomore Ashley Robards' 8-4 margin over freshman Jamie Peisel and sophomore Kristi Roemer. The Wildcats secured the top two spots, with the clincher coming from freshman Christelle Grier and junior Jessica Rush. Their 8-6 victory over the No. 22-rated duo of senior Vilmarie Castellvi and freshman Melissa Schaub snapped the duo's 12-match winning streak.
Cleveland's victory at three doubles was a milestone, as it was the 100th of her illustrious career. Earlier in January, the Delray Beach, Fla., native recorded career win No. 100 in singles as well. She is only the fourth Lady Vol in school history to reach the century mark in both categories. Sisters Paula and Peta Kelly and 2002 senior Alison Ojeda are the other three to accomplish the exploit.
The No. 63-ranked Rush extended the Wildcats' lead to 2-0 when she etched a 6-2, 6-2, victory in the scorebook at No. 2 singles over junior Tammy Encina.
Tennessee cut the Northwestern advantage in half when Robards tallied the Big Orange's first point of the day. She dispatched junior Stacy Kokx at six singles, 6-2, 7-5, in her first straight set match of the year. Robards is now 2-2 at the No. 6 slot this season.
Peisel upped Northwestern's lead once again when she defeated sophomore Breanna Kray at four singles. Kray lost the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-4, and then succumbed to her 76th-rated foe in the second frame, 6-4.
The Wildcats clinched the victory when 16th-ranked Grier ended No. 4 Castellvi's undefeated spring campaign with a 6-4, 6-2, triumph at the top slot. Grier has now handed Castellvi two of her four losses during the 2002-03 season. Her initial win came last November in the first round of the Omni Hotels Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
Northwestern, however, would not prevail in the remaining singles matchups. Cleveland notched her 14th victory of the season with a conquest of junior Ruth Barnes at the No. 5 spot, 2-6, 6-2, (10-6). Schaub continued her impressive rookie season at three singles by disposing of sophomore Andrea Yung in three sets, 3-6, 7-5, (10-3). The Lexington, Ohio, native Schaub moved her record to 12-8 overall and 6-1 at the No. 3 position. She and Cleveland both posted 3-0 singles marks during the tournament.
Tennessee will contest its next five matches at home beginning Saturday, Feb. 15, when No. 28 Wake Forest comes to Rocky Top for a 1 p.m. showdown at UT Varsity Courts and Goodfriend Tennis Center. The Lady Vols will be looking for some revenge after dropping two to the Demon Deacons last season.
Final Score: #11 Tennessee (5-2) 3, #14 Northwestern (6-4) 4
|No. 1||#16 Christelle Grier (NW) def. #4 Vilmarie Castellvi (UT) 6-4, 6-2|
|No. 2||#63 Jessica Rush (NW) def. Tammy Encina (UT) 6-2, 6-2|
|No. 3||Melissa Schaub (UT) def. Andrea Yung (NW) 3-6, 7-5, (10-3)|
|No. 4||#76 Jamie Peisel (NW) def. Breanna Kray (UT) 7-6(4), 6-4|
|No. 5||Crystal Cleveland (UT) def. Ruth Barnes (NW) 2-6, 6-2, (10-6)|
|No. 6||Ashley Robards (UT) def. Stacy Kokx (NW) 6-2, 7-5|
|Order of Finish: 2, 6, 4, 1*, 5, 3|
|No. 1||Grier/Rush (NW) def. #22 Castellvi/Schaub (UT) 8-6|
|No. 2||Barnes/Yung (NW) def. Encina/Kray (UT) 8-5|
|No. 3||Cleveland/Robards (UT) def. Peisel/Kristi Roemer (NW) 8-4|
|Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1*|
|* clinching point|