Feb. 19, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 19th-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team won its fourth straight match on Saturday, topping the 29th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers by a 4-1 score. After winning the doubles point, the Big Orange took three-of-the-four singles matches which started on the four-court Goodfriend Tennis Center to clinch the victory. The final two matches then were started, but not completed.
"I thought everybody did what they needed to do to win today," Co-Head Coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick said. "Indiana is a tough team to play for us. They get down to business and are very methodical in their play and intensity. Our team really likes to play with emotion. It was a different type of match for them to play and learn to play, but they got the job done and did what they needed to do."
The doubles point would rest on the shoulders of the No. 1 Lady Vol pair of juniors Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla. / Buchholz H.S.) and Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) and the two came through in the clutch. Down 7-5 and 7-6 (40-30) to IU's Sarah Batty and Kara Zeder, the two responded by winning the final four games for a 9-7 win to clinch the doubles point for Tennessee.
"Anytime you win or lose the doubles point, a lot of times that can make a difference in singles in terms of momentum," Hahn-Patrick said. "I don't think we would have lost momentum; it would have been more neutral. But being down and coming back and winning, that did change the whole momentum going into singles."
The first doubles contest to be completed came at the No. 2 court, which saw the Hoosier duo of Laura McGaffigan and Brianna Williams top UT's senior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson County H.S.) and freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College), 8-3.
Tennessee then took the No. 3 match as the UT pair of freshman Bryce Marable (Darien, Ill. / Hinsdale South H.S.) and sophomore Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) topped Cecile Parton and Dora Vistag by an 8-4 score.
The Hoosiers tied up the contest, 1-1, when IU's No. 2 player, Batty, topped Griffith in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, ending a four-match winning streak for the sophomore.
UT's other sophomore, Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College), ranked 107th in the country, then defeated Williams in the No. 4 position, 6-4, 6-1, to give UT a 2-1 advantage. Jones rebounded from a 4-3 deficit in the first set and has now won five matches in a row, all at No. 4.
In the No. 1 singles match, UT's Maharaj, ranked 50th nationally, won her second straight against a ranked foe, topping No. 91 Vistag, 6-2, 6-4. She was down 4-3 in the second set before winning the final three games. After winning her first two contests versus ranked opposition in 2004-05, Maharaj dropped six of her next seven meetings with ranked competition before defeating Michigan's Michelle DaCosta, 6-4, 6-4, on Sunday.
Marable then won the No. 3 match to clinch the team victory for the Lady Vols. Her 6-4, 6-3 victory is the second straight win for the freshman with both wins coming in straight sets. She had topped No. 95 Elizabeth Exon of Michigan on Sunday, 6-3, 7-5.
At No. 5, Schaub led Perton, 6-2, 3-0, while Robards had a 5-2 advantage on Dominika Walterova, 5-2, before the two matches were stopped as unfinished.
The Lady Vols return to action at 1 p.m. on Sunday versus No. 32 Wake Forest (4-2), before completing their four-match homestand with a contest against No. 65 Ohio State at 5 p.m. on Friday. The Buckeyes are 2-4 with a match versus No. 71 Auburn on Saturday.
|#19 Tennessee 4, #29 Indiana 1|
|1. #50 Sabita Maharaj (UT) def. #91 Dora Vistag (IU)||6-2, 6-4|
|2. Sarah Batty (IU) def. Blakeley Griffith (UT)||6-1, 6-3|
|3. Bryce Marable (UT) def. Laura McGaffigan (IU)||6-4, 6-3|
|4. #107 Victoria Jones (UT) def. Brianna Williams (IU)||6-4, 6-1|
|5. Melissa Schaub (UT) vs. Cecile Perton (IU)||6-2, 3-0, unfinished|
|6. Ashley Robards (UT) vs. Dominika Walterova (IU)||5-2, unfinished|
|1. Sabita Maharaj/Melissa Schaub (UT) def. Sarah Batty/Kara Zeder (IU)||9-7|
|2. Laura McGaffigan/Brianna Williams (IU) def. Ashley Robards/Ghizela Schutte (UT)||8-3|
|3. Bryce Marable/Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. Cecile Perton/Dora Vistag (IU)||8-4|
| Match Notes:
Indiana 4-4; National ranking #29
Tennessee 4-2; National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,4,1,3)