Feb. 20, 2005

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 19th-ranked Lady Vol tennis team keeps its hot streak going, earning its fifth consecutive victory, all versus top-50 competition, with a 6-1 decision over No. 32 Wake Forest (4-3) on Sunday. Tennessee (5-2) earned the doubles point with wins in two-of-the-three matches and then proceeded to secure the win by taking three-of-the-four singles contests that started at the four-court Goodfriend Tennis Center. The final two singles matches also went UT's way after the Wake Forest players retired.

The winning streak is the Big Orange's longest since running off seven straight from March 2-22, 2003. The last time Tennessee has started 5-2 also occurred in that season.

"The last three teams we played, we lost to last year and beat solidly hear at home (UT defeated Michigan, 5-0, and Indiana, 4-1, in its last two matches)," Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "The team's working hard and the hard work's been paying off. We're proud of them. They deserve the rewards they're getting. We have two weeks to get ready for the SECs and we're starting to round into form."

The Lady Vols secured two convincing victories while Wake Forest had one of its own in doubles action. In the first completed contest, WFU's Karin Coetzee and Danielle Schwartz topped UT's duo of senior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson County H.S.) and freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) in the No. 2 position, 8-2.

The No. 1 Lady Vol doubles team of juniors Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla. / Buchholz H.S.) and Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) topped the Demon Deacon pair of Katie Martzolf and Ashlee Davis by an 8-2 count. A few minutes later, sophomore Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) and freshman Bryce Marable (Darien, Ill. / Hinsdale South H.S.) recorded an 8-1 victory at No. 3 over Alex Hirsch and Jenna Loeb to secure the point for UT.



In singles action, after No. 16 Coetzee took the first set from 50th-ranked Maharaj, 6-1, the Lady Vol grabbed a 3-0 advantage in the second but could not hold on as Coetzee pulled out a 6-4 victory and a straights-set win, tying the team score, 1-1.

Marable then gave UT the lead right back, 2-1, with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 3 over Martzolf. The win was her third straight, all in straight sets. Griffith also had a resounding win, topping No. 77 Davis in the No. 2 position, 6-2, 6-4. The sophomore took the final three games in the second set, rebounding from a 4-3 deficit. She now has won two straight from ranked opposition after defeating No. 108 Jennifer Zika of Duke on Jan. 23, 7-5, 6-3.

Sophomore Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College) then clinched the team victory for UT with a 6-4, 6-3 win versus Hirsch. The Demon Deacon came back from a 5-1 deficit in the second set and started to make things interesting but Jones responded by putting the match away. She has now won six straight contests and is 6-1 in dual-match play.

In the final two singles contests, Schaub took the first set from Schwartz, 6-0, at No. 5 while Robards held a 4-2 advantage on Loeb in the No. 6 match before the Demon Deacon players retired.

In an exhibition doubles contest, the Lady Vol duo of Jones and freshman Daron Moore (North Hollywood, Calif. / Campbell Hall School) took an 8-3 decision from Blakely Offutt and Alisha Talbot.

The Lady Vols return to action with a 5 p.m. contest on Friday versus No. 65 Ohio State. The Buckeyes are 3-4 after defeating No. 71 Auburn on Saturday, 5-2. Following Friday's match, the Lady Vols will only have one more at home (on March 18 versus No. 20 Notre Dame) until playing host to No. 30 South Carolina on April 1 at the beginning of a five-match homestand to conclude the regular season.

#19 Tennessee 6, #32 Wake Forest 1
Singles competition
1. #16 Karin Coetzee (WFU) def. #50 Sabita Maharaj (UT) 6-1, 6-4
2. Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. #77 Ashlee Davis (WFU) 6-2, 6-4
3. Bryce Marable (UT) def. Katie Martzolf (WFU) 6-2, 6-2
4. #107 Victoria Jones (UT) def. Alex Hirsch (WFU) 6-4, 6-3
5. Melissa Schaub (UT) vs. Danielle Schwartz (WFU) 6-0, retired
6. Ashley Robards (UT) vs. Jenna Loeb (WFU) 4-2, retired
Doubles competition
1. Sabita Maharaj/Melissa Schaub (UT) def. Katie Martzolf/Ashlee Davis (WFU) 8-2
2. Karin Coetzee/Danielle Schwartz (WFU) def. Ashley Robards/Ghizela Schutte (UT) 8-2
3. Blakeley Griffith/Bryce Marable (UT) def. Alex Hirsch/Jenna Loeb (WFU) 8-1
Match Notes
Wake Forest 4-3; National ranking #32
Tennessee 5-2; National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,3,2,4,5,6)


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