Sabita Maharaj had little trouble coming back from injury defeating Schlukebir 6-1, 6-2
Feb. 22, 2003
The University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis squad had little trouble disposing of 56th-ranked Indiana on Saturday, cruising past the Hoosiers by a 7-0 margin. The No. 11 Lady Volunteers improved to 7-2 with the victory, while IU fell below .500 to 5-6.
It took Tennessee less than 40 minutes to grab the early 1-0 lead, as it took Nos. 2 and 3 doubles by 8-1 counts. The first victory came at No. 3, where senior Crystal Cleveland and sophomore Ashley Robards took down sophomore Jessica Groth and freshman Sophie Rychlik to improve to 14-2 overall and 5-1 in dual matches. Junior Tammy Encina and sophomore Majen Immink clinched the point at two doubles over freshman Sarah Batty and junior Martina Grimm. The duo is now 2-0 this season at the No. 2 spot.
The 22nd-rated tandem of UT senior Vilmarie Castellvi and freshman Melissa Schaub followed suit at the top spot with an 8-1 triumph as well. The pair upended the No. 28 combo of senior Karie Schlukebir and junior Linda Tran to move to 8-1 at one doubles. Overall, Castellvi and Schaub own a 15-2 record this season.
Freshman Sabita Maharaj made her first appearance in dual match singles play at the No. 4 slot and registered a 6-1, 6-2 win over Schlukebir to extend the UT lead to 2-0. Maharaj had been bothered by a nagging injury to her right foot most of the spring.
Fourth-ranked Castellvi gave the Orange and White a 3-0 advantage after a straight set, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Tran at No. 1 singles. Castellvi is now 8-1 at the top spot and 23-4 overall.
Encina assured the Lady Vols of their seventh victory of the year when she claimed two singles over Batty, 6-4, 6-2. The Miami Beach, Fla., native is 14-8 in her initial campaign for the Big Orange and 6-3 at the No. 2 position.
The next victory came from Schaub's racket at the No. 3 hole, where she won a competitive decision over Grimm, 7-6(5), 6-3. The win was the rookie's sixth-straight and upped her overall ledger to 14-8. Schaub is also 8-1 at three singles.
Cleveland gave UT a 6-0 lead with a whitewashing of sophomore Dominika Walterova at five singles, 6-0, 6-0. Like Schaub, it was the Delray Beach, Fla., native's sixth consecutive victory and put her record on the season at 16-7. Cleveland is now 7-2 in dual matches and 6-2 at five singles.
The final win of the afternoon was registered by Robards at No. 6 singles. The Henderson, Ky., native made short work of Rychlik, 6-2, 6-1, to improve to 8-9 on the year and 3-2 in duals.
An extra match between Big Orange sophomore Breanna Kray and Groth was also played. Kray was victorious by a 6-3, 6-1 count.
Next up on the Lady Vols' docket is a 1 p.m. showdown with 19th-ranked Notre Dame on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 1 p.m. at UT Varsity Courts and Goodfriend Tennis Center. The Fighting Irish fell in their last match with No. 1 Duke on Friday by a 5-2 margin. Tennessee holds the historical edge over the Irish with a 9-4 mark.