March 3, 2006


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ­- The No. 29 University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team (4-6, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) opened the SEC schedule with a victory for the third consecutive season. The Big Orange topped LSU, 7-0, in the Friday evening contest.

The 7-0 result was just the eighth in SEC history for the Lady Vols (since the NCAA went to a seven-point scoring format in 2001), the first in an SEC season-opening contest and the initial one in any league contest since a 7-0 result over Arkansas on March 5, 2004.

The match was Tennessee's first at home since a 5-2 win over Purdue on Jan. 29, a span of five straight road matches.

"It's great to play a home match," Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "Our girls looked a lot more comfortable. We're real proud of their effort. Everyone outworked their opponents today and you can't ask for more than that.

"It's a good way to start off the SEC schedule, and hopefully we can continue to play well and have the same kind of effort level the next SEC matches."

The Lady Vols claimed the doubles point for the fifth time this season. First to finish were the No. 56 team of juniors Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va.) and Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K.), who moved to 8-2 in dual matches (9-3 overall) with an 8-3 victory on court two over Anastasiya Dubova and Marina Chiarelli. The two jumped out to a 3-0 lead on their way to the win.

The LSU pair of Camila Caliari and Daysi Espinal took an 8-4 decision at court three over freshmen Stephanie Harris (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Samantha Orlin (Miami, Fla.). The Tiger duo was up 3-0 as well in its contest.



At that point, all eyes turned to the first court where senior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio) and sophomore Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa) pulled out an 8-5 decision against Tiffany Tucker and Mykala Hedberg. The two were up 3-0 and 6-1 and held off a Tiger four-game rally, which cut the UT advantage to 6-5, by securing the final two games.

Tennessee increased its lead to 2-0 when Orlin earned a quick 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 4 against Tucker. She secured the final five games of the match. She moved her team-best record to 13-6 (.684 winning percentage) has now has a four-match winning streak.

At court one, Jones also won quickly, topping Hedberg by 6-1, 6-1 scores. In each set, she recorded the first two, along with the final four tallies.

Griffith won the No. 3 contest, 6-1, 6-3, over Dubova to clinch the team win for the Lady Vols. She put together a trio of 3-0 runs in the match.

At No. 2, Schaub claimed her third straight decision, winning by 6-3, 6-3 scores over Chiarelli, to move the Tennessee lead to 5-0. A 4-0 run in the first set and three straight games won in the second helped Schaub take and keep control of the contest.

Schutte moved to the team score to 6-0 on the fifth court when she finished off Caliari, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-3). In the supertiebreaker, the sophomore went up 7-1 on her way to the win.

At No. 6, Harris completed the team shutout with a 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (11-9) victory over Espinal. She was down in the first set, 4-0, before rallying. She secured the final five games and seven-of-eight in the stanza. She went up in the supertiebreaker, 4-1, and, following a Espinal comeback, staved off a match point at 9-8 down with the final three points.

The Lady Vols play their second SEC contest of the season on Sunday with a 1 p.m. home match versus Arkansas. The Lady'Backs fell to Georgia, 5-1, on Friday to drop to 4-2 on the season (0-1 SEC).

"We really haven't seen many of their new kids," Patrick said. "We've heard how good their top new girls are and we're excited to see them play and are looking forward to a competitive match on Sunday."

#29 Tennessee 7, #46 LSU 0
Singles competition
1. Victoria Jones (TN) def. Mykala Hedberg (LSU) 6-1, 6-1
2. Melissa Schaub (TN) def. Marina Chiarelli (LSU) 6-3, 6-3
3. Blakeley Griffith (TN) def. Anstasiya Dubova (LSU) 6-1, 6-3
4. Samantha Orlin (TN) def. Tiffany Tucker (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
5. Ghizela Schutte (TN) def. Camila Caliari (LSU) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-3)
6. Stephanie Harris (TN) def. Daysi Espinal (LSU) 7-5 (11-9), 3-6, 1-0
Doubles competition
1. Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (TN) def. Tiffany Tucker/Mykala Hedberg (LSU) 8-5
2. #58 Blakeley Griffith/Victoria Jones (TN) def. Anstasiya Dubova/Marina Chiarelli (LSU) 8-3
3. Camila Caliari/Daysi Espinal (LSU) def. Samantha Orlin/Stephanie Harris (TN) 8-4
Match Notes:
LSU 7-2, 0-1 SEC; National ranking #46
Tennessee 4-6, 1-0 SEC; National ranking #29
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,1,3,2,5,6)


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