March 4, 2005


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For the first time this season, the 21st-ranked Lady Vol tennis squad (7-2, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) rebounded from losing the doubles point to claim a match, defeating No. 74 Auburn (7-2, 0-1 SEC) by a 6-1 count on Friday night.

With the win, the Lady Vols have now won seven straight, their longest win streak since the 2003 squad also won seven consecutive from March 2-22. The 7-2 start is also its best since that season as the 2003 team began its campaign with an 8-2 mark.

At No. 3 doubles, the Lady Vol duo of freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) and senior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson County H.S.) easily defeated Auburn's pair of Sarah Suitor and Ashley Cowart, 8-2.

But Auburn took the other two matches. At No. 2, freshman Bryce Marable (Darien, Ill. / Hinsdale South H.S.) and sophomore Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) fell to UA's Nancy Peaden and Tori Almagno, 8-6, ending a five-match winning streak for the Lady Vol duo.

In the No. 1 match, junior Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla. / Buchholz H.S.) and junior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) lost to Petra Bercik and Isabel Rosenbrock by an identical 8-6 count.

Tennessee then roared back. Within minutes of each other, the Lady Vols recorded three singles match to take a commanding 3-1 advantage. At No. 6, Schaub defeated Suitor, 6-2, 6-0, for her fifth win in a row. Sophomore Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College) won at No. 4 over Cowart, 6-1, 6-1, to record her eighth consecutive victory. Then Maharaj completed the trifecta with a win at No. 1 over Bercik, 6-1, 6-0.



Marable clinched the match victory for Tennessee with a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 3 over Almagno, her fifth-consecutive victory, all of which came in straight sets. She recorded wins in the final three games of the first set tonight and nine-of-10 games overall.

Robards then topped Peaden, 6-2, 4-6, (10-6), at No. 5 to improve to 4-0 on the season, while Griffith completed the singles sweep with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 win over Rosenbrock.

Next up for the Lady Vols is a trip to Tuscaloosa and a battle with No. 36 Alabama. First serve is at 1 p.m. CST on Sunday.

#21 Tennessee 6, #74 Auburn 1
Singles competition:
1.#70 Sabita Maharaj (UT) def. Petra Bercik (AU)6-1, 6-0
2.Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. Isabel Rosenbrock (AU)7-6 (7-3), 6-4
3.Bryce Marable (UT) def. Tori Almagno (AU)6-3, 6-1
4.Victoria Jones (UT) def. Ashley Cowart (AU)6-1, 6-1
5.Ashley Robards (UT) def. Nancy Peaden (AU)6-2, 4-6, 10-6
6.Melissa Schaub (UT) def. Sarah Suitor (AU)6-2, 6-0
Doubles competition:
1.Petra Bercik/Isabel Rosenbrock (AU) def. Sabita Maharaj/Melissa Schaub (UT)8-6
2.Nancy Peaden/Tori Almagno (AU) def. Bryce Marable/Blakeley Griffith (UT)8-6
3.Ghizela Schutte/Ashley Robards (UT) def. Sarah Suitor/Ashley Cowart (AU)8-2

Match Notes:
Tennessee 7-2, 1-0 SEC; National ranking #21
Auburn 7-2, 0-1 SEC; National ranking #74
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,4,1,3,5,2)



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