March 5, 2006

Box Score |  Photo Gallery

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - With a 4-3 win over No. 59 Arkansas on Sunday afternoon, the 29th-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team (5-6) moved to 2-0 in Southeastern Conference play for the first time since 2001. The teams were tied, 2-2, before UT scored the next two points to clinch the team win.

The match began outside at the UT Varsity Courts and, with UT up, 2-0, rain began to fall and the contest was moved inside to the Goodfriend Tennis Center.

The Lady Vols claimed the doubles point for the sixth time this season. First to finish were the pair of freshmen Stephanie Harris (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Samantha Orlin (Miami, Fla.) with an 8-3 victory on court three over Melissa Cornett and Rachel Wilhelm of Arkansas. The pair dropped the first game then took the next seven to gain a 7-1 advantage on its way to the win.

On court one, senior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio) and sophomore Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa) secured the doubles point with an 8-3 win over Arkansas' Karina Ledaja and Maryori Franco. The duo was up 4-0 and 6-1 to take control of the match.

The No. 56 ranked pair of juniors Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va.) and Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K.) then dropped only their third dual match of the season (8-3), 8-5, to Aurelija Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder of the Lady Razorbacks in the No. 2 spot. The Lady Vol pair is now 9-4 overall in 2005-06.



To start off singles action, Schutte earned a double-love victory at the fifth court over Cornett of Arkansas, 6-0, 6-0, for just the second time in her career. The only other time the sophomore kept her opponent scoreless was against Vanderbilt's Caroline Ferrell on April 8, 2005. The win gave UT a 2-0 lead over Arkansas.

On court one, Jones dropped her match to Lady Razorback Miseviciute, 7-5, 6-2. The first set was tied, 5-5, before the Arkansas player claimed the final two games of that stanza.

In the No. 4 spot, Orlin dropped a three-set match, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, to Franco of Arkansas, as the Lady Razorbacks evened the score at 2-2. The second set was close as neither player would earn a two-game advantage until the end. The deciding stanza was tied, 4-4, before Franco secured the last two tallies.

Harris picked up a win on court six over Arkansas' Audrey Bordeleau, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, to give the Lady Vols a 3-2 advantage. In the second set, neither player could gain a two-game edge until the final result was posted.

On court two, Schaub recorded a key victory for UT, as she defeated Jovanovic, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The win clinched the win for the Lady Vols, as it earned UT a 4-2 advantage. The senior came back from dropping the tough first set to claim the next two. She secured the final three tallies of the second set and initial three of the deciding stanza for a run of six straight games won.

In the No. 3 spot, Griffith fell short in a tough loss to Kaluder of Arkansas, 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, (10-8). In the first set, the junior was down 4-0 before rallying to take a 5-4 lead.

"It was a hard-fought college tennis match," Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "There were a lot of momentum changes throughout the match. Going from outside to inside was a factor for us. Every win is a good win in conference play.

Next weekend, the Big Orange continues SEC action as it travels to Gainesville, Fla., to take on No. 4 Florida at 5 p.m. on Friday, and Columbia, S.C., for a match with 24th-ranked South Carolina at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

#29 Tennessee 4, #59 Arkansas 3

Singles competition
1.#20 Aurelija Miseviciute (UARK) def. Victoria Jones (TN)7-5, 6-2
2.Melissa Schaub (TN) def. Vlatka Jovanovic (UARK)2-6, 6-3, 6-4
3.#43 Ela Kaluder (UARK) def. Blakeley Griffith (TN)7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
4.Maryori Franco (UARK) def. Samantha Orlin (TN)2-6, 7-5, 6-4
5.Ghizela Schutte (TN) def. Melissa Cornett (UARK)6-0, 6-0
6.Stephanie Harris (TN) def. Audrey Bordeleau (UARK)6-1, 4-6, 7-5
Doubles competition
1.Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (TN) def. Maryori Franco/Karina Ledaja (UARK)8-3
2.#49 Ela Kaluder/Aurelija Miseviciute (UARK) def. #56 Blakeley Griffith/Victoria Jones (TN)8-5
3.Stephanie Harris/Samantha Orlin (TN) def. Melissa Cornett/Rachel Wilhelm (UARK)8-3
Match Notes:
Arkansas 4-3, 0-2 SEC; National ranking #59
Tennessee 5-6, 2-0 SEC; National ranking #29
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,1,4,6,2,3)


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