March 11, 2005
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. The No. 23 University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis squad rebounded from a 4-3 loss on Sunday to then-No. 36 Alabama with a convincing Southeastern Conference 6-1 win over No. 52 Arkansas on Friday night. A trio of players earned wins in both doubles and singles action to lead the Lady Vols.
The win moved UT to 8-3, its best start since the 2003 squad began its campaign with an identical mark. The Lady Vols are 2-1 in SEC action. Arkansas dropped to 10-3, 0-3 in SEC play.
"It was a good win after having a tough loss to Alabama the week before,?ECo-Head Coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick said. "They played hard and competitive. It's nice to get another SEC win under out belt and now we're going to get ready for LSU.
"It was good to get the doubles point. That took a little of the pressure off.?EWith the win, the Lady Vols improved to 6-0 when winning the doubles point (UT is 2-3 when the opponent claims the point).
Junior Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla. / Buchholz H.S.), ranked 44th nationally, defeated a ranked opponent for the second straight contest and won her fourth consecutive overall, beating No. 79 Maryori Franco, 6-2, 6-1. In doubles play, Maharaj teamed with junior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) for an 8-5 win against Melissa Cornett and Vlatka Jovanovic.
In the No. 2 position, sophomore Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) topped Jovanovic, ranked 78th, for an impressive victory. The win came by 7-5, 6-1 scores.
The No. 3 match saw freshman Bryce Marable (Darien, Ill. / Hinsdale South H.S.) also win in straight sets, earning a victory over Iliana Pacheco, 6-3, 6-2. She has now won all 14 sets and seven matches she has played since settling into the No. 3 position on Feb. 13. The Lady Vols have now won 10-of-11 contests played in that position.
Griffith and Marable teamed up to win the No. 3 doubles contest versus Yawna Allen and Audrey Bordeleau, 8-4, helping UT improve to 11-0 this season in that position.
Sophomore Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College) tied a personal record with her 10th consecutive victory, defeating Yawna Allen, 6-4, 6-4, in the No. 4 position. She has also claimed 16 consecutive sets. Tennessee has now won all 11 matches played in the No. 4 position.
In her first action in a dual match since Jan. 29, freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) earned her first victory in dual action with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Bordeleau at No. 6.
The No. 5 contest saw Arkansas?EKarina Ledaja earn the Lady'Backs?Elone team point with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Schaub. The Lady Razorbacks also took the No. 2 doubles contest, seeing Franco and Ledaja top senior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson County H.S.) and Schutte, 8-6.
The Lady Vols continue their road trip with a 1 p.m. CST contest versus No. 38 LSU on Sunday. Tennessee then returns home for a 5 p.m. contest versus No. 22 Notre Dame next Friday.
#23 Tennessee 6, #52 Arkansas 1
1. #44 Sabita Maharaj (UT) def. #79 Maryori Franco (ARK) 6-2, 6-1
2. Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. #78 Vlatka Jovanovic (ARK) 7-5, 6-1
3. Bryce Marable (UT) def. Iliana Pacheco (ARK) 6-3, 6-2
4. Victoria Jones (UT) def. Yawna Allen (ARK) 6-4, 6-4
5. Karina Ledaja (ARK) def. Melissa Schaub (UT) 6-3, 6-4
6. Ghizela Schutte (UT) def. Audrey Bordeleau (ARK) 6-4, 6-1
1. Sabita Maharaj/Melissa Schaub (UT) def. Melissa Cornett/Vlatka Jovanovic (ARK) 8-5
2. Maryori Franco/Karina Ledaja (ARK) def. Ashley Robards/Ghizela Schutte (UT) 8-6
3. Blakeley Griffith/Bryce Marable (UT) def. Yawna Allen/Audrey Bordeleau (ARK) 8-4
Tennessee 8-3, 2-1 SEC; National ranking #23
Arkansas 10-3, 0-3 SEC; National ranking #52
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,5,2,3,6,4)