March 13, 2005


BATON ROUGE, La. - The 23rd-ranked Lady Vol tennis team topped No. 38 LSU on Sunday by a 5-2 score, improving to 9-3, 3-1 in Southeastern Conference play. The Tigers fell to 7-5, 1-3 in the SEC. Tennessee set the tone early by taking the doubles point and have now gone 7-0 this season when doing so.

At No. 1 doubles, juniors Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla. / Buchholz H.S.) and Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) defeated Lauren Seaman and Tiffany Tucker, 8-2. The pair has won two straight to end a brief two-match skid and are 5-2 this season.

LSU then took the No. 2 match when Amanda Mang and Staten Spencer defeated senior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson County H.S.) and freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) by an 8-4 score. Shortly thereafter, the Lady Vol tandem of freshman Bryce Marable (Darien, Ill. / Hinsdale South H.S.) and sophomore Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) earned an 8-4 victory over Daysi Espinal and Camila Caliari to clinch the doubles point for Tennessee. The duo has also claimed two straight wins to end a two-match losing streak and is 9-3 this season, including 8-0 in the No. 3 position.

In singles play, Schutte made it two wins in a row, taking a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Espinal in the No. 6 position. Including an exhibition win on Feb. 19, the freshman has won three straight to rebound from losing three straight. The No. 2 contest saw Griffith defeat Spencer, 6-4, 6-3, for her second win in a row. The win improved her mark to 6-2 since she moved to the No. 2 position on Feb. 13.



Tiffany Tucker ended Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College) 10-match winning streak with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 win over the sophomore, cutting Tennessee's lead to 3-1. JonesÂ?Eimpressive streak of 14 straight-set wins also came to an end.

Robards then clinched the team victory for Tennessee with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 win versus Caliari. The lone senior on the Lady Vol squad saw her clutch win improve her record this season to 5-1.

"Ashley (Robards) clinched the match with a good performance," Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. She stayed tough and closed out the match pretty solidly." Marina Chiarelli won the No. 3 match, defeating Marable, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4. The Lady Vol freshman saw her streak of 13 consecutive set wins and seven straight match victories come to an end in the second frame today.

To complete the contest at No. 1 singles, 44th-ranked Maharaj earned a 6-7, 6-1, 6-4 win versus Mang to continue her hot run. She has won five straight, all in the No. 1 position for the Lady Vols.

"It was a tough, hard-fought match,"Patrick aid. "We're playing outside in hot, windy weather for the first time this season after playing indoors on Friday (a 6-1 win over No. 52 Arkansas). It was tough and the girls fought hard. Every match was highly contested. That's nothing unusual because we've had tough matches with LSU before. They are a hard hard-fighting team. I'm proud of the girls and the effort they put forth."

Tennessee returns to action with a 5 p.m. contest versus No. 22 Notre Dame on Friday.

#23 Tennessee 5, #38 LSU 2

Singles competition:
1. #44 Sabita Maharaj (UT) def. Amanda Mang (LSU) 6-7, 6-1, 6-4
2. Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. Staten Spencer (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Marina Chiarelli (LSU) def. Bryce Marable (UT) 4-6, 7-6, 6-4
4. Tiffany Tucker (LSU) def. Victoria Jones (UT) 7-6, 6-4
5. Ashley Robards (UT) def. Camila Caliari (LSU) 4-6, 6-0, 6-4
6. Ghizela Schutte (UT) def. Daysi Espinal (LSU) 6-3, 6-3

Doubles competition:
1. Sabita Maharaj/Melissa Schaub (UT) def. Lauren Seaman/Tiffany Tucker (LSU) 8-2
2. Amanda Mang/Staten Spencer (LSU) def. Ashley Robards/Ghizela Schutte (UT) 8-4
3. Blakeley Griffith/Bryce Marable (UT) def. Daysi Espinal/Camila Caliari (LSU) 8-4

Match Notes:
Tennessee 9-3, 3-1 SEC; National ranking #23
LSU 7-5, 1-3 SEC; National ranking #38
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,2,4,5,3,1)



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