Melissa Schaub was the only Lady Vol to win in straight sets
March 22, 2003
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.
The 10th-rated University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis squad notched an impressive come-from-behind victory over No. 8 North Carolina on Saturday, earning its seventh-straight win by a 5-2 margin. UT is now 15-3 on the year, while UNC dropped to 9-6. The Tar Heels are winless in their last three outings. The Big Orange has won 12 consecutive decisions over the Carolina Blue and White dating back to the 1991 season.
"This was a tough match for us," said UT Co-Head Coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick. "It was the first time we had played North Carolina outside for quite some time. UNC was very competitive, but we kept plugging away, and I told the team to think of it as an endurance race. It was hard losing the doubles, but the longer the singles matches lasted, the more the outcome favored us."
UNC became only the third team this season to take the doubles point from Tennessee. Its first victory came at the top slot, where the sophomore combo of Aniela Mojzis and Kendall Cline, rated 42nd, upset UT's fifth-ranked tandem of senior Vilmarie Castellvi and freshman Melissa Schaub, 8-3. Castellvi and Schaub dropped to 20-5 and 13-4 at No. 1 doubles with the defeat.
The Orange and White's No. 36-tabbed duo of junior Tammy Encina and sophomore Majen Immink kept their perfect record in place with an 8-6 triumph over seniors Kendrick Bunn and Kate Pinchbeck. By upending the nation's No. 23-billed doubles team, Encina and Immink moved to 11-0, with all of their wins coming at No. 2 doubles.
Senior Marlene Mejia and junior Lee Bairos gave the Tar Heels the 1-0 advantage when they handed senior Crystal Cleveland and freshman Sabita Maharaj their first loss of the year, 9-7, at the third position. The loss dropped Cleveland and Maharaj to 6-1 at three doubles. Cleveland also had her 12-match unbeaten streak in doubles snapped in the process.
UNC seemed to have the contest in hand when Bairos quickly registered a 6-1, 6-2 win over Maharaj at the No. 5 hole to give North Carolina a 2-0 lead. The loss broke Maharaj's four-match winning streak and downed her record to 11-10.
Tennessee sliced the Tar Heel lead in half after No. 56 Cleveland posted her 15th-straight win. The Delray Beach, Fla., native disposed of No. 67 Mojzis in three sets, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-1, at the No. 3 spot. Cleveland is 25-7 overall and 16-2 in dual matches this year.
UT put the contest at a stalemate, 2-2, when Schaub claimed a 6-3, 7-5 decision over Cline at four singles. Schaub moved to 18-12 and 12-5 in dual match play with the victory.
Castellvi, ranked No. 3 nationally, gave the Lady Vols their first lead of the day by winning a three-setter over 11th-rated Pinchbeck at No. 1, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. The win extended Castellvi's unbeaten stretch to 11 matches and upped her overall mark to 32-4. The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, native is also an incredible 17-1 at No. 1 singles on the year.
Sophomore Ashley Robards completed UT's comeback at the bottom of the singles ladder, defeating Bunn in three sets. Fittingly, Robards dropped the first set, 6-3, but responded in the next two stanzas, winning by scores of 7-5 and 6-3. The Henderson, Ky., native is 9-4 in dual matches and 14-11 overall. The victory was also her sixth in a row.
"When Ashley clinched the match for us it was just awesome," said Hahn-Patrick.
Encina provided Tennessee with the icing on the cake thanks to a three-set conquest of 42nd-ranked Mejia at the No. 2 slot, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Encina improved to 9-6 at two singles and 17-11 overall with the win. It was also the Miami Beach, Fla., native's sixth win of the 2002-03 campaign over a ranked foe.
Tennessee will continue its stay in the Tar Heel State by squaring off with No. 4 Duke tomorrow at noon in Durham. The Blue Devils enter the matchup with a 15-1 record. Their only loss came to Illinois, a team that UT defeated earlier this season by a 5-2 count.
Final Score: #10 Tennessee (15-3) 5, #8 North Carolina (9-6) 2
|No. 1||#3 Vilmarie Castellvi (UT) def. #11 Kate Pinchbeck (UNC)||6-2, 1-6, 6-3|
|No. 2||Tammy Encina (UT) def. #42 Marlene Mejia (UNC)||4-6, 6-4, 6-4|
|No. 3||#56 Crystal Cleveland (UT) def. #67 Aniela Mojzis (UNC)||7-6(3), 2-6, 6-1|
|No. 4||Melissa Schaub (UT) def. Kendall Cline (UNC)||6-3, 7-5|
|No. 5||Lee Bairos (UNC) def. Sabita Maharaj (UT)||6-1, 6-2|
|No. 6||Ashley Robards (UT) def. Kendrick Bunn (UNC)||3-6, 7-5, 6-3|
|Order of Finish: 5, 3, 4, 1, 6*, 2|
|No. 1||#42 Cline/Mojzis (UNC) def. #5 Castellvi/Schaub (UT)||8-3|
|No. 2||#36 Encina/Immink (UT) def. #23 Bunn/Pinchbeck (UNC)||8-6|
|No. 3||Bairos/Mejia (UNC) def. Cleveland/Maharaj (UT)||9-7|
|Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3*|
|* clinching point|