Tammy Encina had no problem filling in at No. 1 singles defeating Magdi Rekasi, 6-1, 6-4
March 28, 2003
It took just over two and a half hours on a sunny Friday afternoon in Starkville, Miss., for the No. 7-rated University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis squad to dispose of Mississippi State, 7-0. The Orange and White ran its record to 16-4 and 6-1 in the Southeastern Conference with the victory. The Bulldogs dropped to 6-10 and remain winless in the conference at 0-7. UT has now won 19 straight decisions over MSU dating back to the 1988 season.
Tennessee took the doubles point for the 17th time in 20 matches. Its first triumph came at the No. 3 slot, where freshman Melissa Schaub teamed up with sophomore Breanna Kray to upend freshman Patricia Assumpcao and junior Yumi Ueda, 8-2. Schaub's usual partner, senior Vilmarie Castellvi, sat out the contest due to NCAA regulations that limit the number of matches an individual can play in one year. Schaub and Castellvi are the No. 6-ranked doubles tandem in the country.
Junior Tammy Encina and sophomore Majen Immink, the nation's No. 35-tabbed duo, secured the 1-0 Tennessee lead with a victory over junior Marcelle Hirt and sophomore Magdi Rekasi, 8-3, at one doubles. Encina and Immink improved to 12-1 with the win and 7-0 in SEC competition.
The final win in the doubles portion of the match for the Big Orange was at the second position, where senior Crystal Cleveland and freshman Sabita Maharaj took out senior Elaine Fagan and rookie Anastasia Kugakolova by an 8-3 margin. The No. 52 doubles team in the land moved its record to 8-1 and 6-0 in the SEC with the win.
The Lady Vols dominated in singles, winning every match in straight sets. Sophomore Ashley Robards registered the first victory at the No. 5 hole over Fagan. Robards took the first set, 6-2, and then was awarded the win after Fagan withdrew from the match with an injury. With the triumph, Robards upped her record to 16-11 and 11-4 in dual match play. The win was also her eighth in a row.
Cleveland, billed No. 104 in singles, was the next Lady Vol to come through at two singles. She dispatched of Kugakolova, 6-1, 6-3, to improve to 26-8 on the season and 17-3 in dual matches. The Delray Beach, Fla., native has won 16 of her last 17 matchups.
Maharaj secured the Orange and White's 16th victory at the No. 4 slot, where MSU's Ueda fell, 6-2, 6-3. Maharaj pushed her overall mark on the year back over the .500 mark at 12-11 with the win and evened up her dual match slate at 6-6.
Tennessee took a 5-0 lead after Kray knocked off Assumpcao at six singles, 6-2, 6-2. It was Kray's 10th win of the campaign, moving her record to 10-7 and 6-3 in duals. The match was also Kray's first appearance since filling the same position against Arkansas on March 16.
Encina's 6-1, 6-4 win over Rekasi at the top of the singles totem pole gave the Orange and White a 6-0 advantage. She upped her record to 18-12 and 10-7 in dual match action. It was the first time Encina has played No. 1 singles since joining the UT squad last fall.
The No. 3 singles contest between Schaub and Hirt was the last to conclude, and it ended in Schaub's favor, 6-2, 6-3. Hailing from Lexington, Ohio, Schaub is now 19-13 in her first season as a Lady Vol and 13-6 in dual match play.
Tennessee will wrap up its road schedule on Sunday, March 30, when it travels to Oxford, Miss., to face the No. 42 Lady Rebels of Ole Miss at 1 p.m. CST.
Final Score: #7 Tennessee (16-4, 6-1 SEC) 7, Mississippi State (6-10, 0-7 SEC) 0
|No. 1 Tammy Encina (UT) def. Magdi Rekasi (MSU)||6-1, 6-4|
|No. 2 #104 Crystal Cleveland (UT) def. Anastasia Kugakolova (MSU)||6-1, 6-3|
|No. 3 Melissa Schaub (UT) def. Marcelle Hirt (MSU)||6-2, 6-3|
|No. 4 Sabita Maharaj (UT) def. Yumi Ueda (MSU)||6-2, 6-3|
|No. 5 Ashley Robards (UT) def. Elaine Fagan (MSU)||6-2, Retired (injury)|
|No. 6 Breanna Kray (UT) def. Patricia Assumpcao (MSU)||6-2, 6-2|
|Order of Finish: 5, 2, 4*, 6, 1, 3|
|No. 1 #35 Encina/Immink (UT) def. Hirt/Rekasi (MSU)||8-3|
|No. 2 #52 Cleveland/Maharaj (UT) def. Fagan/Kugakolova (MSU)||8-3|
|No. 3 Kray/Schaub (UT) def. Assumpcao/Ueda (MSU)||8-2|
|Order of Finish: 3, 1*, 2|
* clinching point