Blakeley Griffth was victorious over Kelly Schmandt 6-4, 6-2
April 2, 2004
In a contest that was decided by a match featuring two tiebreakers, the 28th-ranked Tennessee women's tennis team fell to No. 5 Vanderbilt by a score of 5-2 on Friday evening. With the win, the Commodores improve to 18-2 overall and 8-1 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Lady Vols fall to 12-11 overall and 6-3 in the SEC.
Vandy grabbed the early advantage in doubles play, as the third-ranked duo of Kelly Schmandt and Aleke Tsoubanos downed senior Tammy Encina (Miami Beach, Fla.) and junior Majen Immink (Kent, U.K.) by a score of 8-4 at the No. 1 position.
The Commodores then claimed the doubles point, as the 33rd-ranked team of Audra Falk and Annie Menees edged UT sophomores Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla.) and Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio), 9-7, at the No. 2 spot. The final tandem match to finish was even more competitive, as VU's Amanda Fish and Ashley Schellhas outlasted UT freshmen Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va.) and Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K.) by a count of 9-8(6) at No. 3 doubles.
As has been a theme throughout the season, the Lady Vols once again had some lineup juggling to do, as junior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky.), who usually plays at No. 2 doubles and No. 3 singles, was sidelined due to injury.
Tennessee, however, did strike first in singles play, as Griffith posted a 6-2, 6-4 victory over 90th-ranked Fish at the No. 3 position. The win gives Griffith, who has a team-best record of 29-9, her second triumph over a ranked opponent this season. On Feb. 15, the freshman downed then-No.65 Sara Anundsen of North Carolina, 7-6(5), 6-1 in Knoxville.
The Orange and White held a 2-1 lead in the match after 85th-ranked Maharaj notched a 6-4, 6-1 victory over 79th-ranked Schmandt at the No. 2 spot. Maharaj now boasts a singles record of 24-11 on the season, which includes four victories over ranked foes.
Vanderbilt quickly evened the match, though, as Tsoubanos defeated Immink, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 4 slot. The `Dores then took the lead after Schellhas downed Jones, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 5 singles. Jones, who saw her 10-match win streak come to an end, now owns a record of 21-10 this season.
The contest was decided by an extremely competitive match, as Vandy's 25th-ranked Falk out-dueled 27th-ranked Encina, 7-6(5), 7-6(4), at No. 1 singles. In the final match to be completed, Menees claimed victory over Schaub, who was forced to retire while trailing 6-3, 2-6, 1-4.
Tennessee will continue its weekend of competition with a match against 16th-ranked Kentucky in Lexington on Sunday. The Lady Vols then will have just one match remaining before the SEC Championships, as they battle No. 4 Georgia on Sat., April 10 in Athens. This year's conference championships will be hosted by Vanderbilt over April 15-18 in Nashville.
#28 Tennessee vs. #5 Vanderbilt
Nashville, Tenn. - April 2, 2004
Final score: Vanderbilt 5, Tennessee 2
Team records: VU: 18-2 (8-1 SEC), UT: 12-11 (6-3 SEC)
|No. 1||#25 Audra Falk (VU) def. #27 Tammy Encina (UT)||7-6(5), 7-6(4)|
|No. 2||#85 Sabita Maharaj (UT) def. #79 Kelly Schmandt (VU)||6-4, 6-1|
|No. 3||Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. #90 Amanda Fish (VU)||6-2, 6-4|
|No. 4||Aleke Tsoubanos (VU) def. Majen Immink (UT)||6-3, 6-3|
|No. 5||Ashley Schellhas (VU) def. Victoria Jones (UT)||6-4, 6-2|
|No. 6||Annie Menees (VU) def. Melissa Schaub (UT)||3-6, 6-2, 4-1 (ret.)|
|Order of finish: 3, 2, 4, 5, 1*, 6|
|No. 1||#3 Schmandt/Tsoubanos (VU) def. Encina/Immink (UT)||8-4|
|No. 2||#33 Falk/Menees (VU) def. Maharaj/Schaub (UT)||9-7|
|No. 3||Fish/Schellhas (VU) def. Griffith/Jones (UT)||9-8(6)|
|Order of finish: 1, 2*, 3|