April 4, 2004
Lady Vol junior Majen Immink's victory at the No. 5 singles position clinched a dramatic, come-from-behind victory for the 28th-ranked Tennessee women's tennis team over the 16th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats by a score of 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. After trailing 3-1 in the match, UT was able to rally and record its second comeback win in the last two weeks, as Tennessee also trailed 3-1 in a match against South Carolina on Fri., March 26, before a victory by Immink clinched a 4-3 win for the Lady Vols.
With the victory, UT improves to 13-11 overall this season and 7-3 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Wildcats fall to 15-9 overall and 6-4 in the SEC. The win gives Tennessee an advantage over Kentucky in the quest for the fourth seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament.
Sunday's match, which was played indoors due to inclement weather in Lexington, began with the Wildcats taking in early advantage in doubles play by virtue of an 8-2 victory from 15th-ranked Sarah Foster and Aibika Kalsariea over Immink and senior Tammy Encina (Miami Beach, Fla.) at the No. 1 position.
Tennessee, however, battled back to seize the doubles point with victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Sophomores Sabita Maharaj and Melissa Schaub posted an 8-5 win over UK's Lara Maurer and Joelle Schwenk at No. 2, while freshmen Blakeley Griffith and Victoria Jones registered an 8-4 triumph over Kim Coventry and Christine Simpson at No. 3.
In singles play, though, Kentucky wasted little time building a 3-1 lead in the contest with three straight victories. Foster started things off with a 6-2, 6-2 win over UT junior Ashley Robards at the No. 3 position. Schwenk then notched a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Griffith at No. 2 singles, and 23rd-ranked Kalsarieva recorded a 7-5, 6-4 triumph over 27th-ranked Encina at the No. 1 spot to give UK its 3-1 advantage.
With her team's back against the wall, 85th-ranked Maharaj began to swing the momentum in Tennessee's direction with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory at the No. 2 position. Maharaj, who has five wins in her last six matches, now boasts a singles mark of 25-11 this year.
Jones then evened the match at 3-3 by posting a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Liis Sober at No. 6 singles. After having a 10-match win streak broken against Vanderbilt on Friday, the freshman from Tyne & Wear, U.K., bounced back with authority to improve her record to 22-10 on the season.
The Big Orange's dramatic comeback was capped by a three-set victory from Immink over Coventry at the No. 5 position. After cruising 6-0 in the first set, Immink dropped the second set 6-1 but came back strong to claim victory with a 6-1 win in the third set. The junior now owns a singles record of 20-9 this season and has won 11 of her last 14 matches.
After this weekend, the Lady Vols will have just one match remaining before the SEC Championships, as Tennessee battles 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. #16 Kentucky
Lexington, Ky. - April 4, 2004
Final score: Tennessee 4, Kentucky 3
Team records: UT: 13-11 (7-3 SEC), UK: 15-9 (6-4 SEC)
|No. 1||#23 Aibika Kalsarieva (UK) def. #27 Tammy Encina (UT)||7-5, 6-4|
|No. 2||#85 Sabita Maharaj (UT) def. Lara Maurer (UK)||4-6, 6-2, 6-1|
|No. 3||#96 Sarah Foster (UK) def. Ashley Robards (UT)||6-2, 6-2|
|No. 4||Joelle Schwenk (UK) def. Blakeley Griffith (UT)||6-3, 6-4|
|No. 5||Majen Immink (UT) def. Kim Coventry (UK)||6-0, 1-6, 6-1|
|No. 6||Victoria Jones (UT) def. Liis Sober (UK)|
|Order of finish: 3, 4, 1, 2, 6, 5*|
|No. 1||#15 Foster/Kalsarieva (UK) def. Encina/Immink (UT)||8-2|
|No. 2||Maharaj/Schaub (UT) def. Maurer/Schwenk (UK)||8-5|
|No. 3||Griffith/Jones (UT) def. Coventry/Simpson (UK)||8-4|
|Order of finish: 1, 3, 2*|