Crystal Cleveland was victorious at #3 singles 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
April 6, 2003
The 11th-rated University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis squad bounced back from its 4-3 loss to No. 5 Florida on Friday with a 4-1 victory Sunday afternoon over 34th-ranked South Carolina in Knoxville. With the win, UT improved to 18-5 overall and 8-2 in the SEC. The Gamecocks fell to 12-8 and 5-5 in league action with the defeat.
Tennessee jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage by winning the doubles point. Its first victory came at the top spot courtesy of senior Vilmarie Castellvi and freshman Melissa Schaub. The nation's No. 6-rated duo defeated seniors Kathy Boyanovich and Jodi Kenoyer, 8-1, to improve to 16-5 at No. 1 doubles and 23-6 overall.
Senior Crystal Cleveland and rookie Sabita Maharaj, rated 52nd nationally, secured the doubles point for UT for the seventh time this season at the No. 3 slot. The pair dispatched of freshman Danielle Wiggins and sophomore Magda Wojdylo, 8-2, to move its record to 10-1 at the position and 11-1 overall.
As the lone match on court two remained, an ominous sky loomed above and severe weather on the horizon forced UT junior Tammy Encina and sophomore Majen Immink and USC senior Catherine Brown and sophomore Audrey George to finish their contest indoors. Encina and Immink, ranked No. 35, had the lead in the match, 6-3, but as the conditions outside went south so did their advantage. The tandem dropped five straight games to give Brown and George the triumph, 8-6. It was Encina and Immink's second loss in a row, downing their record on the year to 13-3 and 12-3 at the second position.
Castellvi, ranked third, was the first Lady Vol to register a victory in singles, upending No. 102 Boyanovich at the top slot in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. It was her 15th-straight win, tying her with Cleveland for the longest unbeaten streak this year. Castellvi improved to 36-4 and 21-1 at No. 1 singles with the win. She needs a mere three victories to become Tennessee's all-time leader in wins, a distinction currently held by Paula Kelly with 133.
The Big Orange's lead was trimmed in half when Kenoyer picked up a straight-set decision over Encina at two singles, 7-6(6), 6-2. Encina dropped to 19-14 and 10-9 at the No. 2 slot.
Schaub gave Tennessee a 3-1 lead after rallying from a 6-0 setback in the first stanza against Wojdylo at four singles. Schaub won the second and third sets by 6-3 and 6-1 counts to up her record to 21-14 and 15-7 in dual match play.
The 104th-tabbed Cleveland provided the clincher for the Lady Volunteers, winning a three-setter over Wiggins, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, at the No. 3 hole. Cleveland saw her ledger on the season go to 29-8 and 20-3 in dual match competition. With a 29-4 mark in doubles, the Delray Beach, Fla., native is looking to post the second 30-30 season of her career. Cleveland's first came during her sophomore campaign with records of 33-10 and 36-8 in singles and doubles.
Having secured the victory, the remaining matches at Nos. 5 and 6 singles were suspended. On court five, Maharaj claimed the first set over Brown, 6-2, and was leading 2-1 in the second frame. UT sophomore Ashley Robards and USC freshman Justine Walsh had just finished the first game of their matchup, which was won by Walsh, at court six when the match was called.
The Lady Vols will wrap up regular-season play next week when they welcome No. 6 Georgia to Rocky Top for a noon clash on Saturday, April 12, at UT Varsity Courts and Goodfriend Tennis Center. Tennessee will then serve as the host for the SEC Women's Tennis Championship on April 17-20.
Final Score: #11 Tennessee (18-5, 8-2 SEC) 4, #34 South Carolina (12-8, 5-5 SEC) 1