April 8, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 23rd-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team scored a 5-2 upset win over No. 6 Vanderbilt at the Goodfriend Tennis Center on Friday night.
Tennessee started off slow in the doubles portion of the competition, dropping all three matches. The No. 2 UT tandem of junior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) and freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) were the first to conclude their match, dropping an 8-2 decision to the Commodores' Amanda Fish and Tanka Bertrand.
At the No. 1 position, the Lady Vol pair of junior Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla. / Buchholz H.S.) and freshman Bryce Marable (Darien, Ill. / Hinsdale South H.S.) fell to the Vanderbilt team of Audra Falk and Amanda Taylor, 8-4. The No. 3 combo of freshman Daron Moore (North Hollywood, Calif. / Campbell Hall School) and senior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson County H.S.) lost to Vandy's Annie Menees and Caroline Ferrell, also by a 8-4 margin.
"It was a good day for us," Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "I thought we were uptight during doubles and didn't play well. We were able to play relaxed in sigles and played very well. Vanderbilt is a very good team and it's good to get a win against them.
On the singles side, things looked good early for the Lady Vols. Though UT's
top two individuals, Maharaj and sophomore Blakeley Griffith dropped their
first set, the remaining four competitors won their first sets. From their, UT
's No.'s 3, 4, 5 and 6 delivered four consecutive victories to bring home the
First to be completed was Schutte, who knotted the score at one with a 6-0, 6-0 win at court six over Ferrell. After starting 0-3 in dual matches this season, the South African native has now won six-of-eight contests in dual-match action.
Next, sophomore Victoria Jones' (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College) 6-0, 6-4 defeat of No. 60 Bertrand at the three spot gave UT a 2-1 lead. It was the second consecutive straight-set win for Jones since moving up to the three on Apr. 3 against Florida after playing 16 consecutive matches at the four position where she accumulated a 14-2 record.
Shortly following Jones' win, Marable extended the Lady Vol lead to 3-1 by downing Taylor, 6-2, 6-3. The win broke a five-match winless streak for the freshman and improved her season record to 17-15.
The Commodores stormed back to cut the lead to 3-2 as the 39th-ranked Fish defeated sophomore Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) at the No. 2 spot by a score of 6-2, 6-2.
Robards then delivered the deciding blow on court number five by taking out Menees, 6-3, 6-3, giving Tennessee a 4-2 margin to pick up the upset win. Robards never trailed in either set, but was tied at 3-3 in the second before winning three consecutive points to close out her opponent.
In the No. 1 contest, No. 42 Maharaj, dropped the first set, 2-6, to No. 11 Falk before rebounding to win set two, 6-0. The junior fell behind in the third, 0-1 and later 1-3, before mounting a comeback to score four consecutive points to lead the game, 5-3. Falk battled back, 5-4, before Maharaj delivered the final point for a 6-4 win and a 5-2 final margin for UT.
"I knew we could do it," Patrick said. "Once we worked our way into the match, we started played the way I knew we could. Sunday (against No. 5 Kentucky) will be a big test for us.
Tennessee continues its stretch of playing four consecutive top-10 opponents on Sunday as it plays host to fifth-ranked Kentucky at 1 p.m. The Lady Vols conclude regular-season play with a noon contest versus No. 3 Georgia at noon on April 16.
Tennis Match Results
Vanderbilt vs Tennessee
Apr 08, 2005 at Knoxville, Tenn.
#23 Tennessee 5, #6 Vanderbilt 2
1. No. 42 Sabita Maharaj (TN) def. No. 11 Audra Falk (VANDY) 2-6, 6-0, 6-4
2. No. 39 Amanda Fish (VANDY) def. Blakeley Griffith (TN) 6-2, 6-2
3. Victoria Jones (TN) def. No. 60 Taka Bertrand (VANDY) 6-0, 6-4
4. Bryce Marable (TN) def. Amanda Taylor (VANDY) 6-2, 6-3
5. Ashley Robards (TN) def. Annie Menees (VANDY) 6-3, 6-3
6. Ghizela Schutte (TN) def. Caroline Ferrell (VANDY) 6-0, 6-0
1. Audra Falk/Amanda Taylor (VANDY) def. Sabita Maharaj/Bryce Marable (TN) 8-4
2. No. 55 Amanda Fish/Taka Bertrand (VANDY) def. Melissa Schaub/Ghizela
Schutte (TN) 8-2
3. Annie Menees/Caroline Ferrell (VANDY) def. Ashley Robards/Daron Moore (TN)
Vanderbilt 17-3; National ranking #6
Tennessee 12-6; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,3,4,2,5,1)