April 11, 2014
KNOXVILLE - In a comeback for the ages, the No. 31 Tennessee women's tennis team rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to take down No. 24 Auburn 4-3 under the lights at Barksdale Stadium Friday Night.
Junior Joanna Henderson and freshman Laurence Guevremont sealed the deal for the Lady Vols in a four hour and 38 minute match as UT won its third straight improving to 12-10 on the season and 6-6 in conference play. UT handed Auburn its eighth loss of the year as the Tigers drop to 17-8 in 2014 and 6-6 in SEC play.
"We just fought so hard," said co-head coach Mike Patrick. "Every one of those kids went out there and gutted it out and did an amazing job of coming back. For a young team to have a three freshmen in the last four matches come back in the third set and win, unbelievable."
The Lady Vols also extended their home win-streak over Auburn to 11 matches dating back to 1995.
"We have had a few really good matches in a row," said Patrick. "They have worked hard all year and it has paid off for them when we really have needed it. Huge win for us because they are ranked higher, for doing all that we have with that younger team, for it to pay off for us in one of our last home matches is just fantastic."
Guevremont tied things up for Tennessee at three-all and just moments later Henderson sealed the deal for the Lady Vols capturing the victory as all of her teammates rushed the court.
"I don't even have words," said Henderson. "That was just a complete team effort right there. To be down 0-3 and for all of the girls to come back it really shows that hard work pays off and I am just so happy. There was a lot riding on the match for us in terms of postseason play and we are just so excited."
The 7-6 (8), 2-6, 6-3 win for Henderson was her second over a ranked opponent this season and she improved to 7-0 on the year in three set matches.
For Guevremont, her 7-6 (4), 0-6, 6-4 win was her 17th of the season and sixth in three set matches.
For the first time in three matches, the Lady Vols fell in the doubles point in doubles action that lasted over an hour.
With each set a battle, Auburn won on courts one and two to gain an early match lead. Eve Repic and Guevremont fell 8-2 on court two followed by a 8-4 loss by Henderson and Caitlyn Williams at one to the nation's 14th ranked doubles pair in Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger, just their third of the season.
But the Lady Vols never gave up, battling back, first as Brittany Lindl notched Tennessee's first point of the night with a gritty 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 comeback victory from No. 4 singles.
Repic, ranked 75th in singles, followed that up with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win on court one taking out No. 36 Burgmans. Match point was determined in a battle that saw deuces and advantages in the favor of both players, but was sealed with a huge forehand winner and an uncharacteristic fist shake in to the delight of upsetting a tough opponent. The win was her eighth over a ranked opponent this season.
Repic's win set up Guevremont and Henderson's epic match finale as the Lady Vols continued on their win streak.
UT is back in action with a regular season finale doubleheader on Sunday at Barksdale Stadium. UT will begin the day at Noon against SEC rival Alabama followed by a 5 p.m. match with Middle Tennessee.
Tennis Match Results
Auburn vs Tennessee
Apr 11, 2014 at Knoxville, Tenn.
#31 Tennessee 4, #24 Auburn 3
1. #75 Eve Repic (UT) def. #36 Pleun Burgmans (AU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
2. Joanna Henderson (UT) def. #105 Emily Flickinger (AU) 7-6 (8), 2-6, 6-3
3. Laurence Guevremont (UT) def. Paula de Man (AU) 7-6 (7-4), 0-6, 6-4
4. Brittany Lindl (UT) def. Michala Kucharova (AU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Jackie Kasler (AU) def. Victoria Olivarez (UT) 6-2, 6-2
6. Jen Pfeifler (AU) def. Ambika Pande (UT) 6-3, 6-2
1. #14 Pleun Burgmans/Emily Flickinger (AU) def. Joanna Henderson/Caitlyn Williams (UT) 8-4
2. Jackie Kasler/Jen Pfeifler (AU) def. Eve Repic/Laurence Guevremont (UT) 8-2
3. Paula de Man/Michala Kucharova (AU) vs. Brittany Lindl/Victoria Olivarez (UT) 6-6, unf.
Auburn 16-8, 6-6 SEC; National ranking #24
Tennessee 12-10, 6-6 SEC; National ranking #31
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (5,6,4,1,3,2)
Time of Match: 4:38