April 16, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 20th-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team picked up their second upset of a top-six team in the past eight days on Saturday as they defeated No. 6 Georgia, 4-3, at the Goodfriend Tennis Center.
For the second consecutive match, the doubles point proved to be a deciding factor. But for the first time in the last four matches, it was Tennessee (14-7, 7-4) that pulled out the doubles point and the early 1-0 lead over the Bulldogs (13-6, 7-4).
"Winning the doubles point really made the difference," Co-Head Coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick said. "We have spent a lot of time over the last week concentrating on doubles. The confidence that gave us made a difference today."
The No. 2 UT tandem of junior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) and freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) was the first to complete its match, defeating Georgia's Kelley Hyndman and Evgenia Subbotina, 8-3.
The No. 3 combo of freshman Daron Moore (North Hollywood, Calif. / Campbell Hall School) and sophomore Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) defeated Natalie Frazier and Jitka Schonfeldova, 8-5, to secure Tennessee's first doubles point since a win over South Carolina on April 1.
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 third-ranked Georgia team of Natalie Frazier and Shadisha Robinson by a 8-6 margin.
Tennessee got off to a strong start in the singles competition as Schutte dispatched Evgenia Subbotina, 6-2, 6-0, at the No. 5 position. The win was the fourth straight for Schutte, all of them in straight sets. It was also the fourth consecutive time the South African native had closed out her opponent with a 6-0 second set.
Georgia pulled within a point at 2-1 as Jitka Schonfeldova spoiled Melissa Schaub's return to the singles lineup, 6-2, 6-4. The match was Schaub's first singles action since March 11.
At the No. 3 spot, Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College) continued her recent winning ways by defeating Basu, 6-4, 6-1, pushing UT's lead to 3-1. Jones has now won seven consecutive matches and eight of her last nine. The sophomore is 18-3 in dual matches this season.
The lead was once again cut to one as Marable lost a 6-4, 6-2 decision to Hyndman on court four.
Griffith started off her match with Robinson with a bang, taking game one from the seventh-ranked player in the country, 6-3. Griffith led game two, 3-2, before Robinson began to stage a comeback, winning the second game, 6-3, and tying the match score at 3-3 with a 6-2 win in game three.
With the match tied at 3-3, all eyes turned to center court, where UT's No. 42 Maharaj and UGA's No. 26 Frazier faced off in an epic duel. Frazier started off the match by taking game one, 6-3, and taking a 2-1 lead in game two. It was Tennessee's turn for a comeback as Maharaj surged ahead to win the second game 6-4. With the match hanging in the balance, the junior from Gainesville, Fla. delivered a 6-2 win in game three, giving Tennessee its second upset of a top six team in the last eight days.
"Our goal all season has been to use the experience we gained at the beginning of the year to benefit us now, at the end of the season," Hahn-Patrick said. "We showed a lot of heart and a great ability to work together today."
Tennessee now looks to the post-season and the SEC Tournament over April 21-24 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. With today's win, UT secured the fourth spot in the conference and a first-round bye in the tournament.
Tennis Match Results
Georgia vs Tennessee
Apr 16, 2005 at Knoxville, Tenn.
|#20 Tennessee 4, #6 Georgia 3|
|1.||#42 Sabita Maharaj (TN) def. #26 Natalie Frazier (UGA)||3-6, 6-4, 6-2|
|2.||#7 Shadisha Robinson (UGA) def. Blakeley Griffith (TN)||3-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|3.||Vicky Jones (TN) def. Caroline Basu (UGA)||6-4, 6-1|
|4.||Kelley Hyndman (UGA) def. Bryce Marable (TN)||6-4, 6-2|
|5.||Ghizela Schutte (TN) def. Evgenia Subbotina (UGA)||6-2, 6-0|
|6.||Jitka Schonfeldova (UGA) def. Melissa Schaub (TN)||6-2, 6-4|
|1.||#3 Shadisha Robinson/Caroline Basu (UGA) def. Sabita Maharaj/Bryce Marable (TN)||8-6|
|2.||Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (TN) def. Kelley Hyndman/Evgenia Subbotina (UGA)||8-3|
|3.||Blakeley Griffith/Daron Moore (TN) def. Natalie Frazier/AnastasiyaShevchenko (UGA)||8-5|
Georgia 13-6; National ranking #6
Tennessee 14-7; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,6,3,4,2,1)