May 9, 2014
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - It was a tennis battle for the ages. For the second time this season, the University of Tennessee women's tennis team fell behind 0-3. For the second time this season, the Lady Vols tied the match up at three-all.
But unlike UT's comeback victory against Auburn during the regular season, the Lady Vols did not have enough in the tank on a hot day against Georgia State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, falling 4-3 to the Panthers who earned the school's first NCAA tournament win by a women's team with the victory.
"We built too big of a hole," said co-head coach Mike Patrick. "We got out of one of them this year, we couldn't get out of this one. Ambika [Pande], was the last one on and she fought to the end and we are proud of her. She is showing signs that she is going to be a good player as time goes on."
The Lady Vols finish the 2014 season at 13-13 while Georgia State improves to 13-8. Tennessee is now 31-24 all-time in NCAA play, 28-15 in regional action, and 17-5 in the first round.
Tennessee, appearing in its 24th NCAA Tournament, and 20th consecutive, fell behind early, dropping the doubles point to Georgia State with losses at the No. 3 and No. 2 positions. Newly paired partners Joanna Henderson and Ambika Pande made it interesting on court three, turning a 1-3 deficit into a 5-6 fight, but the Panthers turned it on down the stretch for an 8-5 win.
On court two, Brittany Lindl and Ambika Pande fell 8-2 as GSU sealed the doubles point. Eve Repic and Laurence Guevremont battled with the nation's No. 25 doubles team of Abigail Tere-Apisah and Masa Grgan as the match remained unfinished 4-6 with the Lady Vols down.
Georgia State added to its lead in singles action when Tere-Apisah, the nation's No. 22 player defeated No. 61 ranked Repic 6-2, 6-0 on court one.
Georgia State took a 3-0 match lead when Guevremont fell 6-4, 6-1 on court three. After battling in a back-and-forth first set, the Montreal, Quebec native's opponent came on hot down the stretch to come away with the win.
"Having that many freshmen out there and not having that many experienced players, we played nervous at two or three spots," said Patrick. "I think all of our doubles were nervous going out there, we played nervous, and never really got off the mark."
"In singles, we had a couple that had a tough time getting going today too. We will learn from that for the next time, next year, we will be ready to play and push farther in the tournament. They have come a long way and they will continue to get better.
Though Tennessee started off slowly, UT got on the board as Lindl came away with a 6-1, 6-3 victory from No. 4 singles, her fourth win from the four spot this season and 22nd win overall in 2013-14.
Henderson, who was behind the entire first set until taking a 6-5 lead right when it counted went on to a 7-5 first set win. The junior, and lone upperclassman on the courts for the Lady Vols, turned on the steam in the second set and came away with a 7-5, 6-1 victory on court two to make it a 3-2 match.
Henderson has now won three matches in a row dating back to April 19. She had a no decision at the SEC Tournament.
Olivarez tied the match up at three-all for Tennessee with a two-set thriller on court five. After coming away with a 6-1 first set win, GSU battled back and lead late in the set 5-4. Olivarez regained a 6-5 lead, but her GSU opponent squared things up at 6-all forcing a second set tiebreak. The Virginia Beach, Va. native tired her opponent out and came away with a 7-6 (4) second set win to even the match up and leave it in the hands of Pande.
Pande came back from a 3-6 first set loss to come away with a 7-6 (2) second set tie-break win. But in the third set, her GSU opponent came away with a break at an opportune time to earn a 6-4 set and match win.
"Everyone contributed this year and did a good job getting to the NCAAs. We didn't have quite enough today, but it is a great experience and we will build off of that for sure. "
Tennis Match Results
Georgia State vs Tennessee
5/9/2014 at Chapel Hill, N.C.
(Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center)
#64 Georgia State 4, #31 Tennessee 3
1. #22 Abigail Tere-Apisah (GSU) def. #61 Eve Repic (UT) 6-2, 6-0
2. Joanna Henderson (UT) def. Masa Grgan (GSU) 7-5, 6-1
3. Linn Timmermann (GSU) def. Laurence Guevremont (UT) 6-4, 6-1
4. Brittany Lindl (UT) def. Marcia Tere-Apisah (GSU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Victoria Olivarez (UT) def. Maryna Kozachenko (GSU) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
6. Chaimaa Roudami (GSU) def. Ambika Pande (UT) 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4
1. Eve Repic/Laurence Guevremont (UT) vs. #25 Abigail Tere-Apisah/Masa Grgan (GSU) 4-6, unfinished
2. Marcia Tere-Apisah/Tarani Kamoe (GSU) def. Brittany Lindl/Victoria Olivarez (UT) 8-2
3. Linn Timmermann/Chaimaa Roudami (GSU) def. Joanna Henderson/Ambika Pande (UT) 8-5
Georgia State 13-8; National ranking #64
Tennessee 13-13; National ranking #31
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,3,4,2,5,6)
NCAA First Round Match