May 12, 2006
ATLANTA, Ga. - The No. 30 University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team (12-13) ended its season in heartbreaking fashion on Friday afternoon, falling to the University of Pennsylvania (13-5) by a 4-2 score in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Tennessee had trailed, 3-0, in the match played at the Bill Moore Tennis Center on the Georgia Tech campus, but rallied to within 3-2 before falling to the Quakers.
The Lady Vols were down as a team to double-match point when senior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio) trailed, 1-6, 6-4, 5-4 (40-15). At that point, she rallied to take that game and the next two for a 6-5 lead over Yulia Rivelis before prevailng in the deciding set, 7-6 (7-3). That win cut the Penn lead to 3-2.
Junior Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va.) had narrowed the margin to 3-1 with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 win on court three over Michelle Mitchell. She recorded the first five and the final five tallies of the contest.
Following Schaub's win, all the attention was shifted to courts four and five where a pair of matches were in their respective third sets. On court five, Penn clinched the win when Caroline Stanislawski topped freshman Samantha Orlin (Miami, Fla.), 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4. Stanislawski took the final three games of the contest.
The only match that went unfinished was at No. 4, where sophomore Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa) was leading Raluca Ciochina, 6-7 (9-11), 6-3, 4-3.
In the first doubles contest to finish, freshmen Orlin and Hayley Prendergast (Hingham, Mass.) fell to Mitchell and Stanislawski, 8-0.
Penn clinched the doubles point when its No. 1 team of Julia Koulbitskova and Rivelis topped Schaub and Schutte by an 8-4 score. The UT tandem took a 3-0 lead, but the Penn team rallied with five straight points and finished the match with an 8-1 run.
The No. 2 contest went unfinished with Penn's Ciochina and Alexis Plukas leading Griffith and Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K.) by a 7-3 score.
In singles, Penn took its overall lead to 2-0 with a forfeit win at court six. In the first played match to finish, the Quakers went up, 3-0, when, at court two, Jones dropped a 6-1, 6-3 decision to Koulbitskaya. The Quaker took the final six games of the first set to take control of the contest.
"We didn't play well in doubles." co-head coach Mike Patrick said. "We competed much better most places in singles, but came up a little short in the end. We had chances and hung in there. That's the thing that is frustrating. Give Penn a lot of credit; we tried all over the place, but just didn't have enough.
The Lady Vols concluded their season in the NCAA Tournament for the 12th consecutive year.
#45 Penn 4, #30 Tennessee 2
|1.||Melissa Schaub (TN) def. Yulia Rivelis (UPENN)||6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3)|
|2.||Julia Koulbitskaya (UPENN) def. Victoria Jones (TN)||6-1, 6-3|
|3.||Blakeley Griffith (TN) def. Michelle Mitchell (UPENN)||6-2, 2-6, 6-1|
|4.||Raluca Ciochina (UPENN) vs. Ghizela Schutte (TN)||7-6 (11-9), 3-6, 3-4, unfinished|
|5.||Caroline Stanislawsk (UPENN) def. Samantha Orlin (TN)||4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4|
|6.||Sara Schiffman (UPENN) def. Hayley Prendergast (TN)||by forfeit|
|1.||Julia Koulbitskaya/Yulia Rivelis (UPENN) def. #52 Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (TN)||8-4|
|2.||Raluca Ciochina/Alexis Plukas (UPENN) vs. Blakeley Griffith/Victoria Jones (TN)||7-3, unfinished|
|3.||Michelle Mitchell/Caroline Stanislawsk (UPENN) def. Samantha Orlin/Hayley Prendergast (TN)||8-0|
Tennessee 12-13; National ranking #30
Penn 13-5; National ranking #45
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (,2,3,1,5)