May 13, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The 17th- ranked and No. 16 seeded Tennessee Lady Volunteer tennis team picked up a 4-0 clean sweep win over the Boston University Terriers on Friday afternoon in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships.
Tennessee (15-8) advanced to the second round for the 10th consecutive season, while the Terriers (11-10) concluded their season in the first round for the second year in a row.
"We hadn't played in a few weeks so we came out a little rusty," Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "We worked our way into the match, and really played well. It is good to get a match under our belts."
Tennessee's domination began with the doubles point. At the No. 3 spot, the Lady Vol freshman duo of Bryce Marable (Darien, Ill. / Hinsdale South H.S.) and Daron Moore (North Hollywood, Calif. / Campbell Hall School) rallied from a 1-3 deficit to defeat Katie Draganova and Aimee Charest, 8-4, in the first match completed. The win was the first for the freshman tandem in their initial match as doubles partners.
At the No. 1 position, the UT pair of junior Sabita Maharaj (Gainesville, Fla. / Buchholz H.S.) and senior Ashley Robards (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson Co. H.S.) led from start to finish in their 8-5 win over the BU combo of Laura Ahmes and Cheri Lapane.
With the doubles point in hand by virtue of Maharaj and Robards' win, the No. 2 match between UT's tandem of junior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) and freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) and the BU pair of Gina Sabatino and Monica Shepherd was suspended with Schaub and Schutte leading, 7-4 (15-0).
One the singles side, UT showed its power early and often. Schutte defeated Aimee Charest, 6-0, 6-2, on court five to give the Lady Vols a 2-0 lead. It was the sixth consecutive win for Schutte, with all six coming in straight sets. The freshman has also won at least one set by a 6-0 margin in each of the six wins.
Maharaj continued the power streak at the No. 1 spot by dispatching Ahmes, 6-0, 6-1, putting Tennessee a point away from advancing to the NCAA second round.
With Lady Vols holding leads on each of the remaining courts, it was a race to the finish for the winning point.
First across the line was No. 91 Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College), whose 6-2, 6-3, win at the No. 3 spot over Erin Katmis gave Tennessee the 4-0 win and a ticket to the round of 32. The sophomore has won eight of her last nine matches and has a team-leading 26 wins on the season.
With the match decided, the other three matches were halted just short of completion. On court two, UT's Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.) led BU's Sabatino, 6-3, 3-2. At the No. 4 spot, Robards was one point away from victory, 6-3, 5-3 in her match with Dragnova. On court six, Marable was also a point shy of a win, 6-3, 5-3, over Shepherd.
"We played well," Patrick said. "It's always good to get a win and advance in the NCAA Tournament. Now we have to get ready for tomorrow."
Tennessee will face the winner of the Harvard-Maryland match scheduled for later today in the NCAA second round on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. for the right to advance to the round of 16.
|#17 Tennessee 4, Boston University 0|
|1. Sabita Maharaj (TN) def. Laura Ahmes (BU)||6-0, 6-1|
|2. Blakeley Griffith (TN) vs. Gina Sabatino (BU)||6-3, 3-2, unfinished|
|3. Vicky Jones (TN) def. Erin Katims (BU)||6-2, 6-3|
|4. Ashley Robards (TN) vs. Katie Draganova (BU)||6-3, 5-3, unfinished|
|5. Ghizela Schutte (TN) def. Aimee Charest (BU)||6-0, 6-2|
|6. Bryce Marable (TN) vs. Monica Shepherd (BU)||6-3, 5-3, unfinished|
|1. Sabita Maharaj/Ashley Robards (TN) def. Laura Ahmes/Cheri Lapane (BU)||8-5|
|2. Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (TN) vs. Gina Sabatino/Monica Shepherd (BU)||7-4, unfinished|
|3. Daron Moore/Bryce Marable (TN) def. Katie Draganova/Aimee Charest (BU)||8-4|
|Boston University 11-10|
Tennessee 15-8; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (5,1,3)