May 14, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The 17th- ranked and No. 16 seeded Tennessee Lady Volunteer tennis team was unable to advance to its ninth-straight NCAA Sweet 16 as the Harvard Crimson came through with a 4-1 victory in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships.
Tennessee concludes the season with a record of 15-9, while Harvard (19-6) advances to the Round of 16 for the second time in the last three seasons.
"We knew Harvard was talented," Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "We played well, but in the end, they out-talented us out there. We fought really hard, but we just couldn't overcome some of the things out there today."
Tennessee struggled early on in the doubles portion of the match, with each of the three pairs falling behind 0-3 in the initial stages of their respective matches. 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.) were down 7-2 to the 33rd-ranked Harvard team of Melissa Anderson and Celia Durkin before winning two straight games to pull within three at 7-4. After a long rally, Anderson and Durkin finally scored the wining point to pull out an 8-4 win.
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), who won their initial match as a pair on Friday, rebounded from the 0-3 hole to lead 4-3. From there, the Crimson pairing of Susanna Lingman and Eva Wang scored five straight points to win, 8-4, and give HU the doubles point.
For the second consecutive day, the No. 2 match was unfinished, as UT's tandem of junior Melissa Schaub (Lexington, Ohio / Lexington H.S.) and freshman Ghizela Schutte (Ninapark, South Africa / Damelin College) were locked in a tight battle with HU's Courtney Bergman and Elsa O'Riain. The teams were tied at 6-6 when play was suspended.
With the doubles point in Harvard's grasp, the Lady Vols needed to win four out of six singles matches to advance. A lofty task, but something UT had been able to do on three previous occasions in 2005.
In the first match completed, Marable fell to HU's Wang. The freshman took a 3-0 lead in the first set, but Wang won 12 straight games from that point to take the match, 6-3, 6-0, giving the Crimson a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Vols found themselves down 0-3 when Harvard's No. 88 Lingman defeated UT's No. 80 Blakeley Griffith (Middleburg, Va. / Loudoun County H.S.), 6-4, 6-3 on court two.
Robards kept the Lady Vols alive in the match by defeating 75th-ranked O'Riain, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1. The first set was an epic battle, lasting well over an hour as the two traded points before coming to a tiebreaker to decide the set. In the break, Robards fell behind, 2-4, then later,4-6, before mounting a comeback to win the tiebreak, 8-6, and the set, 7-6. The Henderson, Ky. native came out strong in the second set, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before closing out the set, 6-1.
Harvard scored the final point on court three as Durkin defeated No. 91 Victoria Jones (Tyne & Wear, U.K. / South Tyneside College), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Jones started off strong, winning the first set after a lengthy battle for the sixth point. Jones and Durkin went back and forth, each reaching advantage on more than three occasions, but neither could close out the point. Finally, Jones took the deuce and the advantage games to win the sixth point. Durkin came back strong in the second, winning, 6-3, then punched the Crimson's ticket to the Sweet 16 with a 6-2 win in the third set.
With the match decided, the two remaining matches were halted just short of completion. At the No. 5 spot, Schutte held a 3-0 lead in the third over Anderson. Anderson won the first set, 7-5, and led the Tennessee freshman, 5-2, in the second. In an amazing performance, Schutte battled back to defeat Anderson, 7-5, in set two.
On court one, No. 42 Maharaj trailed Harvard's No. 50 Bergman, 3-6, 6-1, 2-5 when play was suspended.
"We matched their intensity," Patrick said. "A little bit here and there and we would have been in good shape. We just came up a little bit short."
|#19 Harvard 4, #17 Tennessee 1|
|1.||#42 Sabita Maharaj (TN) vs. #50 Courtney Bergman (HU)||3-6, 6-1, 2-5, unfinished|
|2.||#88 Susanna Lingman (HU) def. #80 Blakeley Griffith (TN)||6-4, 6-3|
|3.||Celia Durkin (HU) def. #95 Vicky Jones (TN)||4-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|4.||Ashley Robards (TN) def. #75 Elsa O'Riain (HU)||7-6 (8-6), 6-1|
|5.||Ghizela Schutte (TN) vs. Melissa Anderson (HU)||5-7, 7-5, 3-0, unfinished|
|6.||Eva Wang (HU) def. Bryce Marable (TN)||6-3, 6-0|
|1.||#33 Melissa Anderson/Celia Durkin (HU) def. Sabita Maharaj/Ashley Robards (TN)||8-4|
|2.||Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (TN) vs. Courtney Bergman/Elsa O'Riain (HU)||6-6, unfinished|
|3.||Susanna Lingman/Eva Wang (HU) def. Bryce Marable/Daron Moore (TN)||8-4|
|Harvard 19-6; National ranking #19|
|Tennessee 15-9; National ranking #17|
|Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,2,4,3)|