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Women's Tennis2006 Southeastern Conference
Women's Tennis Tournament

Host of the 2006 SEC Women's
Tennis Tournament
April 20-23, 2006
Ring Tennis Complex * Gainesville, Fla.
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No. 1 Florida 4, No. 8 South Carolina 0

 

Recap

The University of Florida women’s tennis team made quick work of South Carolina in the quarterfinal round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, sweeping the Gamecocks 4-0 Friday morning at the Ring Tennis Complex.

 

With on-court temperatures at 97 degrees, Nina Suvak capitalized on her fourth match point to earn a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Miranda Gutierrez at the No. 4 position to clinch the victory in just under two and a half hours for the Gators (19-1), who have advanced to the SEC semifinals each of the 19 years the event has been played.

 

Florida, the No. 1 seed and four-time defending SEC Tournament champions, got off to an impressive start with dominating play on the doubles courts against the eighth-seeded Gamecocks (12-10). Keri Robison and Nina Suvak needed just 35 minutes to post an 8-2 win over Megan McGavock and Justine Walsh on court No. 3 before Lolita Frangulyan and Diana Srebrovic polished off Christyn Lucas and Miranda Gutierrez 8-1 at No. 2 to give the Gators the doubles point for the 16th time this season. The No. 1 team of Whitney Benik and Alexis Gordon held a 7-0 lead in their match when play was abandoned.

 

Benik gave the Gators a 2-0 lead with her 6-0, 6-1 victory on court No. 3 over Christyn Lucas. The Gator sophomore held serve through out the match with Lucas able to prevent the double-bagel by holding her serve in the second game of the second set. Benik was able to hold in the third game of the second set, which lasted 12 minutes, and carried that momentum the rest of the way en route to winning her 50th career singles match. During the April 15th regular season, Benik and Lucas were entering a third set when play was abandoned after the Gators clinched the dual match.

 

Srebrovic placed Florida one win from the team victory after her 6-1, 6-3 decision over Natasa Vuckovic at the No. 2 position. The Gator sophomore earned the first break of the match in the fourth game, before earning another in the sixth and serving out for the opening frame. Vuckovic held to begin the second, before Srebrovic held and earned another break, which she rode into the seventh game where she broke again. Vuckovic tried to rally, breaking Srebrovic next game, but Srebrovic ended any thoughts of a comeback and broke the Gamecock rookie to clinch the victory and improve to 33-8 this season.

 

Florida won the first sets on the remaining three singles matches that were abandoned immediately following Suvak’s clinching victory. Alex Liles led her No. 5 match 6-2, 5-3 and Keri Robison held a 7-5, 5-2 lead, while Alexis Gordon won the first set 6-4 and trailed 2-0 in the second at the end of the match.

 

Agate

Women’s SEC Tournament

Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Fla.

 

Friday, April 21, 2006

 

Quarterfinals

 

Final Score: No. 1 Florida 4, No. 8 South Carolina 0


Doubles
No. 1 #41 Benik/Gordon, UF, vs. Schofield/Vuckovic, SC, 7-0, suspended

No. 2 Frangulyan/Srebrovic, UF, def. Lucas/Gutierrez, SC, 8-1 (0:49)*

No. 3 Robison/Suvak, UF, def. McGavock/Walsh, SC, 8-2 (0:35)


Singles
No. 1 #14 Alexis Gordon, UF, vs. #51 Gira Schofield, SC, 6-4, 0-2, suspended

No. 2 #5 Diana Srebrovic, UF, def. Natasa Vuckovic, SC, 6-1, 6-3 (1:15)

No. 3 #124 Whitney Benik, UF, def. Christyn Lucas, SC, 6-0, 6-1 (1:02)

No. 4 Nina Suvak, UF, def. Miranda Gutierrez, SC, 6-3, 6-1 (1:23)*

No. 5 Alex Lies, UF, vs. Megan McGavock, SC, 6-2, 5-3, suspended

No. 6 Keri Robison, UF, vs. Justine Walsh, SC, 7-5, 5-2, suspended

 
Order of finish: Doubles-1, 2; Singles-3, 2, 4

 

Florida

Head Coach Roland Thornqvist

“In doubles, I thought we played a lot better than we have in the last couple of weeks, particularly at No. 1. If we don’t give away points there, I think we’re good enough to play with anybody. No. 2 and No. 3 have been playing aggressive doubles for a while, so they were par for the course. Doubles certainly set the tone today. South Carolina’s a really good team and we just didn’t let them play and it started with doubles.”

 

“We knew mentally how good South Carolina was. The fact that they won three first sets on us in singles last week gave us a little bit more of a mental edge – there’s no question about it. They proved that they can play and our players stepped up.”

 

“If we’ve played a team and beaten them soundly the first time around, there’s not a whole lot you want to do other than emphasize what you did the first time. If you’ve lost to a team, there’s certainly something we should have done and didn’t. For us, tomorrow is just being ready to battle. We beat a good South Carolina team in under two and a half hours. We can’t hope to do that tomorrow. We’ve got to be mentally ready to play tomorrow if that’s the case.”

 

Diana Srebrovic, Sophomore

“Our main focus was just to go out there and play our game. No matter who we played, we are focusing on just playing our best tennis.”

 

Whitney Benik, Sophomore

“We’ve made a lot of improvement in doubles. Alexis and I need to focus on our return game. If we focus on returning, that improves our whole game.”

 

South Carolina

Head Coach Arlo Elkins

“It wasn’t just today that I was proud of our effort. We’ve had two and three girls out of the lineup all year I think it’s really tough in this heat to play back-to-back matches. Teams with a bye in the first round certainly have an advantage, but that’s no excuse – Florida played very well. When things start rolling against you and you’re tired, it’s really hard to fight back. You have to give Florida a lot of credit – they gave us a lesson.”

 

Gira Schofield, Freshman

“I’m proud of the way our team played today. Florida’s a really good team. Our team came back yesterday after losing the doubles point and we played well to get to today. I actually enjoyed playing in the heat. I’m from south Florida and I grew up playing in this kind of weather, so I absolutely loved it.”

 

 

No. 5 Tennessee 4, No. 4 Georgia 3

 

Recap

Tennessee’s Melissa Schaub rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the tiebreak of the second set against Georgia’s Natalie Frazier to give the Lady Vols a 4-3 match victory and move into the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament for the 10th time in school history. With the win, Tennessee moves on to face No. 1-seed Florida in the semifinal round.

 

Tennessee rebounded both from being down 3-0 in the match as well as losing the first singles point after Hayley Prendergast defaulted at the No. 6 position due to an injury.

 

Georgia won the first team point as 49th-ranked duo of Darya Ivanov and Evgenia Subbotina clinched with an 8-6 win at the No. 2 doubles position. After the default point at No. 6 singles and a win at the No. 5 singles spot, the Bulldogs quickly grabbed a 3-0 lead. Tennessee’s Victoria Jones then answered with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Georgia’s Caolina Basu at the No. 2 position, and Ghizela Schutte added a 6-4, 6-0 win over the Bulldogs’ Kelley Hyndman.

 

Tennessee needed three sets at the No. 3 position, as Blakeley Griffith defeated Subbotina 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 to tie the match. Schaub and Frazier battled back and forth at the No. 1 position, with Schaub talking the first set 7-5, and Frazier pushing back in the second set to move to a 6-6 tie. Frazier quickly jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the tiebreak, but Schaub answered with five straight points to clinch the win for Tennessee.

 

Agate

Women’s SEC Tournament

Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Fla.

 

Friday, April 21, 2006

 

Quarterfinals

 

Final Score: No. 5 Tennessee 4, No. 4 Georgia 3


Doubles
No. 1 #51 Schaub/Schutte, UT, def. Basu/Frazier, UG, 8-4 (1:04)

No. 2 #49 Ivanov/Subbotina, UG, def. Griffith/Jones, UT, 8-6 (1:18)*

No. 3 Hyndman/Lett, UG, def. Orlin/Prendergast, UT, 8-0 (0:26)


Singles
No. 1 Melissa Schaub, UT, def. #22 Natalie Frazier, UG, 7-5, 7-6 (4) (2:30)*

No. 2 Victoria Jones, UT, def. Carolina Basu, UG, 6-1, 6-1 (1:35)

No. 3 Blakeley Griffith, UT, def. Evgenia Subbotina, UG, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 (2:27)

No. 4 Ghizela Schutte, UT, def. Kelley Hyndman, UG, 6-4, 6-0 (1:53)

No. 5 Darya Ivanov, UG, def. Samantha Orlin, UT, 7-5, 6-2 (1:28)

No. 6 Sara Lett, UG, def. Hayley Prendergast, UT, default

 
Order of finish: Doubles-3, 1, 2; Singles-6, 5, 2, 4, 3, 1

 

Georgia

Head Coach Jeff Wallace

“Natalie Frazier has played so well this year, she has been 9-1 playing in our No. 1 singles spot, and she has done a great job. I would have thought she would be able to get through a match like this, but Melissa Schaub just outplayed her. Melissa played a great match for Tennessee, she really did a great job and you can’t take anything away from her. It wasn’t really Natalie in this situation, it was that Schaub outplayed her and that is going to happen sometimes.”

 

“As a whole I thought we started a little slow in the doubles today, but then we came back and got the doubles point. I also thought Darya Ivanov played awesome in the No. 5 singles spot to give us the early 3-0 lead.”

 

“In our last five matches, everyone has played really well and this was the first one in a while where we did not all play great tennis. At the same time, I have to say Tennessee really stepped it up and had a great day when it counted the most.”

 

Tennessee

Head Coach Mike Patrick

 “We put up a good fight. We have not always had that in us this year, but we put it together today and it was very special.”

 

“We seemed to handle the heat okay today. We work hard in our fitness and conditioning. Although it is a little warmer than what we are used to, it didn’t really seem to phase us. How we will recover for tomorrow is another story, but we will enjoy this one today.”  

 

Florida has a really good team, and we will have to be prepared. We came here last time and played great, but we didn’t win any matches. Tomorrow we will have to have some specials things happen.”

 

Blakeley Griffith, Junior

“This win was a great team effort. Everybody on the team competed so hard. I looked around at the five courts we were playing on, and everybody was giving it their all. It was a really great feeling.”

 

“We play Florida next and they are a great team; we will have to compete really well to beat them. Florida is No. 1 in the SEC for a reason but if we play and fight through like we did today, we’ll have a shot.”

 

No. 2 Vanderbilt 4, No. 10 LSU 0

 

Recap

No. 2 seed Vanderbilt began play at the Southeastern Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament by defeating No. 10 LSU 4-0 in the quarterfinal round on Friday at the Ring Tennis Complex.

 

The Commodores (21-3) began well by taking the doubles point as No. 1 team of Taka Bertrand and Amanda Fish knocked off LSU’s Mykala Hedberg and Tiffany Tucker 8-2. Vanderbilt’s No. 2 team of Amanda Taylor and Caroline Ferrell then wrapped up doubles play by beating Marina Chiarelli and Anastasiya Dubova 8-5.

 

Vanderbilt claimed their first point in singles action when LSU’s Camila Caliari retired at the No. 6 spot with Vanderbilt’s Maggie Yahner leading 5-2. The Commodores went up 3-0 after picking up a win at No. 3 when Taylor beat Dubova 6-0, 6-0. The contest’s end was extended by more than half an hour by two delays (first rain, then lightning) before play resumed at the Ring Tennis Pavilion (covered court). Fish then completed the final game at No. 1 to defeat Hedberg 6-2, 6-1 as Vanderbilt advanced to the semifinals for the seventh time in school history and the third straight year.

 

Agate

Women’s SEC Tournament

Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Fla.

 

Friday, April 21, 2006

 

Quarterfinals

 

Final Score: No. 2 Vanderbilt 4, No. 10 LSU 0

 

Doubles
No. 1 Bertrand/Fish, Vandy, def. Hedberg/Tucker, LSU, 8-2 (0:50)

No. 2 Taylor/Ferrell, Vandy, def. Chiarelli/Dubova, LSU, 8-5 (1:02)

No. 3 Ulery/Sveke, Vandy, vs. Espinal/Seaman, LSU, 6-5, suspended


Singles
No. 1 #16 Amanda Fish, Vandy, def. Mykala Hedberg, LSU, 6-2, 6-1 (1:45)*

No. 2 #35 Taka Bertrand, Vandy, vs. Marina Chiarellis, LSU, 7-5 suspended

No. 3 #121 Amanda Taylor, Vandy, def. Anastasiya Dubova, LSU, 6-0, 6-0 (1:05)

No. 4 Courtney Ulery, Vandy, vs. Lauren Seaman, LSU, 3-6, 1-2, suspended

No. 5 Caroline Ferrell, Vandy, vs. Tiffany Tucker, LSU, 6-0, 4-3 suspended

No. 6 Maggie Yahner, Vandy, def. Camila Caliari, LSU, 5-2, Caliari retired

 
Order of finish: Doubles-1, 2; Singles-6, 3, 1

 

Vanderbilt

Head Coach Geoff Macdonald

“I thought we played really well today.  It was a difficult match to keep your focus in, just with the heat and than rain and lightning, and having to finish indoors – that gave us a lot to adjust to. I’m very glad our player, Amanda Fish, was able to keep her focus and win her match.”

 

“I thought LSU showed a lot of class being willing to come play inside. They could have easily said ‘No, we want to wait until the weather blows over,’ and than we could have been here until midnight. So, I commend them on that, and feel they were very classy making that decision.”

 

“I felt really good about our performance today, overall. We got a bye so this was our first match, and a lot of it is being able to handle the heat. I’m happy we weren’t out on the courts for four hours. It was more like two and a half, and that’s a good thing at this time of year.”

 

“Right now we’re just glad we made the step to the semifinals, and we’re focusing on that match. The championship match is its own deal. We know anything can happen in this tournament.”

 

Amanda Taylor, Sophomore

 “We’ve played LSU before and we knew they were a really talented team, so we were came in ready to play and well-prepared to face them. We really just tried to relax and go after it today, and we were able to do that.”

 

“At this point I’m really excited for the team. I think, whether we play Kentucky or Alabama, we’ll try to come in with the same mentality and focus that we had today. We’ll just be looking to take one more step and then handle the rest from there.”

 

LSU

Head Coach Tony Minnis

“I thought the doubles teams played fairly well. I thought singles wise, we got in a hole. Vanderbilt’s a great team. I thought our effort was good. We just played a better team today.”

“I’m sure playing yesterday took a little bit out of us. But that’s the position we put ourselves in. We had to play a tough first-round match and then we had to play a great team like Vanderbilt. These girls have played back-to-back days their whole career. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”

 

Tiffany Tucker, Sophomore

“We had a goal in our mind to beat Vanderbilt and it just didn’t happen today. I think some of our girls got off the court way too quick. The rain didn’t help of course, but I felt that if we could just stay out on the court and grind with them we would have a shot. There’s not too much you can do about that.”

 

“It was really hot, but we came here to beat Vanderbilt. Yesterday was a really tough match, but we were ready to play today.”

 

No. 3 Kentucky 4, No. 6 Alabama 1

 

Recap

The University of Kentucky women’s tennis team overcame a three-hour rain delay and a feisty Alabama team to defeat the Crimson Tide, 4-1, in the quarterfinal round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Friday evening at the Ring Tennis Complex.

 

The match started over 30 minutes late due to the length of the Georgia-Tennessee contest that lasted four hours. Once the teams took the court, the Wildcats (16-8) secured the doubles point in one hour and seven minutes thanks to UK’s No. 1 team of Kim Coventry and Carolina Escamilla, which upset 14th-ranked Ashley Bentley and Robin Stephenson 8-6. Danielle Petrisko and Carolina Winebrenner earned the first doubles win of the match, downing Melissa Day and Shelley Godwin 8-4 at the No. 3 spot.

 

The teams were no further than five games into the first set on all six singles courts when a lightning warning halted play, which preceded a downpour. The courts were dried and the players resumed action three hours and one minute later, when Kentucky jumped out quickly and seized control on courts 3, 4, 5 and 6. But Alabama (11-11) settled down in the second sets and took early breaks at the No. 3 and 5 positions.

 

Meanwhile, Alabama’s Robin Stephenson remained focused and impressive, defeating Kim Coventry 6-1, 6-0 to even the team score at 1-all. UK’s Petrisko followed with a 6-4, 6-0 decision over Natalie McElveen and Jessica Giuggioli capitalized on her fourth match point to polish off Sofia Ayala 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 6 position, as the Wildcats regained the momentum and a 3-1 lead.

 

Attention then turned to court No. 3, where UK’s Joelle Schwenk and UA’s Mari Muller were beginning a second set tiebreaker after Schwenk took the first set. Schwenk jumped out to a quick 4-0 in the tiebreak and staved off a few mini-breaks to clinch the dual match with a 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory.

 

Kentucky advances to the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year and the sixth time in program history, avenging its 4-3 regular-season loss to Alabama. The third-seeded Wildcats play No. 2 seed Vanderbilt in the semifinals on Saturday at 2 p.m.

 

Agate

Women’s SEC Tournament

Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Fla.

 

Friday, April 21, 2006

 

Quarterfinals

 

Final Score: No. 3 Kentucky 4, No. 6 Alabama 1

 

Doubles
No. 1 #35 Coventry/Escamilla, UK, def. #14 Bentley/Stephenson, UA, 8-6 (1:07)*

No. 2 #45 Schwenk/Maurer, UK, vs. Brenes/Muller, UA, 6-5 suspended

No. 3 Petrisko/Winebrenner, UK, def. Day/Godwin, UA, 8-4 (0:57)


Singles
No. 1 #19 Robin Stephenson, UA, def. #46 Kim Coventry, UK, 6-1, 6-0 (1:32)

No. 2 Lara Maurer, UK, vs. #102 Ashley Bentley, UA, 6-7 (4), 2-3, suspended

No. 3 Joelle Schwenk, UK, def. Mari Muller, UA, 6-1, 7-6 (4) (1:51)*

No. 4 Danielle Petrisko, UK, def. Natalie McElveen, UA, 6-4, 6-0 (1:36)

No. 5 Carolina Escamilla, UK, vs. Shelley Godwin, UA, 6-2, 2-6, 2-2, suspended

No. 6 Jessica Giuggioli, UK, def. Sofia Ayala, UA, 6-2, 6-2 (1:44)

 
Order of finish: Doubles-3, 1; Singles-1, 4, 6, 3

 

Kentucky

Head Coach Carlos Drada

Alabama is always a tough opponent, they beat us at home and they have a lot of experience. We knew we had to come here and take care of business and we did. Anytime you play a team in the SEC Tournament you have to be prepared for a battle and our kids stayed focused and did very well under pressure.”

 

Joelle Schwenk, Junior

 “I played the same opponent (Mari Muller) during the dual match and knew she was a fighter. After winning the first set 6-1, I thought ‘Ok, now the match is going to start.’ She is a really good fighter and in great shape, so it didn’t really surprise me much.  I just stayed calm and hit to the right targets, made the right choices and did not make too many unforced errors. I also took my chances when I needed to take them.”

 

Alabama

Head Coach Jenny Mainz

“I couldn’t be more proud of Alabama. We gave it all we had today. We came up short and I commend Kentucky. They got the doubles point and it was a huge momentum factor. The doubles point proves to be pretty important in terms of confidence, momentum and taking control of the match.”

 

“I thought we did a great job of being resilient. We were down on three or four courts and found a way back into the match. We fought back and sunk our teeth in, but we just couldn’t get back. Mari Muller was the last one standing in terms of it being on the line and you can always count on her to compete. She poured her heart and soul into it as did Ashley Bentley. We have nothing to hang our heads about. We competed as hard as we could and we just came up short.”

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