April 20, 2006
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A rash of injuries has caused a lack of depth all season for the Auburn Women's tennis team, and it finally caught up the lady netters on Thursday as the No. 31 and fifth-seeded Tennessee Lady Vols were able to claim walk over wins in the No. 6 singles match and the No. 3 doubles match to propel the Lady Vols past the 12th-seeded Tigers, 4-0, in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Championships.
Being played at the Ring Tennis Complex and hosted by Florida, the Tigers' loss to Tennessee marked the end of the season, as the Tigers finished with an overall record of 6-18 and a conference mark of 0-11. Tennessee (11-11, 6-5 SEC) advances to the second round to face four-seed Georgia at 9 a.m. Friday.
"We competed hard out there," head coach Tim Gray said. "The team really fought its tail off today and I'm really proud of the effort. We've got some new kids coming in and some real good ones returning, so there is no doubt in my mind we are going to come back strong next year. We're certainly looking forward to next year."
The Lady Vols were able to claim walk over victories in the No. 3 doubles match and the No. 6 singles match over the Tigers' Erin Gray, who was out with an illness. The two walk over victories helped the Lady Vols to the doubles point and gave them the first point in singles play.
In doubles play, Ashley Cowart and Alex Haney lost to the 51st-ranked duo of Melissa Schaub and Ghizela Schutte, which secured the doubles point for Tennessee after a walk over win in the No. 3 match. The No. 2 match between the Tigers' Whitney Chappell and Irina Pljusznyin went unfinshed. The No. 3 match paired the Lady Vols' Blakeley Griffith and Victoria Jones against Dzeljan Memisi and Erin Gray.
In singles play, the Lady Vols added their walk over win in the No. 6 match to their doubles point to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. In the No. 3 match Auburn's Irina Pljusznyin fell, 6-1, 6-2 to Blakeley Griffith. Tennessee clinched the match as Ghizela Schutte topped the Tigers' Ashley Cowart, 6-1, 6-3 in the No. 4 match.
At the No. 6 position, Hayley Prendergast took a walk over victory over Erin Gray. The Nos. 1, 2 and 5 matches were not completed after Tennessee clinched the match with its fourth point. In the No. 1 match, Alex Haney was knotted a set a piece with the Lady Vols' Melissa Schaub. I the No. 2 match, Whitney Chappell was facing Tennessee's Victoria Jones. In the No. 5 match, Dzeljan Memisi was facing the Lady Vols' Samantha Orlin.
Women's Collegiate Tennis
Tennessee 4, Auburn 0
April 20, 2006
1. Alex Haney (AU) vs. Melissa Schaub (UT) 6-1, 4-6, DNF
2. Whitney Chappell (AU) vs. Victoria Jones (UT) 1-6, 2-1, DNF
3. Blakeley Griffith (UT) def. Irina Pljusznyin (AU) 6-1, 6-2
4. Ghizela Schutte (UT) def. Ashley Cowart (AU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Dzeljan Memisi (AU) vs. Samantha Orlin (UT) 0-6, 5-6, DNF
6. Hayley Prendergast (UT) def. Erin Gray (AU) Won by Walk Over
Order of finish: (6, 3, 4)
1. No. 51 Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (UT) def. Ashley Cowart/Alex Haney (AU) 8-2
2. Samantha Orlin/Hayley Prendergast (UT) vs. Whitney Chappell/Irina Pljusznyin (AU) 4-3, Unfinished
3. Blakeley Giffith/Victoria Jones (UT) def. Dzeljan Memisi/Erin Gray (AU), Won by Walk Over
Order of finish: (3, 1,)