No. 9 Women's Tennis outscores No. 19 Tennessee, 5-2
AUSTIN, Texas -- The ninth-ranked University of Texas women's tennis team, down early after losing the doubles point, won five-of-six singles matches en route to a 5-2 victory over No. 19 Tennessee at Penick-Allison Tennis Center on Wednesday evening. The Longhorns improve to 10-4 on the season, while the Lady Vols fall to 10-4.
"I am very pleased with singles and the way the team rebounded from another disappointing doubles performance," Texas head coach Jeff Moore said. "The lessons to learn from this match are to remain focused when you have a lead and to close out matches as quickly as possible. Overall, I think the team is on an upward path."
The match opened with doubles where each squad recorded an 8-3 win. At No. 2, sophomore Petra Dizdar (Split, Croatia) and junior Mia Marovic (Split, Croatia) defeated Ghizela Schutte and Melissa Schaub, to even their dual record to 5-5, while junior Kelly Baritot (Allison Park, Pa.) and sophomore Ristine Olson (Missoula, Mont.) fell to Ashley Robards and Daron Moore at the No. 3 spot.
At No. 1 doubles, juniors Katie Ruckert (Vienna, Va.) and Kendra Strohm (Tucson, Ariz.) traded games with Sabita Maharaj and Bryce Marable until the score was tied 6-6. The Lady Vols then took control of the match, winning the last two games and clinching the doubles point for Tennessee. Ruckert and Strohm, ranked 18th nationally, are now 8-5 on the season.
In singles, freshman Courtney Zauft (San Antonio, Texas) was first off the court with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Robards at the fifth spot. At the bottom of the singles lineup, Olson dropped a 6-3, 6-2 decision to Schutte, giving Tennessee a 2-1 lead.
Texas shut out the Lady Vols in the final four matches beginning with Dizdar at the top of the lineup. The sophomore, ranked 95th in the nation, defeated No. 42 Maharaj in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. Marovic followed with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Marable at the third spot, improving her dual record to 3-1 when playing at this position.
The match was clinched at No. 4 singles where Ruckert split the first two sets with Vicky Jones before dominating in the third to take the win, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1, and record Texas' second straight victory over a top-20 opponent.
Strohm closed out the match for Texas with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Blakeley Griffith at No. 2 singles. The junior improves to 7-6 in dual matches.
The Texas women's tennis team returns to action on Saturday, March 26 for a conference doubleheader against Oklahoma and Colorado. First serve is set for 10 a.m. at Penick-Allison Tennis Center.
#9 Texas 5, #19 Tennessee 2
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*)