Weekend in Lady Vol sports

The Lady Vols had a big weekend in sports.

Rowing wins two 8+ races

The UT rowing team's Varsity 8+ shell claimed victory by a convincing margin against the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday, while the Lady Vols also posted a win in the 2nd Novice 8+ race.

UT's Varsity 8+ boat finished over 10 seconds ahead of the Louisville shell on the waters of Fort Loudoun Lake. The Lady Vol squad, comprised of Lizzie Brown (cox.), Kaitlin Bargreen, Nicole Bold, Lauren Wells, Chelsea Pemberton, Dana Forbes, Kacey Montgomery, Melissa DiCerbo and Jessica Shreder turned in a time of 6:19.8 over the 2000m course, compared to the Cardinals' 6:29.9. In that same race, Tennessee's second Varsity 8+ crew of Erin Artz (cox.), Kelly Kraiss, McKenzie Craig, Andrea Bagwell, Lindsay Jones, Mary Gruzalski, Kay Logan, Amy McIntosh and Mary Beth Lewis finished just over a second behind UL with a clocking of 6:31.1.

''I'm really proud of how the varsity is working through the first part of our season,'' UT Head Coach Lisa Glenn said. ''Everybody is doing a nice job of re-focusing on the elements of the race that are necessary to improve boat speed. Both crews learned from last week's race and executed better today. The Varsity 8+ and second Varsity 8+ each came into the race with a couple of concrete goals in mind, which they were able to accomplish.''

Louisville provided a challenge in the Novice 8+, clocking a time of 7:06.0 to outpace the Lady Vol N8+ shell powered to a time of 7:13.3 by Maggie Wheeler (cox.), Lindsey Groves, Beth Schwartz, Amy McCormick, Katie Peterson, Caitlyn Cleary, Channel Hambrick, Holly Holmes and Andrea Searby. Tennessee, however, bounced back in the second Novice 8+ with Devon Johnson (cox.), Groves, Schwartz, McCormick, Stephanie Rinehart, Holmes, Hambrick, Whitney Tehan and Jaclyn Adams leading the team to a time of 7:55.1, well ahead of the Cardinals' 8:15.7.

The Lady Vols also fell in the Varsity 4+ race, as Louisville recorded a time of 7:31.1 to outpace the UT shell of Jovanna Vick (cox.), Hilary Gilmore, Kelly Kravitz, Marissa Allen and Elizabeth Freeman (7:36.1) and the Orange and White boat of Jessica Dainty (Cox.), Ariana Fitzgerald, Diane Samu, Ashley Anders and Hillary Graber (7:53.0).

Lady golfers finish fifth

The Lady Vol golf team recorded a fifth-place showing in the rain-shortened Bryan National Collegiate at Greensboro, N.C. with a total score of 600 strokes.

The Duke Blue Devils captured the tournament title with a two-round 580. Individually, UT's Jessica Shepley (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) finished in a seventh-place tie with a 145 (70-75), which was just three shots shy of a quartet of golfers (Wake Forest's Nuria Clau, South Carolina's Kristy McPherson and Vanderbilt's May and Courtney Wood) that all finished with a piece of the tournament medal after carding 142s.

Shepley's top-15 finish extends her current streak to eight tournaments, which is just two shy of the record set by former Lady Vol Abby Pearson's program standard set in her initial 10 tournaments.

Junior Tai Perry (Unionville, Pa.) posted a two-round 147 (74-73) to tie for 11th-place, while freshman Violeta Retamoza (Aguascalientes, Mexico) carded a two-round 31st-place tying 152 (75-77). Junior Mary Jan Fernandez (Henderson, Nev.) posted a 156 (79-77) to tie for 52nd-place, while rookie Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) remained in a 77th-place tie with a 162 (83-79).

Lady netters rout Ole Miss

The seventh-ranked Lady Vol tennis team won its seventh SEC match in a row Sunday, drilling homestanding Ole Miss 6-1 to complete a road swing through Mississippi. Tennessee had whitewashed Mississippi State 7-0 Friday in Starkville.

Tennessee now stands 17-4 overall and 7-1 in conference play. Ole Miss, ranked 42nd, falls to 5-12 and 1-7.

The Lady Vols swept the doubles matches, dropping only four games along the way. The first victory came at the No. 2 slot, where the nation's No. 35 tandem of junior Tammy Encina and sophomore Majen Immink blanked juniors Audra Adams and Sabrina Peppl, 8-0, to improve to 13-1 in dual matches and 8-0 in the SEC.

The No. 52 duo of senior Crystal Cleveland and freshman Sabita Maharaj clinched the doubles point for UT at the No. 3 hole with an 8-2 decision over juniors Florencia Basile and Karem Harboe. Cleveland and Maharaj are 9-1 on the year and 7-0 versus SEC teams.

Senior Vilmarie Castellvi and rookie Melissa Schaub, the nation's No. 6 combo, wrapped up the doubles with an 8-2 triumph over the 44th-rated team of senior Mira Radu and freshman Virginia Tomatis at No. 1 doubles. Castellvi and Schaub are 15-4 at the top spot this year and 22-5 overall. The pair is also 9-3 against ranked foes. The 104th-ranked Cleveland was the first Lady Vol to register a victory in the singles, defeating Tomatis at the third position, 6-1, 6-4.

She moved her slate on the season to 27-8 and 18-3 in dual matches with the win. Cleveland has also won 17 of her last 18 matchups. The Lady Rebels responded with what would be their only victory on the day at two singles, where Harboe made short work of Encina, 6-0, 6-3. Encina dropped to 18-13 with the loss and 10-8 in dual match play.

Schaub joined Castellvi and Cleveland as the only Lady Vols to post 20 victories in singles this year when she dispatched of Basile in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, at the No. 4 position. Her record stands at 20-13 and 14-6 in duals. The Lexington, Ohio, native has also won five of her last six contests after a rough 0-4 start in the SEC.

Needing just one point to clinch the match, Tennessee sophomore Ashley Robards answered the call with her ninth straight win. She upended Adams, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 6 singles to up her record to 17-11 and 12-4 in dual matches. It was the fourth time Robards clinched a match for UT this season, tying her with Castellvi for the team lead.

Maharaj pushed her record to 13-11 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Peppl at the fifth slot to give the Lady Vols a 5-1 advantage. The win also propelled her dual match ledger back over the .500 mark at 7-6. Castellvi, ranked No. 3 in the country, finished up the Tennessee victory with a 6-0, 7-5 decision over 25th-rated Radu at the top spot.

Radu came into the match on the heels of a win over Georgia's Agata Cioroch, the nation's No. 1 player. Castellvi's record improved to 34-4 with the win and 19-1 at the top slot. It was also her 13th consecutive win.

Elwin meets NCAA standard

Lady Vol star Christie Elwin placed fourth and met the NCAA regional qualifying standard in the pole vault, and teammate Sharon Dickie just missed the regional mark in her ninth-place effort in the 1500 meters Saturday afternoon at the Adidas Raleigh Relays at North Carolina Stateís Paul Derr Track.

Elwin, a senior from Adelaide, Australia, cleared 12-0/3.66m to tie North Carolinaís Rebecca Post for fourth place. Joana Costa of Clemson and unattached competitor Jen Swanson each sailed over 12-4/3.76m, but Costa took the title by virtue of fewer misses. For Elwin, though, the mark earned her a spot in the NCAA Mideast Regional Meet on May 30-31 in Columbus, Ohio.

While not running in her specialty event, Dickie nearly earned a regional ticket of her own in the 1500 meters, placing ninth in 4:33.07. That time was just over two seconds off the 4:31.00 pace needed to join the regional field. It was also a career best for the senior from Grand Blanc, Mich., besting her previous PR of 4:38.39 set at the 2002 Stanford Invitational.

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