Lady Vol weekend: Tennis, Track and Swimming

The Lady Vol side of the athletics department had a very busy weekend. Findout how the track team, the swim team and one Lady Vol tennis player faired over the two-day break.

Castellvi wins two titles

No. 4-ranked Vilmarie Castellvi of the Lady Vol tennis team won both the singles and doubles crowns over the weekend at the Collegiate Tennis Kickoff in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, native is now 4-0 in singles this spring and 15-3 for the 2002-03 campaign. Her doubles mark stands at 3-0 this year and 7-1 overall.

Castellvi upended No. 17 Amber Liu of Stanford for the singles championship in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, despite being bothered by an open flesh wound on the palm of her right hand. She then teamed with freshman Melissa Schaub to defeat Jennifer Magley and Zerene Reyes in the doubles final, 8-5. Castellvi and Schaub, ranked No. 22 in the country, are now 7-1 together.

''Vilmarie overcame some obstacles this weekend,'' said UT Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick. ''Her hand was hurting a lot, and she showed a lot of courage by the way she played. This is a great way to head into our first match next weekend.''

The Lady Vols' No. 1 singles player actually trailed Liu early in the first set, down a break at 1-3, but found a way to come back and take out the rookie for the second time this season. Castellvi and Liu have now butted heads three times, with Castellvi claiming the last two.

''Vilmarie had to change her game when she got down,'' said Patrick. ''She started hitting a lot of defensive shots and that disrupted (Liu's) rhythm.''

In conolation play, Schaub defeated Janna Kao of Stanford in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, but Crystal Cleveland lost to UNLV's Tracie Chong, 6-1, 6-4.

Lady swimmers lose to Northwestern

Sophomore Lauryn McCalley won the three-meter springboard with a lifetime-best tally of 326.25 points but the No. 24-ranked Lady Vol swimming and diving team still came out on the losing end against Northwestern Saturday in Evanston, Ill. The final score was 204.5 to 147.5.

McCalley's total ranks her as the third-best three-meter performer in school history and marks the fifth-highest total ever recorded by a Lady Vol. The Moultrie, Ga., native also placed second on the one-meter springboard with a season-best score of 288.0.

UT senior Jaime Sanger (Plymouth, Minn.), meanwhile, claimed victory on the one-meter with a season-best total of her own, 298.35. Sanger also placed third on the three-meter with a score of 277.35.

Junior Kylee Wells (Russiaville, Ind.) grabbed second place on the three-meter (287.85) and third on the one-meter (266.03), enabling UT to finish 1-2-3 in both diving events.

"I feel very pleased with our performance today," UT Diving Coach Dave Parrington said. "Our top three divers performed very consistently. Lauryn has really been working on the bigger, harder dives, which is beginning to pay off."

In the pool, Noelle Bassi continued the impressive start to her Lady Vol career. The freshman from Franklin Lakes, N.J., clocked an event-winning time of 2:00.95 to remain undefeated in the 200y fly as a collegian. Bassi also placed second in the 400y IM (4:26.74), third in the 200y IM (2:08.54) and third in the 100y fly (58.25).

Elwin wins pole vault title

Lady Vol pole vaulter Christie Elwin claimed victory at the Virginia Tech Kroger Invitational Jan. 17, notching her second win in as many meets this season.

Elwin officially cleared 12-1.50/3.70m to garner top honors. It marked her second victory at Rector and her fourth top-three result in five career trips to the venue. It also kept her season perfect after last weekend's triumph at the Tennessee All-Comers Meet. Freshmen Jessica Andrews and Jessica Reust, both of Knoxville, Tenn., tied for ninth and 15th, respectively, with clearances of 10-8/3.25m and 10-2/3.10m.

A native of Adelaide, Australia, Elwin had three attempts at 13-1.50/4.00m, which is above the NCAA provisional standard and would have been a career best, but she was unable to pull off that feat.

In the 60m dash trials, sophomore Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Canada) continued to show significant progress, qualifying for Saturday°¶s championship final with a 7.53 reading in the prelims. Her mark was the fourth fastest time of the evening. Fellow sophomore Dee Dee Trotter (Decatur, Ga.) was also sharp in her first-ever attempt at 60 meters, crossing the line in 7.64 to record the ninth-best clocking. She just missed joining Olupona and will instead compete in the consolation final. Junior Kelly Flowers (Westerville, Ohio) checked in at 8.28 and did not advance.

The UT foursome of freshman Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas), junior Christina Billings (Madison, Wis.), sophomore Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.) and sophomore Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) placed fifth in the distance medley relay, covering the distance in 11:57.97.


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