Patrick now 16-0 in home openers

Lady Vol tennis co-coach Mike Patrick isn't unbeatable ... except in home openers.

Patrick ran his all-time record in openers to 16-0 Sunday as No. 11 Tennessee edged No. 37 Michigan 4-3 at Goodfriend Tennis Center.

Tennessee (2-0) claimed all three doubles matches, the first of which came at No. 2, where junior Tammy Encina and sophomore Breanna Kray punished junior Kimberly Plaushines and senior Jennifer Duprez, 8-2. The deciding victory came from the No. 22-ranked duo of senior Vilmarie Castellvi and freshman Melissa Schaub. The pair defeated sophomores Michelle DaCosta and Leanne Rutherford by an 8-5 count at one doubles. Just seconds after their win, senior Crystal Cleveland and sophomore Majen Immink completed a miraculous come-from-behind victory, defeating senior Joanne Musgrove and junior Christine Nolan, 8-6. Cleveland and Immink trailed 6-2 at one point before running off six straight games.

Encina wasted no time giving the Lady Vols a 2-0 advantage in the singles as she posted a 6-1, 6-0, victory over Nolan at the No. 2 slot. The win moved Encina's record to 10-5 on the year.

Fourth-ranked Castellvi moved Tennessee within one point of clinching the match at the No. 1 position when she defeated No. 99 DaCosta in straight sets. The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, native claimed the first set in a hard-fought battle, 6-4, and then dominated the final frame, 6-0. Castellvi is now 17-3 this season and 6-0 this spring. She has yet to drop a set during the spring campaign.

Schaub sealed the deal for the Big Orange when she disposed of junior Kavitha Tipirneni in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, at three singles. The Lexington, Ohio, native's victory moved her record above .500 (8-7) for the first time this year.

The final three matches that were played on the afternoon went to the Wolverines (now 2-1). Their first win came courtesy of Rutherford at the No. 4 spot, where she won a three-set decision over Kray, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. At No. 5 singles Plaushines claimed her contest with Cleveland after the Delray Beach, Fla., native withdrew from the match with an injury. Michigan's final point was earned by Musgrove at six by defeating sophomore Claudia Farace, 6-4, 6-1.

''I was proud of the way our team played today,'' said Tennessee Co-Head Coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick. ''We stayed focused and adapted to our lineup very well.''


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