The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's tennis team upset Samford in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Tournament today. The fifth-seeded Lady Mocs avenged last week's loss to the fourth-seeded Bulldogs.
The doubles matches started just last like week with UTC losing at No. 3 and winning at No. 1. Seniors Shaina Singh (Vancouver, B.C.) and Emily Hangstefer (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) proved to be the difference by flipping their result from a week ago. After losing (8-3) to Madelie Janse Van Rensburgand and Rebecca Kirven last weekend, they responded with a 9-7 win today. That put the Lady Mocs up 1-0 and would prove to be the final margin.
"It was a very exciting match today," stated head coach Jeff Clark. "We fought hard and kept our composure through some high-pressure situations. I was very proud of the way we responded after losing to this same team a week ago."
Junior Jenna Nurik (Roswell, Ga.) also avenged a loss from last week. She defeated Kristen Lewis (6-4, 6-3) to improve to 24-11 on the year. She was the first off the court and gave the Lady Mocs a 2-0.
Samford battled back to win the next three matches and take a 3-2 advantage. Sophomore Alexa Flynn (Memphis, Tenn.) was in the lineup at No. 3 after missing the previous two weeks with an injury. She fought hard against Stephanie N'tcha before falling in three sets (6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-2).
After Flynn's loss, Hangstefer and freshman Kaylene Chadwell (Franklin, Tenn.) were left on the court, locked in three-set battles of their own. Hangstefer was down a set and trailing 5-4 in the second against Lindsey Mallory. She battled back to win the second frame and eventually tied the team score at 3-3 with her three-set win (3-6, 7-5, 6-4).
"Emily Hangstefer had an excellent day in both singles and doubles," stated Clark. "She competed hard in two very tough matches and come out with big wins."
Chadwell, the 2012 SoCon Freshman of the Year, was also down big before battling back. She trailed 5-3 in the third set against Janse Van Rensburg and had to fight off a match point to stay alive. She went on to win the next four games to help the Lady Mocs advance (2-6, 6-3, 7-5). It was her ninth win in a row as she improves to 23-10 on the year.
"Kaylene certainly didn't play like a freshman today," added Clark. "For her to fight off a match point like that and then rally for the win was tremendous."
UTC advances to tomorrow's semifinals and will take on No. 1 seed UNCG. Match time is set for 1:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) at the College of Charleston Tennis Center. A link for live scoring is available on the men's tennis schedule page on GoMocs.com.
Chattanooga 4, Samford 3
1. Alexa Flynn/Kaylene Chadwell (UTC) def. Kristin Lewis/Lindsey Mallory (SAM) - 8-4
2. Shaina Singh/Emily Hangstefer (UTC) def. M.Janse Van Rensburg/Rebecca Kirven (SAM) - 9-7
3. Stephanie N'tcha/Adri Lochner (SAM) def. Jenna Nurik/Claire Mulyadi (UTC) - 8-3
1. Jenna Nurik (UTC) def. Kristin Lewis (SAM) - 6-4, 6-3
2. Kaylene Chadwell (UTC) def. M.Janse Van Rensburg (SAM) - 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
3. Stephanie N'tcha (SAM) def. Alexa Flynn (UTC) - 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-2
4. Rebecca Kirven (SAM) def. Shaina Singh (UTC) - 7-5, 6-1
5. Emily Hangstefer (UTC) def. Lindsey Mallory (SAM) - 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
6. Jessica Diamond (SAM) def. Claire Mulyadi (UTC) - 7-5, 6-1