Story by Adam Stephens
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s tennis team won its conference opener against Georgia Southern in a 7-0 shutout at the Champions Club today. The Mocs are on a five match winning streak with an overall 9-2 record for the season.
Chattanooga controlled the courts all day with three doubles wins and six singles wins for a dominating conference premiere. It was the first win in a SoCon opener for the Mocs since 2002.
“With the first conference match, there are a few nerves in the beginning, but I think we played our way through it,” head coach Jeff Clark said. ”To win all three doubles and all six singles is tough to do in any match and especially in a toughly contested conference match, and we’re happy with the win.”
Sophomore Katie Polk found the strength to battle back at number six singles against Smith. After losing five consecutive games, Polk won seven in a row to win the set and only gave up one more in the second set for the (7-5, 6-1) victory.
Junior Kaylene Chadwell was able to make up for her loss on the road last year when she defeated Klein (6-1, 6-4).
“Kaylene Chadwell beat a girl that beat her last year so it was nice to see her get the rematch today,” Clark said. “She played really well.”
With this win over Georgia Southern, Chattanooga’s women’s tennis team now has five shutout wins at home for the season along with an undefeated home stand.
Chattanooga will continue in Conference play on Wednesday when they play Davidson on the road. They will be back home on Saturday March 22 to face Appalachian State.
Chattanooga 7, Georgia Southern 0
Mar 08, 2014 at Chattanooga, Tenn. (Champions Club)
1. Kaylene Chadwell/Alexa Flynn (UTC) def. Paola Garrido/Giulia Riepe (GSU) 8-2
2. Kayla Jones/Katie Polk (UTC) def. Mary Phillips Smith/Caitlin Kitchen (GSU) 8-2
3. Kelsey Coots/Claire Mulyadi (UTC) def. Jordana Klein/Stephanie Woods (GSU) 8-6
1. Kayla Jones (UTC) def. Paola Garrido (GSU) 6-4, 6-1
2. Kaylene Chadwell (UTC) def. Jordana Klein (GSU) 6-1, 6-4
3. Alexa Flynn (UTC) def. Daria Vasekina (GSU) 6-0, 6-0
4. Kelsey Coots (UTC) def. Stephanie Woods (GSU) 6-0, 6-3
5. Claire Mulyadi (UTC) def. Giulia Riepe (GSU) 6-0, 6-2
6. Katie Polk (UTC) def. Mary Phillips Smith (GSU) 7-5, 6-1
“Momentum was the key today,” Clark said. “We jumped on them pretty quickly at one and two doubles. Number three doubles were down but they clawed back and ended up getting a nice win. In singles, any time you have to doubles point, and you get all six first sets, it gives you momentum and it makes it tough for the opponent to feel like they have to really come back from a huge deficit.”
“I thought Katie Polk had a nice comeback at number six singles,” Clark said. “Down five and winning 12 of the next 13 games.”