The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s tennis team dropped a nail-biter to visiting Furman today. In a match that featured eight tie-breakers, the Lady Mocs fell 4-3 in a nearly seven hour affair. UTC drops to 13-3 overall and 3-3 in Southern Conference action while the Paladins improve to 8-6 and 4-0 in league play.
Weather forced the match to the four indoor courts at the Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, and there was drama from the first serve on. Chattanooga was trying to snap a 21-match losing streak to the Paladins and search for its first win in the series since 1997.
Sophomore Kaylene Chadwell (Franklin, Tenn.) and freshman Kayla Jones (Memphis, Tenn.) opened competition by dropping their No. 1 doubles match to Lauren Kline and Alex Moreno-Kaste (8-5). Junior Alex Flynn (Memphis, Tenn.) and freshman Kelsey Coots (Huntsville, Ala.) evened the doubles with a 9-8 win over Amanda Murray and Michele Stanford.
Things were looking good for the Lady Mocs at this point with sophomore Claire Mulyadi (Semarang, Indonesia) and freshman Jovana Pecovski (Apitan, Serbia) up 7-4 over Margaret Boyette and Kelly Sullivan at No. 3. The Furman duo then went on a 4-0 run to take an 8-7 lead. UTC forced a tie-breaker, but Furman grabbed the doubles point with a 7-2 win in the final frame.
The Paladins kept the momentum going in singles, winning the first set in three of the first four singles matches. Senior Jenna Nurik (Memphis, Tenn.) and Jones both lost tie-breakers in their first sets at No. 1 and No. 3 respectively. Chadwell was the only Lady Moc in the first four to get a win in the opening set. She tied the score with a (6-2, 6-2) win over Moreno-Kaste at No. 2, improving to 13-3 in the spring and 17-9 overall.
After dropping her first set to Stanford, Flynn battled back to take a 6-2 win in the second. She finished off the comeback with a 6-2 in the third, giving UTC a 2-1 lead. It was Flynn’s fourth straight win as she improves to 8-2 in the spring.
Jones was up 6-2 in her first-set tie-breaker before losing the frame 9-7. That loss must have fired her up because she dusted Katherine Oudin 6-0 in the second set. Oudin controlled much of the third, forcing Jones to fight off two match points while down 4-5. Oudin won the match by taking the final set in a tie-breaker 7-4.
While this was unfolding, Nurik was in another tight battle with Kline at No. 1. She lost the first tie-breaker 7-5 and repeated the same score in the second. The wins at No. 1 and No. 3 gave Furman a 3-2 lead and meant UTC had to win the last two matches of the day.
Coots breezed to a (6-2, 6-3) win over Murray at No. 5. Coots has won five straight and is 12-3 in the spring. She is 7-0 when playing No. 5. Mulyadi battled Sullivan in a tough match, but dropped a pair of tie-breakers to lose (7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5).
All totaled, there were eight tie-breakers in today’s match. Unfortunately for the Lady Mocs, they were only able to capitalize on one of those eight breakers. Of the nine sets won by Furman today, seven were tie-breakers.
The Lady Mocs are back on the court on Tuesday, March 26, when they host Lee University at the Champions Club. Match time is set for 2:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) in the double-header with the men’s teams. A link for live scoring is available on the women’s tennis schedule page on GoMocs.com.
Furman 4, Chattanooga 3
Mar 24, 2013 at Chattanooga, Tenn. (Girls Preparatory School)
1. Lauren Kline/Alex Moreno-Kaste (FUR) def. Kaylene Chadwell/Kayla Jones (UTC) 8-5
2. Kelsey Coots/Alexa Flynn (UTC) def. Amanda Murray/Michele Stanford (FUR) 9-8 (7-5)
3. Margaret Boyette/Kelly Sullivan (FUR) def. Claire Mulyadi/Jovana Pecovski (UTC) 9-8 (7-2)
1. Lauren Kline (FUR) def. Jenna Nurik (UTC) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5)
2. Kaylene Chadwell (UTC) def. Alex Moreno-Kaste (FUR) 6-2, 6-2
3. Katherine Oudin (FUR) def. Kayla Jones (UTC) 7-6 (9-7), 0-6, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Alexa Flynn (UTC) def. Michele Stanford (FUR) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
5. Kelsey Coots (UTC) def. Amanda Murray (FUR) 6-2, 6-3
6. Kelly Sullivan (FUR) def. Claire Mulyadi (UTC) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,4,1,3,5,6)