MIAMI - After an intensive week of training over its spring break, the ninth-rated University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer tennis team was upset by No. 36 Florida International on Saturday at the FIU Tennis Stadium, with a 4-3 decision.
The Lady Vols took the lead early, winning all three doubles matches. No. 19-ranked pairing of Vilmarie Castellvi and Agnes Wiski defeated No. 27 Annalise Rose and Cristina Compana, 8-5.
Senior Alison Ojeda, who sat out last week with a sore back, returned to action and teamed with Kim Gates to take an 8-6 triumph at No. 2 doubles. Junior Crystal Cleveland and freshman Majen Immink delivered the No. 3 match with an 8-2 decision over Mei Ly and Dominique Rosenburg.
Castellvi and freshman Ashley Robards each captured victories to put UT within one point of triumph, however Tennessee failed to capture another singles match and surrendered the contest to the Golden Panthers.
Castellvi took a straight set, 6-3, 6-3, triumph from Rose, while Robards delivered the No. 6 match at 6-4, 6-1. Gates dropped the No. 2 match in three sets while Cleveland and Immink each fell in straight sets.
Wiski had a chance to clinch the contest for UT for a sixth time this season, but came up on the short end of a 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 decision with Maria Montoya. Wiski battled back from double match-point and went on to tie the match at 5-5, however Montoya captured the next two games to prevail.
The loss snapped the Lady Vols five-match win streak while marking the sixth time this season the Golden Panthers have captured a victory over a ranked opponent. Earlier this season, FIU dealt No. 25 South Alabama a 4-3 loss as well.
Tennessee falls to 14-5 overall and are 5-1 in league play. The Lady Vols will return to Knoxville and host Mississippi State on Friday. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the Varsity Courts.