Relentless Singles Effort Carries UK to 4-2 Victory Over Volunteers

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 23 Kentucky women’s tennis team secured its second Southeastern Conference victory of the season, edging out No. 58 Tennessee in a 4-2 clinch dual.  The Wildcats advance to 13-6 in 2016, including 2-5 in SEC play, while the Vols fall to 8-10 (1-6 SEC).

The match started with an uncharacteristic early setback in doubles, the first doubles point loss within SEC action for the Wildcats.  UK had shuffled its lineup from the norm and was without the No. 3-ranked team in the nation of Aldila Sutjiadi and Mami Adachi, and also did not feature No. 56 Morgan Chumney and Akvilė Paražinskaitė. Paražinskaite teamed up with Kirsten Lewis in No. 2 doubles, falling in a 6-0 decision to Kim Kermet and Brittany Lindl.  Tennessee clinched the doubles point with a 7-5 win in No. 3 doubles, as Kate Lanier and Mami Adachi fell to Tiffany Tavares and Margo Taylor.

Ravita quickly knotted the score at 1-1 with a fast victory over Eve Repic in No. 2 singles, taking down her Volunteer opponent in matching 6-1 sets.  From there, Mikulskytė extended the lead to 2-1 with her win in No. 1 singles and the fourth ranked win of her career with an upset of No. 42 Sadie Hammond.  The freshman took down Tennessee’s top singles player in decisive 6-2 sets.  

The Vols tied the score once more when Kate Lanier fell to Ashley Bongart in No. 6 singles, 6-0, 6-4, but the Wildcats went on to win out for the match win.  Moving up to the No. 3 spot for just the second time in her career, Paražinskaitė fought for a 6-4 win over Kermet in the opening set before falling behind, 5-4, in the second set.  The freshman battled to deadlock the score at 6-6, where she went on to mount another comeback after being down 4-2 and rattling off five straight for the 7-6(4) victory.  

With Paražinskaitė’s victory putting the dual in Kentucky’s advantage at 3-2, the match came down to Adachi in No. 4 singles and Lewis in the No. 5 spot, both of whom were in their third set.  Both Wildcats had eerily similar results, dropping the first set 7-6 before roaring back for a 6-3 win in the second set.  Adachi took off in her deciding set, storming out to a 5-1 edge over Lindl.  The Vol battled back and pushed it to 5-3, but Adachi capped off her own match and the team’s with a 6-3 third-set win.  Lewis’ match was abandoned after the clinch, but the senior had battled back from a 4-0 deficit to trail 4-3 in the third by the time Adachi had completed her match.  

Kentucky will hit the road for its next pair of matches, first traveling to Oxford, Miss., for a Thursday afternoon dual with No. 39 Ole Miss.  The Wildcats will square off with the Rebels at 4 p.m. ET on March 31 before heading to Starkville, Miss., to take on the Bulldogs of No. 27 Mississippi State on Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m.

#23 Kentucky 4, #58 Tennessee 2
Singles  (Order of Finish:  2, 1, 6, 3, 4*)
1.  No. 76 Justina Mikulskytė (UK) def. No. 42 Sadie Hammonds (UT), 6-2, 6-2
2.  Nadia Ravita (UK) def. Eve Repic (UT), 6-1, 6-1
3.  Akvilė Paražinskaitė (UK) def. Kim Kermet (UT), 6-4, 7-6(4)
4.  Mami Adachi (UK) def. Brittany Lindl (UT), 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3
5.  Tiffany Tavares (UT) vs. Kirsten Lewis (UK), 7-6(1), 3-6, 4-3, abandoned
6.  Ashley Bongart (UT) def. Kate Lanier (UK), 6-0, 6-4
Doubles (Order of Finish:  2, 3*)
1.  No. 75 Sadie Hammond/Eve Repic (UT) vs. Nadia Ravita/Justina Mikulskytė (UK), 6-5, abandoned
2.  Kim Kermet/Brittany Lindl (UT) def. Kirsten Lewis/Akvilė Paražinskaitė (UK), 6-0
3.  Tiffany Tavaras/Margo Taylor (UT) vs. Kate Lanier/Mami Adachi (UK), 7-5
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