South Carolina Edges Kentucky in Tight Road Battle

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Facing its third top-25 opponent in as many matches, the No. 19 Kentucky women’s tennis team had its tightest match of the stretch, but eventually fell to No. 12 South Carolina, 4-3.  The Wildcats fall to 11-4 on the season and 0-3 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Gamecocks advance to 12-2 (4-0 SEC).

Kentucky kept up its dominant play in doubles, winning the opening point of the match with victories in No. 2 and 3 doubles.  Nadia Ravita and Justina Mikulskytė were the first to pick up a win, dismantling Ingrid Gamarra Martins and Ximena Siles Luna in No. 3 doubles, 6-2.  The first point was clinched when Akvilė Paražinskaitė and Morgan Chumney took down Brigit Folland and Caroline Dailey on Court 2 in a 6-3 decision.  

Kentucky moved to a 3-2 advantage over the Gamecocks after the conclusion of the first four singles matches to finish.  South Carolina knotted the score at one apiece when Hadley Berg downed Paražinskaitė on Court 4 in 6-4, 6-2 sets.  A win by Folland over Chumney on Court 5 in a tight 6-4, 7-6(1) victory swung the score in favor of South Carolina, but the Wildcats rallied back to post the next two singles wins.  

Mikulskytė picked up her first singles win in SEC play on Court 1, taking down No. 109 Dailey in straight sets.  The two pushed extra games in the opening set, with Mikulskytė emerging victorious in a 7-5 decision before she would finish off the match with a  6-4 win in the second.  The final win in singles came from Mami Adachi on Court 6, pitted against Siles Luna.  Adachi took down her opponent 6-3, 6-2, giving UK its final lead of the match.

The final two singles matches to conclude were hard-fought until the final game, with the matches on Courts 2 and 3 going to three sets.  Ravita was up against No. 110 Paige Cline on Court 3, dropping the first set 6-4 before rallying back to take the second set in tiebreak, 7-6(3).  Cline took the deciding set, 6-3, to deadlock the score at 3-3.  Sutjiadi found herself in the deciding match against Martins in No. 2 singles, dropping the opening set 6-4 before a dominating 6-1 victory in the second.  Sutjiadi made a tremendous effort to lead in the third set, 5-4, but Martins edged out the Wildcat by pushing extra games, 7-5.  

Kentucky will host its SEC home opener next week, welcoming No. 15 LSU and No. 16 Texas A&M to Lexington.  The Wildcats will square off with the Tigers on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. ET, and will host the Aggies at noon on Saturday, March 19.  

#12 South Carolina 4, #19 Kentucky, 3
Singles  (Order of finish:  4, 5, 1, 6, 3, 2*)
1. Justina Milkuskytė (UK) def. No. 109 Caroline Dailey (SC) 7-5, 6-4
2. Ingrid Gamarra Martins (SC) def. No. 42 Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
3. No. 110 Paige Cline (SC) def. Nadia Ravita (UK) 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3
4. Hadley Berg (SC) d. Akvilė Paražinskaitė (UK) 6-4, 6-2
5. Brigit Folland (SC) def. Morgan Chumney (UK) 6-4, 7-6 (1)
6. Mami Adachi (UK) d. Ximena Siles Luna (SC) 6-3, 6-2
Doubles (Order of finish:  3, 2*)
1. No. 54 Paige Cline/Hadley Berg (SC) vs. No. 5 Mami Adachi/AldilaSutjiadi (UK) 5-4, abandoned
2. Akvilė Paražinskaitė/Morgan Chumney (UK) def. Brigit Folland/Caroline Dailey (SC) 6-3
3. Nadia Ravita/Justina Milkuskytė (UK) def. Ingrid Gamarra Martins/Ximena Siles Luna (SC) 6-2
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