Women's Tennis Knocks Off 24th-Ranked Alabama, 4-3

Jan. 30, 2010

ATLANTA, Ga. - In its first win of the indoor season, the No. 34 University of Kentucky women's tennis team defeated No. 24 Alabama4-3 Saturday at the ITA Kick-off Weekend hosted by Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga.

"This is one of the highlights of my coaching career," said UK head coach Carlos Drada. "Not only am I happy from a win-loss standpoint, but because of choices our kids made. We chose to be mentally tough through courage and belief. It took a great deal of heart and resilience from all the players involved to withstand the pressure and the great level of play that Alabama had today. They are a talented and well coached team and we are thrilled and grateful to get a victory on the road."

Senior Christine Johnston nabbed the first point for the Wildcats on court three, defeating Pauline Bigos. Johnston dropped the first set to Bigos 5-7, but stormed back to take the following two sets 6-2, 6-1. The victory marks Johnston's first singles win of the season.

The No. 1 seed for Kentucky (1-2), junior Megan Broderick, earned the second point for the Cats with a win over Courtney McLane of Alabama (2-1). Broderick also dropped her first set, losing 1-6, but the Tampa, Fla., native recovered taking the next two sets 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.

"Megan displayed one of the highest levels of discipline and belief in herself that I have seen since her freshman year," Drada said. "This match was physical and she played a powerful opponent. Her belief in herself brought her back after losing the first set and after four match points to a much deserved victory."

On court two, sophomore Caroline Lilley took UK's third point, topping No. 82 Alexa Guarachi. Lilley took the first set 7-6, but let Guarachi come back in second set, 5-7. The Portland, Oregon native claimed the point with a 7-6 (11-9) victory. The match's deciding point came on court four where sophomore Minnette Pienaar defeated Meritt Emery. Pienarr gave the first set to Emery 5-7, but seized the win for the Wildcats by rallying 7-6 (6-4), 6-4 victories.

Also competing in singles action for UK were freshman Elle Coldiron and junior Nicole Scates. Coldiron lost to Antonia Foehse 6-0, 6-0, while Scates lost to Alice Tunaru 6-1, 6-0. Alabama took the doubles point as Bigos and Foehse topped Pienaar and Coldiron 8-2 on court two, and Emery and Tunaru defeated Broderick and Scates 8-3 on court three.

The Wildcats advance to the championship round of the ITA Kick-off Weekend where they will take on the winner of the Georgia Tech-Arizona State match Sunday at 2:30 p.m. EST.

The tournament, formally known as the ITA National Indoors Championship Qualifier, consist of four teams seeded one-to-four with the one seed (Georgia Tech) playing the four (Arizona State) and the two seed (Kentucky) playing the three seed (Alabama). The champion will be invited to play in the Feb. 12-15 ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for complete coverage of the Kentucky women's tennis team.

Agate

Doubles
1. Alexa Guarachi/Courtney McLane (UA) vs. Caroline Lilley/Christine Johnston (UK) 7-5, dnf
2. Paulina Bigos/Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Minnette Pienaar/Elle Coldiron (UK) 8-2
3. Meritt Emery/Alice Tunaru (UA) def. Megan Broderick/Nicole Scates (UK) 8-3

Singles
1. Megan Broderick (UK) def. Courtney McLane (UA) 1-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3
2. Caroline Lilley (UK) def. #82 Alexa Guarachi (UA) 7-6, 5-7, 7-6 (11-9)
3. Christine Johnston (UK) def. Paulina Bigos (UA) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
4. Minnette Pienaar (UK) def. Meritt Emery (UA) 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
5. Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Elle Coldiron (UK) 6-0, 6-0
6. Alice Tunaru (UA) def. Nicole Scates (UK) 6-1, 6-0

Order of Finish Doubles (2, 3); Singles (3, 1, 2, 5, 6, 4)