No. 31 Kentucky Sweeps No. 33 Arkansas
March 2, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The cold weather didn't stop the No. 31 University of Kentucky women's tennis team from knocking off No. 33 University of Arkansas, Sunday, March 2 at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center. The Wildcats swept the Razorbacks, 4-0, and moved to 12-2 (2-0) for the season.
"We are encouraging them everyday to realize how good they are and what they're capable of," assistant coach Kevin Calhoun
"They are extremely talented, extremely tough and extremely good and we're just trying to show them that there is no ceiling for their success."
In doubles, Kentucky got the ball rolling early with two swift wins at the No. 1 and 2 slots. Sophomore Nadia Ravita and freshman Aldila Sutjiadi provided the Wildcats with their first win of the day at No. 2 doubles. The pair led 3-0 before Sarah McLean and Shannon Hudson responded with two games, pulling within one. The teams exchanged points, but Arkansas never got the lead. Sutjiadi and Ravita knocked off the pair, winning the final two games and the match, 8-4.
Seniors Caitlin McGraw and Cece Witten hit the ball well early to gain an early 3-1 lead. No. 38 Kimberley-Ann Surin and Brittany Huxley fought back to win two consecutive games, but it wasn't enough to defeat the experienced Kentucky duo. McGraw and Witten used a four-game run to win the match, 8-4, and clinch the doubles point for Kentucky.
"We just wanted to get off to a good start because doubles kind of sets the tone for the rest of the match," Witten said.
No. 51 Ravita extended Kentucky's lead, 2-0, after her win at No. 1 singles over Yang Pang. In a high intensity match, Ravita kept her cool and defeated the Razorback, 6-1, 6-2. Ravita has won all of her matches at the No. 1 singles slot and is now 7-0 (2-0) for the season.
"I was just trying to stay consistent throughout the match," Ravita said. "I was in the same position last year, but I let it go, so this year I didn't let her get back in it."
Last season when Kentucky traveled to Arkansas, the two faced off, but the outcome was different. Pang came back from a first set loss to tie it up and eventually win the match and clinch a 4-3 win over Kentucky.
"Nadia had a really disappointing match with Pang last year so for her to come back this year with a match I know she's been looking forward to and do what she did today says a lot about the way she's been training and competing," Calhoun said. "We're all very happy for her."
Meanwhile, at No. 2 singles, Sutjiadi was hitting the ball hard to defeat Hudson. Off to a slow start, Hudson was up 2-0 on the Jakarta, Indonesia native in the first set, but didn't stay up for long. The two were locked at three games each until Sutjiadi won the last three games. In the second set, Sutjiadi was ahead 4-1 when Hudson answered with two games. The freshman led 4-2 in the second set before finishing her off, 6-3. Junior Kelsey Dieters , came back from a 4-1 deficit in the first set to win, 7-5. The set was tied at five-games all when Dieters claimed the final two games and won the set. In the second set, she found her rhythm and overpowered the Razorback, 6-2, and secured Kentucky's second SEC win.
Kentucky will travel to College Station, Tx. and Columbia, Mo. to take on No. 9 Texas A & M and Missouri, March 7 and March 9.
"I'm just really happy for the team and myself," Witten said. " We all work really hard and to see the transformation that we've gone through from my freshman year to now feels amazing."
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No. 31 Kentucky 4, No. 33 Arkansas 0
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center - Lexington, Ky.
March 2, 2014
Singles (Order of finish: 1, 2, 3* )
1 - Nadia Ravita (UK) vs. Yang Pang (UA), 6-1, 6-2
2 - Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) vs. Shannon Hudson (UA), 6-3, 6-3
3 - Kelsey Dieters (UK) vs. Kimberley-Ann Surin (UA), 7-5, 6-2
4 - Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff (UK) vs. Sarah McLean, 6-1, 4-4 DNF
5 - Kirsten Lewis (UK) vs. Oleksandra Shkorupeivea (UA), DNP
6 - Caitlin McGraw (UK) vs. Brittany Huxley (UA), DNP
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 1*)
1 - Caitlin McGraw/ Cece Witten (UK) vs. Kimberley-Ann Surin/ Brittany Huxley (UA), 8-4
2 - Nadia Ravita/ Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) vs. Sarah McLean/ Shannon Hudson (UA), 8-5
3 - Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff / Kirsten Lewis (UK) vs. Yang Pang/ Oleksandra Shkorupeivea (UA), 5-4 DNF