Cats Cruise Past Mississippi State, Win 6-1

March 6, 2011

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Paced by outstanding play in doubles and solid performances from its freshmen and newcomers, the Kentucky women’s tennis team earned its first Southeastern Conference victory of the season with a 6-1 win over visiting Mississippi State (2-6, 0-2 SEC) at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center on Sunday.

“It’s just a great feeling because we haven’t even had an SEC win in over a year,” UK head coach Carlos Drada said. “The girls believed they could do a good job and they went out to compete. They didn’t care about the score, they just went out there to compete. They believed they could do things the right way and executed in the best manner that we’ve done all season. So, hopefully from this we’ll learn and get confidence for our next match coming up.”

Kentucky (3-8, 1-1 SEC) overwhelmed the visiting Lady Bulldogs in doubles, dropping just four games combined in the three doubles matches. Sophomore Jessica Stiles and freshman Misha Testerman got things started for UK with a resounding 8-1 win at No. 3 doubles. Senior Megan Broderick and freshman Khristina Blajkevitch then sealed the always-important doubles point with a win at No. 1. Broderick and Blajkevitch displaced Alexandra Perper and Danielle Terpko of MSU, 8-2. Freshmen Caitlin McGraw and Marni Venter also won at No. 2 doubles, 8-1.

“Doubles was great,” Drada said. “We’ve been working a lot in doubles because some of our performances haven’t been to our standards. So to come back and start going again in the right direction is a great feeling and I hope they can start realizing how good they are. I always say it, but I think it’s important when players see it in themselves.”

McGraw gave the Wildcats a 2-0 overall lead in the match with a straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 3 doubles.

Stiles followed soon after with an impressive 6-1, 6-4 victory to push Kentucky’s lead to 3-0. Stiles and McGraw lead the Cats in singles victories this spring season with six apiece.

Clinching the victory for UK was Blajkevitch. A native of Victoria, Canada, Blajkevitch fought all match long to the tune of a straight sets 6-1, 6-4 victory. The freshman’s win at No. 4 singles was her third singles victory of the season and gave the Wildcats their first conference victory of the young season.

Venter wasted no time in her match at No. 5 singles. The freshman made quick work of Vivian Pietraroia, winning by a count of 6-1, 6-1. The victory was Venter’s second of the spring.

Testerman closed the match out with a straight sets victory at No. 6 singles, taking down Mississippi State’s Roseline Dion, 6-3, 6-2.

Sunday’s match ends a five-match home stand for the Wildcats. Kentucky will hit the road for a six-match road stretch beginning March 11 against Tennessee. Kentucky will then travel to Georgia before heading out for three-straight matches in the state of Texas against Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech. Kentucky ends its road trip in Tuscaloosa, Ala., against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

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Kentucky 6, Mississippi State 1

Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center
Lexington, Ky.
March 6, 2011

1) Broderick/Blajkevitch (UK) def. Perper/Terpko (MSU) 8-2
2) McGraw/Venter (UK) def. Ryzhova/Tsigvintseva (MSU) 8-1
3) Stiles/Testerman (UK) def. Pietraroia/Dion (MSU) 8-1

1) Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Megan Broderick (UK) 6-4, 6-4
2) Jessica Stiles (UK) def. Mariia Ryzhova (MSU) 6-1, 6-4
3) Caitlin McGraw (UK) def. Danielle Terpko (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
4) Khristina Blajkevitch (UK) def. Olesya Tsigvintseva (MSU) 6-1, 6-4
5) Marni Venter (UK) def. Vivian Pietraroia (MSU) 6-1, 6-1
6) Misha Testerman (UK) def. Roseline Dion (MSU) 6-3, 6-2

Order of Finish:
Doubles – 3, 1*, 2
Singles – 3, 2, 4*, 1, 5, 6