Wildcats Pull Off Upset at No. 9 Alabama, 4-3

March 28, 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 18 Kentucky women’s tennis posted its fourth upset victory of the season with a 4-3 win at No. 9 Alabama on Friday.

The Wildcats (15-6, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) won their fourth consecutive match as they defeated their highest ranked opponent of the season in the Crimson Tide. UK handed UA its first home loss of the season.

“I am grateful that our team had the opportunity to play in such a high-level match,” UK head coach Carlos Drada said. “We beat a very talented and well-coached Alabama team and we appreciate their class and professionalism. This was a concerted effort that culminated with Kirsten Lewis being mentally tough while dealing with adversity. We are looking forward to the same level of mental toughness on Sunday.”

The match, which lasted 4.5 hours, began with doubles play outside. After Kentucky claimed the doubles point and singles competition began, rain and wind forced the competition indoors.

Alabama then tied the match at 1-1 with the first singles win, but Kentucky regained the lead at 2-1. UA tied it again at 2-2 before UK went ahead 3-2. The Crimson Tide tied the match again at 3-3, and the match at No. 5 singles was heading to tiebreakers.

On court No. 5, Kentucky’s Kirsten Lewis rallied for the 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 win to give the Wildcats the 4-3 victory. In the tiebreaking third set, Lewis trailed 3-1 but won five of the final six games.

“I am beyond proud of how my team fought out there today,” Lewis said. “We had to play under rough conditions during doubles and I am happy with how we dealt with the wind and rain. We came to win and we each gave ourselves the best chance to succeed today. This win means so much to the team and I am thankful I had an opportunity to bring it home for them.”

UK earned a 1-0 lead thanks to a pair of wins in doubles play, both over ranked opponents. Aldila Sutjiadi and Mami Adachi beat No. 4 Erin Routliffe and Maya Jansen, 8-6, on court No. 1 before an 8-5 win by Nadia Ravita and Lewis at No. 2 doubles over No. 47 Emily Zabor and Natalia Maynetto.

Turning to singles competition, Alabama tied the match at 1-1 with a win over Taylor Lederman on court six. Ravita, ranked No. 76 in the nation, got UK back in the lead with a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 30 Routliffe at No. 1 singles.

Sutjiadi fell on court No. 2 to No. 66 Danielle Spielmann, 6-2, 6-4, but UK quickly took the lead again, 3-2, thanks to Adachi. The freshman earned a 7-5, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles.

The match was tied at 3-3 when Kelsey Dieters fell on court three, 6-2, 7-6 (4) to No. 48 Jansen. With all eyes on Lewis on court No. 5, she prevailed for a 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 win.

Kentucky’s roadtrip continues Sunday at Auburn at Noon ET. UK returns home for a matchup vs. Florida on April 3 and a senior match contest vs. South Carolina on April 5.

No. 18 Kentucky 4, No. 9 Alabama 3
March 27, 2015
Alabama Tennis Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2):
1. Aldila Sutjiadi/Mami Adachi (UK) def. #4 Erin Routliffe/Maya Jansen (UA) 8-6
2. Nadia Ravita/Kirsten Lewis (UK) def. #47 Emily Zabor/Natalia Maynetto (UA) 8-5
3. #68 Danielle Spielmann/Luicelena Perez (UA) def. Kelsey Dieters/Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff (UK) 8-4

Singles (Order of Finish: 6, 1, 2, 4, 3, 5):
1. #76 Nadia Ravita (UK) def. #30 Erin Routliffe (UA) 6-3, 6-2
2. #66 Danielle Spielmann (UA) def. Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) 6-2, 6-4
3. #48 Maya Jansen (UA) def. Kelsey Dieters (UK) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
4. #121 Mami Adachi (UK) def. Natalia Maynetto (UA) 7-5, 6-1
5. Kirsten Lewis (UK) def. Luicelena Perez (UA) 7-5, 5-7, 6-4
6. Emily Zabor (UA) def. Taylor Lederman (UK) 6-1, 6-1

Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky women’s tennis team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info, notes and behind-the-scenes updates, follow the team on Twitter at @UKWomensTennis.