Kentucky Drops Heartbreaker to Auburn

March 29, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 17 Kentucky women's tennis team (11-5 overall, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) dropped a tough match against the No. 31 Auburn Tigers (10-6, 3-2 SEC) Sunday afternoon. After a doubles point win by the Blue and White, Auburn overpowered the Cats in singles for the 5-2 win.

Kentucky seemed to hold the advantage after grabbing two victories on courts two and three of doubles. Both courts won 8-3 with Megan Broderick and Christine Johnston on two and Lauren Meier and Whitney Spencer on three.

Broderick went on to face the nation's No. 8 player, Fani Chifchieva on the top singles court. Chifchieva defeated the Wildcat, 6-1, 6-1, for the Tiger's first point of the match. AU got its second point after a 6-2, 6-2 win on court three as Whitney Chappell defeated UK's Johnston in straight sets.

The next four courts were won through three sets or a tie-break. Kentucky's Carolina Escamilla dropped the first set to No. 32 Alex Haney but played a dominating second set to split the match, handing Haney a 6-1 decision of her own. As Escamilla took the lead in the third set, Haney powered back giving the Tigers their third point and a heartbreaking 6-4 loss to Escamilla.

Court four turned into another three-set battle, this time between Meier and Auburn's Myrthe Molenveld. After a first set 6-4 loss to the Tiger, Meier bounced back and nabbed the second set, 6-2. The pair rallied in the third set, as a Kentucky win kept the Cats in the match and an Auburn win meant the fourth and final point for the Tigers. At 5-5 it was still anybody's match, but Molenveld took the remaining games to win, 7-5.

Spencer and Caroline Lilley kept playing for the Blue and White on courts five and six, respectively. Both Cats won their first sets, Lilley 7-6(3) over Jil Hastenrath and Spencer 7-5 over Daniela Vukadinovic. As Lilley won her second set 6-1, Spencer entered a 10-point tie-break after dropping the second set, 6-4. Vukadinovic grabbed the lead after tying 2-2 for the third-set win, 1-0(4).

Kentucky remains home for its next two matches as they begin to close out the season. UK faces Ole Miss on Friday, April 3 and Mississippi State on Sunday, April 5; both matches are scheduled for noon ET at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.

For the most up to date information and coverage of the Wildcat women's tennis team visit, www.ukathletics.com.

#31 Auburn 5, #19 Kentucky 2

Doubles
1. No. 29 Escamilla/Lilley (UK) vs. No. 44 Haney/Chappell (AU), 5-6, abandoned
2. Johnston/ Broderick (UK) def. Chifchieva/Molenveld (AU), 8-3
3. Meier/Spencer (UK) def. Bybee/Hastenrath (AU), 8-3

Singles
1. No. 8 Fani Chifchieva (AU) def. #117 Megan Broderick (UK), 6-1, 6-1
2. No. 32 Alex Haney (AU) def. Carolina Escamilla (UK), 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
3. Whitney Chappell (AU) def. Christine Johnston (UK), 6-2, 6-2
4. Myrthe Molenveld (AU) def. Lauren Meier (UK), 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
5. Daniela Vukadinovic (AU) def. Whitney Spencer (UK), 5-7, 6-4, 1-0(4)
6. Caroline Lilley (UK) def. Jil Hastenrath (AU), 7-6(3), 6-1

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