Cats Nab 4-0 Victory Over Ohio State; Advance to NCAA Second Round

May 8, 2009

EVANSTON, Ill. - It was a fitting finish as Columbus, Ohio, native junior Christine Johnston clinched the match for Kentucky over the Ohio State Buckeyes. For the second time this season the No. 26 Wildcats (13-10 overall, 3-8 Southeastern Conference) defeated the No. 37 Buckeyes (15-11, 7-3 Big Ten), using a 4-0 win to advance to the NCAA Second Round. The Blue and White will take on the winner of the Northwestern/Miami (OH) match on Saturday, May 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

"I couldn't be more proud of my team," Head coach Carlos Drada said. "All of the girls played with more discipline today than they had the whole year. We faced a really strong Ohio State team and the score, in many occasions, could have gone either way. Our players stayed poised when they were faced with difficult situations. I think we're in a great position and are really eager to play tomorrow. I think we have given ourselves the best chance to come out victorious."

Kentucky started the morning by defeating the Buckeyes in doubles. The Wildcats took outstanding leads on all three courts but Ohio State would not lie down as they rallied back to keep the games close. Court two finished first with Johnston and sophomore Megan Broderick knocking out Julie Blackmore and Cami Hubbs, 8-5. The Buckeyes split the courts as they grabbed a win on court one but UK pulled out the victory from court three. Kentucky's sophomore Lauren Meier and junior Whitney Spencer sealed the first match point of the day with an 8-5 win over Kirsten Flower and Paloma Escobedo.

The Cats grabbed their second team point of the day as Lilley walked off the court with the first singles win. The Portland, Ore., native won a convincing 6-2, 6-0 match over Ohio State's DiPastina on court five. Meier was the second Wildcat to nab a singles win after defeating the Buckeyes' Hubbs in tie-breakers in both sets, 7-6(1), 7-6(3).

The remaining courts were too close for comfort for either team. Four courts went into third sets as the Wildcats tried to hone in on the final point. UK's Johnston and Escamilla were in a race to the finish as each was tightening their grasps on the match points. Johnston finished first as she stepped up her game in the third set against Christina Keesey for the win. After taking the first set 6-4, Johnston had dropped the second 6-3. The Wildcat was up in the third set 5-2 when she hit a drop shot volley to clinch, 6-2.

Broderick, Escamilla and Spencer were forced to abandon their matches after the Cats notched the win.

Kentucky will face the winner of Northwestern vs. Miami (OH) on Saturday, May 9 at 1 p.m. ET should they surpass Ohio State for the second time this season.The successor of both rounds will advance to the "Sweet Sixteen" in College Station, Texas, hosted by Texas A&M on May 15 through May 19.

For complete coverage of Kentucky women's tennis and the Wildcats' trip through the NCAA Tournament, please visit www.ukathletics.com.

No. 26 Kentucky 4, No. 37 Ohio State 0

Doubles
1. DiPastina/Keesey (OSU) def. #31 Escamilla/Lilley (UK), 8-6
2. Broderick/Johnston (UK) def. Blackmore/Hubbs (OSU), 8-5
3. Meier/Spencer (UK) def. Escobedo/Flower (OSU), 8-5

Singles
1. #111 Megan Broderick (UK) vs. Kirsten Flower (OSU), 7-6(3), 5-7, 1-1 abandoned match
2. Carolina Escamilla (UK) vs. Paloma Escobedo (OSU), 4-6, 6-0, 5-4 abandoned match
3. Christine Johnston (UK) def. Christina Keesey (OSU), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
4. Lauren Meier (UK) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU), 7-6(1), 7-6(3)
5. Caroline Lilley (UK) def. Angela DiPastina (OSU), 6-2, 6-0
6. Whitney Spencer (UK) vs. Julie Blackmore (OSU), 6-2, 3-6, 2-4 abandoned match

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