Top-Ranked Kentucky Begins Five Match Road Trip
March 12, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The No. 13 Wildcats (9-1 overall, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) begin a string of road matches after holding ground in Lexington for the past eight matches. After suffering the team's first loss of the season, Kentucky looks to rebound in Fayetteville, Ark., and Baton Rouge, La., when the Cats face their next set of Southeastern Conference foes. UK begins match play Friday, March 13 at 1 p.m. ET against No. 29 Arkansas (6-3, 1-1 SEC). The Blue White finish the weekend Sunday March 15 facing No. 20 LSU (7-4, 0-2 SEC) at 1 p.m. ET.
The list of away matches for the Cats include: three conference opponents, Arkansas, LSU and Alabama plus No. 5 Baylor and South Florida in a span of eight days.
Kentucky has been ranked in the top 20 for six consecutive weeks and have held strong in the top 25 all season. Freshman Caroline Lilley has played a big role in that, as she has been the key to three major wins this season over Ohio State, Clemson and Florida. During the SEC opening weekend, Lilley won on court five to give the Wildcats a 4-3 win over the Gators.
Leading the Wildcats onto the court is senior Carolina Escamilla who has occupied court one for the past three matches. She is also a presence in court one doubles with freshman partner Lilley. The duo is ranked No. 53 in the country. Sophomore Megan Broderick is also in the rankings at No. 96. She has been placed as high as No. 61 this season.
Columbus, Ohio, junior Christine Johnston holds a team best record of 9-1 and is coming off a double-win weekend after defeating opponents from Florida and South Carolina. Johnston started the year with seven straight victories.
Arkansas is also coming off a split SEC weekend. After being upset in Tuscaloosa, Ala., against the No. 37 Crimson Tide, the Lady `Backs defeated Auburn 6-1. Arkansas has one ranked doubles pair and two singles. Aurelija Miseviciute was ranked No. 1 part of last season and remains in the top 10. Nanar Airapetian and Anouk Tigu are No. 18 in doubles, playing on court one for the Razorbacks.
LSU found two losses this past weekend, first against Auburn and then Alabama. LSU had snatched the doubles point both times but was unable to follow through in singles. Senior Megan Falcon is the Tigers' only ranked player at No. 12.
This will be the 20th meeting between Kentucky and Arkansas. The Cats hold a 16-3 all-time advantage over the Razorbacks. A closer overall series record is held between UK and LSU, as the Wildcats lead 14-12 over the Tigers.