Kentucky Faces the Heart of Dixie

March 26, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 19 Kentucky women’s tennis team (10-4, 1-3 Southeastern Conference) faces the Heart of Dixie as they play both conference schools from Alabama. UK will have competed in five away matches in just over 10 days after they take on No. 17 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. First serve is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on the Alabama Tennis Complex courts. The Cats then return home to host No. 31 Auburn Sunday, March 29 at noon in the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.

UK recently snapped a four-match losing streak as they defeated the South Florida Bulls, 5-2 in Tampa. The match tied at 2-2, but the win was clinched for the fifth time by freshman Caroline Lilley on court five and closed out by freshman Jennifer Stone on court six for the fifth and final point.

All four other schools Kentucky suffered defeat to rank as top-30 institutions, including No. 20 LSU and No. 4 Baylor. Only four schools of the 14 UK has faced thus far were not in the top 50. 

One singles player and one doubles pair remain in the rankings, No. 117 Megan Broderick and No. 29 duo of Carolina Escamilla and Lilley. Escamilla and Lilley lead the team in doubles with a 7-3 record. Christine Johnston is at the head of the Cats singles brigade with an 11-3 record followed by Lilley’s 10-3 mark. 

As they reenter conference play, the Cats look to even out their league record. They have a series advantage over both Alabama and Auburn, winning 23 of 31 matches against the Tide and dominating the series over Auburn, 20-6.

Alabama currently leads the Western Division with a 13-1 overall record and 3-1 tally in the SEC, dropping its only match to Ole Miss, 5-2, in Oxford, Miss. Besides SEC opponents, the Tide has matched up with 10 others, only one ranking in the top 50. UA is coming off two consecutive wins after a sweep of Mississippi State and a 5-2 decision against Oregon. 

Auburn is third in the West with a 2-1 conference mark and 9-5 overall. The Tigers lost their only SEC match to Arkansas, 6-1. AU swept the Marshall Thundering Herd for the Tigers’ third straight win. Their other wins came against Ole Miss, 4-3, in Oxford and William & Mary, 5-2, at a neutral site.