Kentucky Closes Out Season at Home; UK Gives Escamilla Senior Farewell

April 17, 2009

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - As the No. 24 Wildcats bring their season to a close against Vanderbilt on Saturday, a bigger end is coming for the Cats' one and only senior. Carolina Escamilla will play at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex for the last time as she closes out her four-year career at Kentucky. First serve is slated for noon ET.

The Kentucky senior from Medellin, Colombia, suits up for the Blue and White for the last time at court one in both doubles and singles. Escamilla has been ranked as high as No. 29 in doubles this year with current partner freshman Caroline Lilley. As UK's only senior, she has clinched three matches this season against Marshall, ETSU and Alabama. Both Marshall and Alabama were 4-3 wins.

Escamilla had a solid career as a Wildcat. As a freshman, Escamilla charted a 9-3 record in singles during conference play and was named Second-Team All-SEC. She also clinched big matches against Georgia and South Carolina that same season and advanced to the NCAA Doubles Championship Round of 16 with then-partner Kim Coventry. In 2007, she had a team-best 22-11 record in doubles and was nationally ranked a majority of the season with Coventry in doubles. Last season, Escamilla ranked top-20 with Johnston and held a 10-4 record at the number three position in singles. Later in the year, Escamilla and Johnston were named alternates to the NCAA Doubles Championship. In 2008, Escamilla was named to the SEC Good Works team for her dedication to community service around the Lexington area.

The Blue and White (12-8 overall, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) are coming off a two-loss weekend since being defeated by No. 13 Tennessee and No. 2 Georgia. The Cats look to get in one last big win as they head into the conference tournament next week.

The 19th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores are 9-7 overall this season and 5-4 in conference play. Their losses have come at the hands of top-ranked institutions such as Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Georgia. Most recently Vandy was defeated by Georgia 4-0 and the Volunteers 5-2. Two of Vanderbilt's players are ranked, No. 62 Catherine Newman on court one and No. 57 Jackie Wu on court two. VU also has a ranked doubles pair in No. 49 Heather Steinbauer and Wu.

Last season the Cats dropped the final regular season match to the Commodores, 5-2, in Nashville, Tenn. The two teams met again in the second round of the NCAA Tournament where Vanderbilt edged the Wildcats in a heart-breaking 4-3 decision to go to the Sweet 16 in Tulsa, Okla., for the NCAA Championship Tournament. The teams remain neck-and-neck in the overall all-time series at 19-19 although Vanderbilt has won five of the last six matches.