UK Begins SEC Tournament Action in Fayetteville
April 22, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Thursday kicks off the 2009 Southeastern Conference Women's Tennis Tournament in Fayetteville, Ark., at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center. The No. 24 Wildcat women's tennis team is set to face No. 20 South Carolina in the first round of the tournament. First round matches begin at 9:30 a.m. ET with Kentucky taking the courts later in the day at 3:30 p.m. ET. All times are subject to change.
The Wildcats join the other 11 SEC teams to compete for the tournament title. Defending champ, Georgia, recent won the conference title with a 10-1 league record, losing only to Florida. Last year at the tournament, Kentucky was defeated by UGA in the second round, 4-1. The Cats had defeated Ole Miss in the first round of matches, 4-0.
UK fell to South Carolina during the regular season in Lexington, 5-2, ending the Cats' nine-match winning streak. Kentucky grabbed a doubles win on court three and singles wins on courts three and six.
The Gamecocks will be coming off a 4-2 loss to Florida when they play the Wildcats on Thursday. UK is also heading to the tournament after a loss as they were defeated by Vanderbilt on Saturday.
The Wildcats are led by freshman Caroline Lilley and junior Christine Johnston who hold 14 and 13 wins, respectively. Lilley has performed the best among the Blue and White squad during SEC play, defeating six of her opponents. Johnston files in just behind her teammate with five conference wins.
Lilley and her doubles partner, senior Carolina Escamilla, stand as the top Kentucky doubles team. Recently the duo defeated No. 45 Jackie Wu and Heather Steinbauer of Vanderbilt in the season closer. The win catapulted the UK pair to No. 36 in the nation, 11 spots higher than last week. The team has defeated four ranked teams this season with their biggest upset coming over Arkansas' top-ranked pair, then ranked No. 18. Sophomore Lauren Meier and junior Whitney Spencer have had the most league success for UK as a doubles pair with eight SEC wins.
The SEC Tournament schedule is as follows, all times are central and subject to change:
Thursday, April 23
8:30 a.m. #9 Auburn vs. #8 Alabama
10:30 a.m. #12 Mississippi State vs. #5 Vanderbilt
12:30 p.m. #10 LSU vs. #7 Ole Miss
2:30 p.m. #11 Kentucky vs. #6 South Carolina
Friday, April 24
8:30 a.m. Winner Match 1 vs. #1 Georgia
10:30 a.m. Winner Match 2 vs. #4 Florida
12:30 p.m. Winner Match 3 vs. #2 Arkansas
2:30 p.m. Winner Match 4 vs. #3 Tennessee
Saturday, April 25
10 a.m. Winner Match 5 vs. Winner Match 6
1 p.m. Winner Match 7 vs. Winner Match 8
Sunday, April 26Noon Winner Match 9 vs. Winner Match 10