Wildcats Drop Senior Day Match to No. 12 Auburn, 4-3

LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 20 Kentucky women’s tennis gave its all against No. 12 Auburn in the regular season finale, but fell just shy in a 4-3 decision on Sunday afternoon, with the deciding match going down to the wire in tiebreak.  The Wildcats fall to 17-8 on the season and 6-7 in the Southeastern Conference, while Auburn advances to 21-6 (9-4 SEC).

Prior to the match, the team honored its three seniors in Kate Lanier, Kirsten Lewis and Nadia Ravita.  The three have made a tremendous impact on the program, and are the second winningest class under head coach Carlos Dradá. 

“Kate has exemplified the highest level of effort, work ethic and patience since her arrival at the UK women’s tennis program,” said Dradá.  “I have personally learned a lot from her work ethic, and I’m certain that she has given her maximum effort in the classroom, the weight room, in community service and to the team.  Also, Kate has learned to exercise patience and perseverance, which will be invaluable in the future.  Kate has been a strong leader who leads by example.  Her present behavior is an indicator of her future behavior, and based on her choices and actions, I have no doubt that Kate will be successful in any path she chooses.”

“Kirsten has evolved into one of the strongest leaders in UK tennis history,” commended Dradá.  “Her on-court work ethic and her high level of investment in the team have been an invaluable asset during the past four years.  Kirsten is a person who not only learns from her environment, but she is also someone who makes that environment a better place with her insights and with her daily contributions to both teammates and the coaching staff.  Her growth into a strong role model is a great source of pride for the staff.”

“Nadia has exemplified the highest level of sportsmanship that I have witnessed in my coaching career,” commented Dradá on the senior who leads the team in career wins.  “In my opinion, she is the fairest line caller that I have come across, and she is someone who has literally let her racket do the talking on the court and has competed at the highest level since her arrival at UK.  Nadia has also been one of the most successful students at UK.  Her results were a significant factor and a catalyst for our program’s turnaround after our most challenging seasons.”

Kentucky handily secured the opening point, with Lewis and Akvilė Paražinskaitė rolling through Paula de Man and Caroline Turner in No. 3 doubles, 6-1, before Mami Adachi and Aldila Sutjiadi handed No. 17 Pleun Burgmans and Alizee Michaud a 6-3 loss in No. 1 doubles. 

Auburn equalized the score after Ravita retired due to injury in No. 3 singles after trailing 2-0 in the opening set.  From there, Kentucky took a 3-1 lead courtesy of Adachi and Sutjiadi with a pair of straight-set victories.  In No. 5 singles, Adachi took down de Man in a 6-3, 6-2 decision to win the first singles match for UK.  Sutjiadi went up early against No. 38 Michaud with a 4-1 advantage in the first set of No. 2 singles, but Michaud fought back to force a tiebreak at 6-6.  Sutjiadi emerged victorious with a 7-5 tiebreak game, and kept her momentum going to secure a 6-1 second set to win her match.

Lewis fell in straight 6-2 sets to Turner in No. 6 singles, leaving the remainder of the match to the Lithuanian duo of Justina Mikulskytė and Paražinskaitė.  Both pushed third sets against their opponents after dropping the opening one, making for an exciting end to the dual.  Mikulskytė matched games with No. 25 Andie Dikosavljevic in the opening set of No. 1 singles, but fell in a 6-4 decision before surging back for a 6-3 win in the second set.  Dikosavljevic went out with an early lead in the deciding set, and secured her win, 6-3. 

In No. 4 singles, Paražinskaitė dropped the first set to Alannah Griffin, 6-3, but had a dominant 6-2 win in the second.  She found herself trailing in the deciding set, but rallied back to knot it up at 6-6. Paražinskaitė was able to hold off four match points by Griffin, but fell on the fifth one and dropped the third-set tiebreak in an emotional 11-9 game. 

Having wrapped up the regular season, Kentucky will make the trip to Baton Rouge, La., for the SEC Tournament.  The tournament will be held April 20-24 at LSU Tennis Complex.

No. 12 Auburn 4, No. 20 Kentucky 3
Boone Tennis Center – Lexington, Ky.
April 17, 2016

Singles (Order of Finish:  3, 5, 2, 6, 1, 4*)
1.  No. 25 Andie Dikosavljevic (AU) def. Justina Mikulskytė (UK) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
2.  No. 53 Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) def. No. 38 Alizee Michaud (AU) 7-6(5), 6-1
3.  No. 94 Pleun Burgmans (AU) vs. Nadia Ravita (UK) 2-0, retired
4.  Alannah Griffin (AU) def. Akvilė Paražinskaitė (UK) 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(9)
5.  Mami Adachi (UK) def. Paula de Man (AU) 6-3, 6-2
6.  Caroline Turner (AU) def. Kirsten Lewis (UK) 6-2, 6-2
Doubles (Order of Finish:  3, 1*)
1.  No. 2 Mami Adachi/Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) def. No. 17 Pleun Burgmans/Alizee Michaud (AU) 6-3
2.  Nadia Ravita/Justina Mikulskytė (UK) vs. Andie Dikosavljevic/Alannah Griffin (AU) 4-4, abandoned
3.  Akvilė Paražinskaitė/Kirsten Lewis (UK) def. Paula de Man/Caroline Turner (AU) 6-1
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky women’s tennis team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info, notes, and behind-the-scenes updates, follow the team on Twitter at @UKWomensTennis and on Facebook.