Wildcats Finish as Runners-Up in Season’s First National Collegiate Championship
MALIBU, Calif. – Kentucky’s Mami Adachi and Aldila Sutjiadi are runners-up in this season’s first national collegiate championship, the Oracle/ITA Masters, after dropping both sets, 6-2, to Southern California’s Giuliana Olmos and Gabby Smith. No. 9 Adachi and Sutjiadi head back to Lexington with a top-10 win, a top-five win, and second place at a national championship proving that they are a doubles power after a stellar weekend of tennis.
“First of all I want to congratulate USC. They played great,” Sutjiadi said. “I want to thank Oracle for a wonderful weekend and event. Also, I want to thank everyone here that watched and supported us. I’m very grateful to have played in this tournament.
“They serve well and have a high percentage,” Sutjiadi said about their Southern California opponents. “It was hard for us to return their serve. They did a great job at the net. It’s tough to play doubles with someone that serves and volleys well.”
Olmos and Smith went 9-2 when paired together last season, but did not compete together in the postseason. Olmos was part of a veteran pairing last year that made it to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament, while Smith was a part of a freshman duo. During this tournament, the pair knocked off Texas A&M and upset No. 4 Vanderbilt, who Olmos eliminated last season with her former doubles partner Zoë Scandalis.
Throughout today’s nationally televised match, both teams looked to place shots in the middle. The Wildcats did so in the second game of the first set as they took control of the middle of the court and dominated in net play. Adachi asserted herself and her powerful serve, as the duo didn’t give up a single point in the game and tied the set at 1-1. The Trojans would break in the fourth game, the first break of the match, and win the following game as well to take a 4-1 lead.
The sixth game of the first set started off with a great lob to the baseline from Adachi followed by a powerful serve out wide that could not be returned to make the score 30-15. A well-played middle point from Sutjiadi fueled the Wildcats to win the game and try to mount a comeback. Now trailing 4-2 in the first set, Sutjiadi had a strong forehand down the line and an early return to draw deuce with no AD scoring, but it wasn’t enough as USC took the next two games to win the set.
Olmos and Smith won the first three games of the second set, before Adachi and Sutjiadi took a 40 to love lead in the fourth game. The Wildcats went on to win that game and battle in the fifth after a great return through the middle from Adachi and a double fault from USC. However, the UK pairing came up just short. Adachi showcased her net play in the sixth game of the second set as she hit a cross-court stinger followed by another powerful serve that couldn’t be returned. Kentucky won the sixth game and tried to mount a comeback after being down 2-4, but dropped the next two games and the match.
Being runners-up in this national championship is the highest honor on the pairings list of accolades. When paired together, Adachi and Sutjiadi have wins over six duos ranked in the top-20, four in the top-10, and a Sweet 16 Appearance.
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