Wildcats Look to Extend Winning Streak Against Bulldogs

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 23 Kentucky women’s tennis continues its swing in the Magnolia State on Saturday, heading to Starkville, Miss., to take on the No. 28 Bulldogs of Mississippi State.  First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.  

The Wildcats have completed the most grueling run in their Southeastern Conference slate, taking on six of the other seven teams that rank in the top 25 of the latest Oracle/ITA national rankings, including four in the top 10.   Throughout that run, UK compiled a 1-5 record with a dominant 6-1 win over then-No. 14 Texas A&M and two down-to-the-wire 4-3 setbacks to then-No. 12 South Carolina and then-No. 18 LSU.  UK came out of the stretch with a 4-2 win over No. 58 Tennessee and a 4-3 victory over No. 36 Ole Miss, riding a two-match winning streak going into Saturday’s dual.  

Overall, Kentucky is 14-6 on the year (3-5 SEC) with its only six losses coming against a top-20 opponent.  Headlining the Wildcat lineup is the duo of Mami Adachi and Aldila Sutjiadi, who are ranked as the No. 3 doubles team in the country after bursting onto the national scene with a preseason top-10 ranking for the first time in their careers.  Sutjiadi is also ranked in singles, sitting at No. 49 behind an 11-4 record this season, including 4-3 in SEC play.  Freshman Justina Mikulskytė also made her way into the ITA rankings this week after her impressive play at the No. 1 spot and picking up a 12-6 record and 3-5 mark in the SEC.   However, it was the Wildcats’ No. 4-6 singles players that shone in the most recent outing against Ole Miss on Thursday night.  All three picked up victories over the Rebels to rally back from a 3-1 deficit and claim a 4-3 victory.  Akvilė Paražinskaitė and Kirsten Lewis both went three sets against their opponents in No. 4 and 6 singles, respectively, while Adachi handily defeated her opposition in No. 5 singles.  

Kentucky’s doubles lineup has been instrumental in getting the matches going, as the Wildcats have only dropped three doubles points.  Overall, all three primary doubles pairings have lost a combined five out of 34 sets.  Adachi and Sutjiadi have posted a 10-2 record (5-0 SEC), while Morgan Chumney and Paražinskaitė have a 9-2 (3-1 SEC) record and Nadia Ravita and Mikulskytė hold a 10-1 (3-1) mark.  Chumney and Paražinskaitė have also picked up a national ranking in the latest release, sitting at No. 51 in the country.

Mississippi State has moved its scheduled match with No. 5 Vanderbilt to this afternoon, holding a 12-6 (3-5 SEC) record heading into the matchup with the Commodores.  Kentucky holds a staunch advantage in the all-time series with the Bulldogs, dropping just four duals in 38 meetings.  The Wildcats have not fallen to Mississippi State since 2010, and had a 5-2 victory in Lexington last season.  This year, the Bulldogs are led by the ITA’s 2015 Southern Region Player to Watch, Jasmine Lee, who is ranked No. 13 in the latest ITA/Oracle rankings.  Lee has compiled an 11-5 record and has gone 4-4 within SEC play this year.  Also ranked for the Bulldogs are No. 71 Georgiana Patrasc and No. 100 Anastasia Rentouli.  In doubles, Mississippi State has made lineup changes, swapping the No. 31 top doubles pairing of Madison Harrison and Patrasc, who went 8-4 (3-2 SEC) together, for Harrison and Kristina Vozniak.  The two have a modest 1-0 record together, but the win came by way of upending No. 24 Alizee Michaud and Pleun Burgmans of Auburn, 6-2.  Patrasc moved into the No. 3 doubles spot with Rentoulli, as the two are ranked No. 61 in the nation.  

Live stats for Sunday’s match will be available here.

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.