Women’s Tennis Heads to Mississippi for Road Swing

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After getting back into the win column on Saturday against No. 58 Tennessee, the No. 23 Kentucky women’s tennis team will look to add another victory to its record when it heads to Oxford, Miss., for a dual match with No. 36 Ole Miss.  The match with the Rebels is slated for 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 31.  

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 on Saturday afternoon.

Overall, Kentucky is 13-6 on the year (2-5 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 11-3 record this season, including 4-2 in SEC play.  The junior had an impressive outing against No. 4 Georgia, rallying back from a opening-set defeat from No. 56 Kennedy Shaffer to push the tiebreak in the second set with a 7-6(5) win.  She capped off her play with a 6-2 win over the Bulldog for UK’s lone singles point in the 4-2 setback to the Bulldogs.  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 12-5 record and 3-4 mark in the SEC.  The rookie sits at No. 76 in the nation, and recently upended No. 42 Sadie Hammond of Tennessee in matching 6-2 sets.

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 32 sets.  Adachi and Sutjiadi have posted a 9-2 record (4-0 SEC), while Morgan Chumney and Akvilė Paražinskaitė have a 9-2 (3-1 SEC) record and Nadia Ravita and Justina Mikulskytė hold a 9-1 (2-1) mark.  Chumney and Paražinskaitė have also picked up a national ranking in the latest release, sitting at No. 51 in the country.

Ole Miss enters Thursday’s dual match with a 9-6 record, with all six losses coming during SEC play as part of a 2-6 conference record.  Kentucky barely trails in the all-time series, 20-21, having split last year.  The Wildcats snapped a five-match losing skid in the regular season in 2015 with a 4-3 win over the Rebels, but met up again in the SEC Tournament and were knocked out in the first round.  Ole Miss has four ranked singles players, led by No. 37 Arianne Hartono.  The sophomore holds a 10-2 record at the No. 1 spot, including a 4-2 record within conference play.  Hartono also makes up one half of the Rebels’ top-ranked doubles pairing along with Mai El Kamash, ranked No. 98 in singles, for the No. 26 team in the nation.  The duo has posted a 7-4 (3-4 SEC) record this season, highlighted by a win over current No. 4 Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle of Standford.  Ole Miss also features ranked singles players in No. 97 Natalie Suk and No. 119 Tea Jandric.

UK athletics marketing, in conjunction with the men’s and women’s tennis programs, is excited to announce the launch of The Wildcat Advantage, Kentucky’s new tennis fan club. Members can accumulate points to trade in and receive prizes by signing in at matches they attend for both the men’s and women’s teams. Members will also be signed up for an email group to receive reminders of upcoming tennis matches. Members of The Wildcat Advantage can earn a point by signing in at each tennis match and can earn additional points for signing friends up for the club. Prizes include The Wildcat Advantage t-shirts, Papa John’s pizza coupons, and exclusive tennis experiences throughout the season.

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.