Cats Fall 6-1 But Battle Against Tennessee
April 1, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - To round out home dual match play, the University of Kentucky women's tennis team faced No. 19 Tennessee at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex. Although the Wildcats were unable to stop their Southeastern Conference foe, falling 6-1, they provided fierce competition for the Volunteers.
To start off the day, the tandem of Cece Witten and Marni Venter grabbed yet another win for the Cats in doubles play. The sophomores faced Joanna Henderson and Jesse Grace at the No. 3 spot and grabbed a well-earned victory. The two ended the match with an 8-5 score.
Sophomore Misha Testerman made her SEC singles debut on the year against Grace. The two ensued in a battle, going point for point throughout the entirety of the match. Grace grabbed the first set 6-4, but Testerman responded in the next set. She upped the competition to take the second set, 6-3. The match was decided by a tiebreaker, which Testerman dominated to take the victory. She posted a final result of 4-6, 6-3, (10-3).
Fellow sophomore Cece Witten also found herself in a highly competitive match. She took on Henderson and battled for every point. She was unable to grab the first set, losing it 6-4. She rallied in the second set, providing intense play to take the set 6-2. As the two entered into a tiebreaker for the decision, the battle reached a peak.Thirty-six points were played as the two both refused to back down. Ultimately, Henderson was able to narrowly edge out Witten in the tiebreaker with a final result, 6-4, 2-6, (19-17).
Junior Jessica Stiles followed suit, providing yet another highly competitive match for the Wildcats. From the beginning of her match against No. 29 Natalie Ploskota, it was clear the match would be close. The two put an immense effort into the first set, requiring a tiebreaker. Ploskota was able to grab the set but the battle continued. Ultimately, Ploskota was able to take the victory but Stiles did not go down easy as she lost 7-6 (8-2), 6-4.
Kentucky once again proved their ability to compete ferociously, but ultimately dropped the decision to the Volunteers, 6-1.
"Today we took a strong step forward as a team," said seventh-year head coach Carlos Drada, "The score today is not indicative of the hard work and mental toughness that our women exhibited for the majority of the match. Tennessee played with a lot of discipline and for this reason they have been ranked as high as tenth in the nation. After today, we are better prepared and will continue focusing in our commitment to our process. I couldn't be any prouder of our players and I am very motivated to keep working towards our improvement."
The Wildcats next travel for their final three SEC matches of the season. They start the series against Mississippi State on April 6 at 2 p.m. ET.
For more information on the UK women's tennis team, log on to UKathletics.com.
No. 19 Tennessee 6, Kentucky 1
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex
1) Natalie Pluskota/Kata Szekely (UT) def. Jessica Stiles/Caitlin McGraw (UK) 8-4
2) Brynn Boren/Caitlyn Williams (UT) def. Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff/Caitlin McGraw 8-6
3) Marni Venter/CeCe Witten (UK) def. Joanna Henderson/Jesse Grace (UT) 8-5
1) Natalie Pluskota (UT) def. Jessica Stiles (UK) 7-6 (6), 6-4
2) Brynn Boren (UT) def. Khristina Blajkevtich (UK) 6-4, 6-3
3) Kata Szekely (UT) def. Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff (UK) 6-1, 6-2
4) Caitlyn Williams (UT) def. Stephanie Fox (UK) 6-1, 6-1
5) Joanna Henderson (UT) def. Cece Witten (UK) 6-4, 2-6, (19-17)
6) Misha Testerman (UK) def. Jesse Grace (UT) 4-6, 6-4, (7)
Order of Finish:
Doubles: 3, 4, 2*, 1, 5, 6
Singles: 1, 3, 2*