Fourth-Ranked Gators Top Wildcats
The University of Kentucky womens tennis team came up short in its bid to upset the fourth-ranked Florida Gators (2-0) on Sunday, Feb. 11, with a 5-2 loss in Gainesville, Fla.
The Wildcats (3-3, 0-2 SEC) got singles wins from senior Brooke Skeen and sophomore Sarah Witten. Skeen defeated 17th-ranked Jessica Lehnhoff for her second win over a Top-25 opponent this season. The squads lone senior battled back after losing an opening-set tiebreaker, 6-7 (7), to roll through the next two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Witten, a Naples, Fla., native, scored an impressive straight-set victory over Gator Stephanie Hazlett, fighting off four set points in the second set to close out and notch the win.
"Brooke and Sarah picked up great wins today," Coach Mark Guilbeau said. "They both made great decisions and showed a lot of toughness."
"I give Florida all the credit. They were ready to play when they stepped on the court, but I was impressed with the way we fought back. Our energy level has dramatically improved from earlier losses. There was never a lack of effort, we just needed to focus and believe that we could win. We have some challenging matches coming up on our schedule, and we will be ready for them."
Juniors Carolina Mayorga and Lauren Rookledge also fought hard against tough opponents, but fell short of pulling off the upsets. Mayorga was defeated by Whitney Laiho, a member of the 2000 USA Tennis Collegiate Team, while Rookledge was downed at the No. 5 position by 59th-ranked Julia Scaringe.
The Tennis Cats will take some time off before hitting the courts again when they play host to the Purdue Boilermakers at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 1:30 p.m.
UF 5, UK 2 Singles 1. Whitney Laiho, UF def. Carolina Mayorga, UK 6-3, 6-3 2. Brooke Skeen, UK def. Jessica Lehnhoff (#17), UF 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 3. Sarah Witten, UK def. Stephanie Hazlett, UF 7-5, 7-6 4. Lindsay Dawaf (#34), UF def. Leigh Bradwell, UK 6-0, 6-2 5. Julia Scaringe (#59), UF def. Lauren Rookledge, UK 6-4, 7-6 6. Annika Bengtsson, UF def. Amy Trefethen, UK 6-1, 6-1 Doubles (one point for two victories) 1. Laiho/Lehnoff (#17), UF def. Mayorga/Witten (#10), UK 8-3 2. Skeen/Rookledge, UK def. Hazlett/Scaringe, UF 8-4 3. Bengtsson/Dawaf, UF def. Stafford/Bradwell, UK 8-4