Kentucky Enters Top 25 For the First Time Since 2009
March 4, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s tennis team jumped nine spots to No. 22 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings released on Tuesday. This is the first time the program has been in the top 25 since 2009.
“To be ranked in the top 25 is the materialization of all the hard work of the players and coaches involved with our program for the last six years,” Kentucky head coach Carlos Drada Said. “It is a byproduct of all members buying into our process.”
The No. 22 ranking follows the opening of Southeastern Conference play where the Wildcats defeated LSU, 4-1, and Arkansas, 4-0. Senior duo Caitlin McGraw and Cece Witten won both their doubles matches at the No. 1 position beating LSU's Joana Vale Costa and Skylar Holloway, 8-4, and knocked off Arkansas' No. 38 duo, Kimberley-Ann Surin and Brittany Huxley, 8-4. McGraw and Witten are undefeated on court 1.
Sophomore Nadia Ravita and freshman Aldila Sutjiadi are also undefeated in doubles play. Competing at the No. 2 slot, the twosome started conference play with two solid wins over Noel Scott and Ella Taylor from LSU, 8-4, and Sarah McLean and Shannon Hudson from Arkansas, 8-5. The pair are ranked 57th nationally.
No. 51 Ravita had two all-star performances this weekend at the No. 1 singles spot. Against LSU's Joana Vale Costa, Ravita came back from a 6-2 loss in the first set to win 7-5 in the second set, forcing a tiebreak. She won the third set, 6-0, and clinched the match for Kentucky. Arkansas' Yang Pang provided a rematch for Ravita, who dropped a match against Pang last season. An emotional match for both players, Ravita came out with the 6-1, 6-2 win.
Sutjiadi and Kelsey Dieters both had huge weekends. Both went 2-0 at the No. 2 and No. 3 singles positions, respectively. Sutjiadi knocked off No. 87 Scott and Dieters clinched the match for Kentucky over Arkansas with a comeback win against Kimberley-Ann Surin, 7-5, 6-2.
“It will be exciting to see our progression during these next few weeks,” Drada said. “Our team will be giving its best effort and we can’t wait for the opportunities ahead.”