CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 32 University of Kentucky women's tennis team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after edging No. 38 Columbia University, 4-2, Friday morning at the Snyder Tennis Center in Charlottesville, Va.
"We are very excited and grateful to have won this first round against a very tough opponent today," Kentucky head coach Carlos Drada said. "Our ladies did a great job in managing their stress and for this reason, were able to maximize their effort from point to point. We look forward to playing a great match tomorrow."
Kentucky got off to en early 1-0 lead, taking the doubles point over Columbia. Dropping the match on court one, Kentucky rallied back on courts two and three to clinch the point. Jakarta, Indonesia natives, Nadia Ravita and Aldila Sutjiadi, defeated Tina Jiang and Crystal Leung, 8-4 to even the score. Junior Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff and sophomore Kirsten Lewis claimed their match at the No. 3 position with an 8-4 win over Tiana Takenaga and Ioana Alecsiu and clinched the point for Kentucky.
"Everyone really gave it their all out there today and left everything on the court," Lewis said. "We are all so excited that we were able to come out with the win."
In singles play, Ravita was the first Wildcat to get on the scoreboard. Her opponent, Kanika Vaidya, retired and Kentucky's lead extended to 2-0. Columbia tied the overall match behind wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 singles position, but it wasn't enough to get past the Wildcats. Senior Caitlin McGraw pulled through and routed Ioana Alecsiu 6-4, 7-6 (4) to put Kentucky ahead. Lewis clinched the overall match and secured the Wildcats spot in the second round behind her win at No. 5 singles. The Birmingham, Ala. native came from behind to knock off Takenaga in a thrilling three-set match, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.
"I'm so proud of how everyone fought today," McGraw said. "It was a great feeling to be able to look around and know that all of the girls were out there fighting for every point."
Kentucky will compete against the winner of Virginia and Youngstown, Saturday, May 10 at 3 p.m. ET. The winner of the match will advance to the Sweet 16 in the Athens, Ga.
#32 Kentucky 4, #38 Columbia 2
Friday, May 9, 2014
Snyder Tennis Center
1. Sanon/Vaidya (CU) def. #34 Witten/McGraw (UK) 8-4
2. #56 Sutjiadi/Ravita (UK) def. Jiang/Leung (CU) 8-4
3. Morin-Kougoucheff/Lewis (UK) def. Takenaga/Alecsiu (CU) 8-4
Order of Finish: 1,2,3*
1. #47 Nadia Ravita (UK) def. Kanika Vaidya (CU) 3-4, retired
2. Bianca Sanon (CU) def. #125 Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) 7-6(6), 6-1
3. Tina Jiang (CU) def. Kelsey Dieters (UK) 7-6(4), 6-3
4. Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff (UK) vs. Crystal Leung (CU) 7-5, 6-7(2), 4-2, DNF
5. Kirsten Lewis (UK) def. Tiana Takenaga (CU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
6. Caitlin McGraw (UK) def. Ioana Alecsiu (CU) 6-4, 7-6(4)
Order of Finish: 1,2,3,6,5*