For the first time since 2009, the Kentucky women’s tennis team will enter SEC play with an unblemished record. The Cats finished off their spotless non-conference slate by defeating Notre Dame 6-1 on Saturday morning at the Boone Tennis Complex.
Doubles play has been kind to UK so far this season, and Saturday was no different.
First-time pair Elizabeth Stevens and Carla Girbau kicked things off, taking care of Julia Lillen and Julia Andreach 6-2.
On court three, powerhouse duo Lesedi Jacobs and Anastasia Tkachenko made their doubles debut for Big Blue. After compiling an 8-1 record in the shortened season last year, the No. 57 ranked team didn’t miss a beat, putting Kentucky up 1-0 after beating Meghan Coleman and Ally Bojczuk 6-4.
As the doubles point was being claimed, an upset was brewing on court one. Undefeated pair Akvilė Paražinskaitė and Fiona Arrese were on the verge of capping the point themselves, up 6-5 on the country’s No. 19 ranked tandem in ND’s Cameron Corse and Page Freeman. UK is a perfect 16-0 this year in double play.
Carlota Molina was first to pad the lead for the Cats in singles action. Her 7-6 (9-7,) 7-5 victory over Freeman keeps her singles record pristine at 7-0.
Paražinskaitė overcame adversity to make it 3-0, winning her match over Corse despite dropping the first set. The Lithuanian also remains perfect in singles play after her 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory.
The Fighting Irish got on the board next, as Bojczuk defeated Stevens in a three-set battle, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
Jacobs closed the door on a comeback though, taking a three-set match of her own over Andreach 7-6 (7-4,) 3-6, 6-2. The match clinching win was a nice bounce back for the senior out of Namibia, who was coming off her first singles loss of the season.
With the win in hand, Kentucky sealed the affair with unique set wins for their final two points. Girbau knocked off Maeve Koscielski 8-5, and Arrese ended things 10-6 over Lillen.
After dominating non-conference play, the Wildcats will now prepare for SEC action. They’ll get eleven days to do so, as Texas A&M is first on their docket.
Kentucky faces the 6-1 Aggies inside the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on February 18th. Match time is set for 11:00 a.m. E.T.