FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Lexington, Kentucky native, Emily Carbone, clinched a great Southeastern Conference match for the 29th-ranked University of Arkansas Razorback women’s tennis team, 5-2, over No. 13 Kentucky Friday at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center.
With Arkansas ahead 3-2 in the match, the freshman Carbone watched a return from Kentucky’s Whitney Spencer sail out of bounds providing a 7-5 set and match win much to the liking of the home crowd.
“It’s really exciting to get a win against Kentucky. I was born and raised in Lexington, but they (Kentucky) didn’t even recruit me,” said Carbone. “So I had a lot of motivation today and earning the match clincher against them feels good.”
The Hogs (7-3, 2-1) will host the 27th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores on Sunday at 11 a.m. to complete their SEC home stand.
Kentucky (9-2, 1-2) took control early in claiming a very close doubles point. Seniors Aurelija Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder took Court 2 as Kentucky’s Lauren Meier and Spencer won Court 3. Caroline Lilley and Carolina Escamilla clinched the doubles point, 9-8(3), in a tie-breaking showdown on Court 1.
Arkansas rocketed into singles action winning the first three matches. Tenth-ranked Miseviciute got things started quickly, 6-0, 6-0, over No. 96 Megan Broderick. Sophomore Anouk Tigu, ranked 97th in singles, gave the Razorbacks their first lead of the day, 6-1, 6-3, over Escamilla. Kaluder extended the lead to 3-1 with a win over Christine Johnston, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, moving her record to 3-0 in SEC action.
“This was every bit as good a team performance as we have seen from this group the past few seasons,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “Kentucky is a very well coached and prepared squad so to bounce back after a frustrating doubles point was encouraging for the growth of this team.”
The Wildcats got back on the board to make things close when Lilley dropped Kate Lukomskaya, 6-4, 7-5, before Carbone clinched.
Senior Nanar Airapetian closed out the match in style with a three-set victory over Meier, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Live stats for Sunday’s match can be found on ARKANSASRAZORBACKS.COM.
#29 Arkansas- 5#13 Kentucky- 2
Singles1. #10 Aurelija Miseviciute (Ark) def. #96 Megan Broderick (UK), 6-0, 6-2.2. #97 Anouk Tigu (Ark) def. Carolina Escamilla (UK), 6-1, 6-3.3. Ela Kaluder (Ark) def. Christine Johnston (UK), 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.4. Emily Carbone (Ark) def. Whitney Spencer (UK), 6-4, 7-5.5. Nanar Airapetian (Ark) def. Lauren Meier (UK), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.6. Caroline Lilley (UK) def. Kate Lukomskaya (Ark), 6-4, 7-5.
Order of Finish: (1,2,3,6,4*,5)
Doubles1. Caroline Lilley/Carolina Escamilla (UK) def. #18 Nanar Airapetian/Anouk Tigu (Ark), 9-8(3)2. Aurelija Miseviciute/Ela Kaluder (Ark) def. Christine Johnston/Megan Broderick (UK), 8-1.3. Lauren Meier/Whitney Spencer (UK) def. Emily Carbone/Kate Lukomskaya (Ark), 8-4.
Order of Finished: (2,3,1*)