LEXINGTON, KY. — After dropping the first match of the weekend slate to Vanderbilt by a score of 4-3, the No. 23 Razorback women’s tennis team reversed that score and ended up on the winning side of things on Sunday against Kentucky. The Hogs were able to, again, win the doubles point against the Wildcats and this time were able to take advantage of that in singles, winning the first three matches to go final.
“We’re always pleased to get a conference win on the road,” said head coach Michael Hegarty. “We need to take the positives from today and build on them as we prepare to face another tough road match at LSU on Saturday.”
Arkansas (15-8, 5-5) was coming off a tough loss to Vanderbilt on Friday and was looking to get back to .500 in the SEC against a Kentucky team that was winless in the conference and in search of their third win this season. The Razorbacks got a good start to doubles when the team of sophomore Emily Carbone and freshman Claudine Paulson scored an 8-1 win over Kentucky’s Elle Coldiron and Nicole Scates. However, the Cats were able to pounce back as they got a win at court one when Caroline Lilley and Minnette Pienaar dropped the Hog team of junior Anouk Tigu and sophomore Stephanie Roy, 8-2.
The doubles point came down to court two, when the duo of Kate Lukomskaya and Kelsey Sundaram earned a tough 8-5 win over Megan Broderick and Christine Johnson and gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead going into singles. The win was the fourth straight for Lukomskaya and Sundaram and sixteenth of the spring.
Once again, the Hogs had a 1-0 lead going into singles, but this time they used it to their advantage to continue playing with great effort and got things started when Sundaram did not allow the Wildcats No. 5 player in Coldiron to score one point in a straight set shutout, 6-0, 6-0. The win gives the freshman from New Braunfels, Texas now 17 wins this year and gave Arkansas a 2-0 lead in the match.
At court six, the Hogs continued their dominant play when Paulson matched Sundaram with a straight set shutout of her own over Scates, 6-0, 6-0, to push the Razorbacks ahead 3-0, only one point away from clinching the match.
It was at that time that the Hogs top-ranked player, No. 65 Tigu, took care of business at the top-spot when she dropped No. 98 Broderick in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0, for the clinching match and her twelfth win of the spring.
With the match now already decided and Arkansas ahead 4-0, the remaining matches continued and the first one to finish was at court four when Kentucky picked up their first points of the afternoon, getting a win from Pienaar over Roy in straight sets as well, 6-1, 6-3. At the No. 2 spot, the Wildcats continued their late roll when Lilley defeated No. 115 Lukomskaya, 6-2, 7-6 (3).
In the only match of the day to go three sets, Arkansas’ Carbone had a tough match on her hands against Johnston, who after dropping the first set 7-5, came back to win set number two, 6-3. Johnston won the close third set in a tiebreaker fashion, 1-0 (7), giving UK the court three win.
The Hogs now have one SEC match remaining in the regular season before the SEC Tournament in Athens, Ga. and will travel to Baton Rouge, La. for that match against LSU. Arkansas will, again, try to get over .500 for the first time this season in conference play and look to possibly take a two match winning streak into the conference tournament. For complete coverage of that final match and the SEC Tournament, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.Complete ResultsDoublesOrder of Finish: 3, 1, 2*No. 1 Caroline Lilley/Minnette Pienaar (UK) def. Anouk Tigu/Stephanie Roy (ARK) 8-2No. 2 Kate Lukomskaya/Kelsey Sundaram (ARK) def. Megan Broderick/Christine Johnston (UK) 8-5No. 3 Emily Carbone/Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Elle Coldiron/Nicole Scates (UK) 8-1Singles Order of Finish: 5, 6, 1*, 4, 2, 3No. 1 #65 Anouk Tigu (ARK) def. #98 Megan Broderick (UK) 6-4, 6-0No. 2 Caroline Lilley (UK) def. #115 Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 6-2, 7-6 (3)No. 3 Christine Johnston (UK) def. Emily Carbone (ARK) 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (7)No. 4 Minnette Pienaar (UK) def. Stephanie Roy (ARK) 6-1, 6-3No. 5 Kelsey Sundaram (ARK) def. Elle Coldiron (UK) 6-0, 6-0No. 6 Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Nicole Scates (UK) 6-0, 6-0