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Kentucky women’s tennis falls to Vanderbilt in SEC home opener

Samuel Colmar
Kentucky junior Lidia hits the ball Kentucky junior Lidia Gonzalez prepares to hit the ball during the Kentucky vs Wichita State women’s tennis match on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 5-2. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

Kentucky women’s tennis had its SEC home opener on Sunday, March 10, falling 6-1 to the Vanderbilt Commodores.  

With the loss, Kentucky moves to 6-6 on the season and 0-3 in the SEC, with 10 matches remaining in the season.  

Winless through three matches of league play, let’s look at a few takeaways from an unfavorable start to conference play.  

Kentucky must start winning the doubles point 

In a loaded SEC with seven teams ranked inside the ITA top 25, Kentucky must start winning the doubles point for a fighting chance at victory.  

Kentucky lost the doubles point in all three of its conference matchups this season, going into an 0-1 hole early in the match.  

The Cats have two ranked doubles pairs with No. 50 Lizzy Stevens and Makayla Mills and No. 70 Ellie Eades and Lidia Gonzalez.  

Over the season, Kentucky has seen several different doubles combinations, including one that separates the No. 50 duo in the nation – maybe it’s time for them to reunite. 

Kentucky has lost the singles match on the top four courts in every SEC match this season, making its singles play not strong enough to play from behind in every match. 

The matches are closer than the scoreboard suggests 

In every SEC match thus far, the scoreboard has been heavily favored in the opponent’s direction, with respective scores of 5-2, 6-1, 6-1.  

Throughout these three matches and 18 singles matches, Kentucky’s singles players have taken eight of the matches to three sets – two of them being ranked opponents.  

The Wildcats are pushing hard and taking matches as far as they can before just falling short of succeeding the point to their opponents.  

If just a few more matches swung Kentucky’s way, the Cats would have a legitimate shot at winning more SEC matches.  

Kentucky will return to action in search of its first conference win on Friday, March 15, at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Kentucky, at 5 p.m. EST. 

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Samuel Colmar, Assistant Photo Editor

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