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Kentucky women’s tennis wins first SEC match over Mississippi State, falls to Ole Miss

Samuel Colmar
Kentucky freshman Julia Zhu hits 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

Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Kentucky women’s tennis split matches over Mississippi schools, with a 4-2 over Mississippi St and a 4-0 loss to Ole Miss.  

The 4-2 victory over the Bulldogs was the Wildcats’ first conference win of the season and the first in the Shelley Jaudon era.  

Friday’s win over Mississippi State began with a Wildcats doubles point featuring new double looks for Kentucky.  

Makayla Mills and Lizzy Stevens were first to finish with their 6-3 win on court one.  

For the first time this season Ellie Eades and Zoe Hammond teamed up to clinch the doubles point on court two with a tight 7-6 (8-6) tiebreaker win.  

Up 1-0, the momentum carried over to singles play for Kentucky as Eades took a 6-2, 6-4 win over Athina Pitta.  

Hammond then put the Cats within one point of their first SEC win with a 6-3, 6-4 straight set victory. Hammond is now 9-4 in singles play on the season.  

The Bulldogs kept in the match as Lidia Gonzalez fell 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3 on court two while Stevens also lost a three-set match 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-2, to make the score 3-2.  

Freshman Julia Zhu clinched the match for Kentucky on court five with a 6-2, 6-2 win, giving the Cats their first conference win.  

After the thrilling win over Mississippi State, Kentucky fell to Ole Miss 4-0 to split the Mississippi battles. 

The first outdoor match of the season in Lexington, Kentucky, started with a quick 4-0 sweep for the Rebels.

For doubles play, the Kentucky duo of Stevens and Mills fell to Briana Crowley and Ava Hrastar, 6-0.

On court two, the doubles point was almost clinched by Eades and Hammond, but they fell in a tiebreaker 6-3 (7-7).

In singles play, Gonzalez was the first to finish and dropped the point 1-6, 0-6. After leading 2-0, the Rebels got a scoring chance as Stevens fought her way to a 2-6, 3-6 loss in straight sets.

Ole Miss finished the day after Anaëlle Leclercq-Ficher defeated Eades 6-2, 6-4 for the victory.

The Cats will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to play against the LSU Tigers on Friday, March 22, at 6 p.m. EST and look for their second SEC win of the season.

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Samuel Colmar, Assistant Photo Editor

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