A look at Kentucky tennis so far


Akvilė Paražinskaitė serves the ball during the University of Kentucky vs. Tennessee women’s tennis match on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at Hillary J. Boone Tennis Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Hunter Shelton

Kentucky men’s and women’s tennis are in a fall season full of tournaments and tough competition. Both teams have shown their dominance as the long spring season awaits.

The women’s team earned a total of 24 wins in singles and doubles competition at the ITA Regional Championships in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

“There were a lot of highlights from this tournament,” women’s head coach Carlos Drada said. “Our team continues to grow, and I am excited for the remainder of the season and the progress we will continue to make moving forward.”

UK claimed victory in 13 of 20 singles matches and 11 of 13 doubles matches.

Carlota Molina and Elizabeth Stevens led the way for the Wildcats, advancing all the way to the finals of the 64-team bracket. The pair fell to Laura Masic and Lara Schneider of Indiana in the championship match, 6-3, 6-2.

Kentucky’s Ellie Eades and Carla Girbau were eliminated in the semifinals of the doubles draw, as the freshman-senior combo lost to their teammates in Molina and Stevens, 6-3, 1-6 [12-10.]

Three of the six Cats who competed in the 128-player singles bracket advanced to the Round of 16.

Girbau was the lone player to advance to the Quarterfinals, where the Barcelona, Spain, native fell to Tennessee’s Olivia Symons 6-4, 6-1. Stevens and sophomore Fiona Arrese both exited in the Round of 16.

Kentucky will return to Tennessee for their third fall tournament of the season, competing in the Tennessee Invitational from Oct. 29-31 in Knoxville.

The men’s team continued their fall tour in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as three Wildcats combined for nine victories at the ITA All-American Championships.

Gabriel Diallo reached the Quarterfinals of the singles draw as the No. 6 seed, losing to Washington’s Clement Chidekh, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.

Diallo, a junior from Montreal, Canada, was tabbed as an ITA All-American and was a part of an ITA All-American Doubles team in the 2020-21 season. Diallo was just the seventh player in program history to earn All-American honors in singles and doubles competition.

Joshua Lapadat fell in the Round of 32 to No. 4 seeded Finn Reynolds of Ole Miss, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Old Dominion transfer Francois Musitelli lost in the Round of 64 to LSU’s Ronnie Hohmann, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Diallo and Musitelli, the No. 5 duo in the doubles draw, were upset in the Round of 64 by DePaul’s Marino Jakic and Vito Tonejc, 7-6(4), 7-5.

Next up for the men’s team is the final tournament of the fall; the Cats will travel to San Diego to compete in the ITA National Fall Championships from Nov. 4-7.