Johnston, Trgovich win seventh straight as tennis picks up pair of Saturday wins

Although the women’s tennis team’s unbeaten streak ended with a loss at Indiana on Feb. 2, four other streaks were on the line for UK on Saturday.

The unblemished records of two of the Cats’ teams and two individuals continued, as UK hosted Middle Tennessee State and East Tennessee State for the second double-header of the season at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.

UK dominated both Tennessee teams 6-1, extending the Cats’ overall record against Middle Tennessee State to 11-0 — tied for the second-best record over a single opponent in the UK history — and 4-0 against East Tennessee State.

Sophomore Christine Johnston and freshman Alaina Trgovich won both of their singles matches, improving their winning streaks to seven matches, the longest of their college careers.

“They play well under pressure when it matters,” head coach Carlos Drada said. “It’s a testament to the level of attention that they have when they are playing and at practice.”

UK swept the courts in played matches. The only points the Cats lost were both doubles matches and singles matches that sophomore Whitney Spencer was scheduled to play but did not. Drada said Spencer did not play because she needed to rest for upcoming matches.

Johnston won her first singles match 6-1, 6-1 against Middle Tennessee State’s Shannon Hartmann.

“I played my own game and waited for her weakness,” Johnston said. “She didn’t like to hit her backhand, and the longer the points, the easier it was for her to finally miss.”

In her second singles match, Johnston faced East Tennessee State’s Yevgeniya Stupak moments after winning her doubles match.

Johnston dominated the match, which was played on the center court, 6-3, 6-2. Johnston showed power in the backcourt, coming out strong from the beginning and winning the first two games. Stupak came back to tie the game at 2-2 and again at 3-3 before Johnston seized control and took the match.

Trgovich governed her singles match on center court against Middle Tennessee’s Stephanie Parkison, winning 6-0, 6-1. And against East Tennessee’s Shannon Hartmann, Trgovich conquered the first set 6-1. However, in the second set, Hartmann came back to take the first four points, and despite Trgovich’s attempt at a comeback, Hartmann won 6-4.

“Alaina has a powerful game, but she has to be disciplined in pressure situations with her shot selection and self-talk,” Drada said. “She was able to change and realize that she was playing well.”

Trgovich’s came back to take the third set 6-0.

“I needed to relax and not be so tight,” Trgovich said. “I need to be confident that I can hit my forehand like I know that I can.”