UK tops U of L to remain undefeated

With a perfect season on the line and 14 straight wins against Louisville, UK took to the courts at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex yesterday and kept both streaks intact.

Though the Cardinals won the doubles point, the women’s tennis team took four out of six singles matches to earn a 4-3 win.

The Cats’ fourth win of the season marked their 15th straight against U of L and the second consecutive year that UK has gone 4-0 to start the season — a feat that has now occurred only six times in school history.

“I am happy with the win, because we played a very intense and well-coached Louisville team,” head coach Carlos Drada said.

In the center-court doubles match, UK junior Carolina Escamilla and sophomore Christine Johnston faced off against sophomore Lauren Imre and junior Lindsey Jones for a very tough and vocal matchup.

Both teams had trouble executing their first serves throughout the beginning of the set, forcing them into crucial second serve situations. But UK held strong, hitting many short, quick returns that U of L could not handle.

A controversial ball ruling that went against UK led to a lengthy dispute between both teams and the umpire. The argument left Escamilla and Johnston emotionally charged and it seemed like the pair rode that emotion for the duration of the set. Escamilla and Johnson soared to an 8-1 victory to give UK its first doubles win.

U of L won the other two doubles matches, 8-2 and 8-4 respectively, giving the Cardinals the team doubles point.

“It was the first time that we lost in doubles, and the fact that the girls were able to overcome difficulties and were able to turn it around prepares them for more adverse situations,” Drada said.

UK won four out of six singles matches to clinch the team victory, but they had to work for each individual win. Two of the matches went into a third set and another took a tiebreaker before the outcome was decided in the Cats’ favor.

“The girls dug deep and did what they could to win,” Drada said.

UK sophomore Sarah Woestmann took her turn at Imre in the center-court singles match. The match featured predominately backcourt play, as the players rarely came close to the net.

Woestmann won the first set 6-4, causing a frustrated Imre to go back to her bench and slam her racket against her equipment bag. Woestmann continued winning, taking the second set 6-2 to claim the match.

“She had good shots, but when I mixed it up, she started missing a lot,” Woestmann said. “I didn’t want to give her any free points. I didn’t want to miss. I wanted her to miss.”

One of the team’s goals is to remain undefeated until SEC play starts, Woestmann said.

The fourth win on the season brought the Cats a little closer to meeting that goal. The team’s first SEC game is scheduled for Feb. 29 against South Carolina.

The Cats look to continue their winning streak Saturday at Indiana. First serve is set for 10 a.m.