Kentucky womens tennis splits doubleheader, suffers first loss of season


Carla Girbau hits the ball across the net 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

Sara Gibson, Reporter

Kentucky womens tennis split a double header on Sunday, earning a 6-1 bounce-back win over Northern Illinois to improve to 3-1 on the season after losing to Illinois 4-3 to start the day.

Kentucky started the day in a one-point hole against Illinois after losing all three doubles matches by just one score.

Singles play against Illinois would also be close, but Florencia Urrutia and Lidia Gonzalez would ultimately lose on courts two and four. Kentucky would hang around and tie the match at 2-2 before the winner would be determined on court five.  

Unfortunately for Kentucky, the Illini would seal the match when Kasia Treiber defeated Makayla Mills 2-6 and 4-6 for a sweeping win.

Despite the loss in the first matchup, things would go Kentucky’s way in the second game as the Wildcats went undefeated in doubles play against the Huskies with Carlota Molina and Elizabeth Stevens taking down Erika Dimitriev and Anastasia Rakita 6-0.  

Earlier, on court three Kentucky’s Ellie Eades and Zoe Hammond defeated the Huskies’ Jenna Horne and Isabella Righi 6-1, giving the Cats their first point.

The Wildcats didn’t slow down there, going 5-1 in singles play with Urrutia leading the way. Rallying from her singles loss earlier in the day, Urrutia defeated Diana Lukyanova 6-1 in both sets.

Also recovering from her loss to start the day, Mills rebounded by ending her match in just two sets after beating Nataly Miroslavova Ninova 6-1 and 6-3.

Stevens would then build on her doubles victory and clinch the match for Kentucky with a hard-fought win over Dimitriev, winning 6-3 and 6-4. The sweeping win rounded out an overall impressive performance and improved Stevens at 4-0 on the day.  

On court five Hammond also took care of business, going 4-0 on the day against Righi, winning 6-1 and 6-2 and was quickly followed by an 8-2 Morante win in a shortened match.

The Huskies’ only point of the match came after an injury forced Molina to retire, giving the win to Reagan Welch.  

The Wildcats are set to host their third doubleheader to start the spring season on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST against the Cincinnati Bearcats and Marshall.