Kentucky womens tennis splits SEC matchups in Mississippi, moves to 6-4


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 picked up its first SEC win after defeating Mississippi State 5-2 on Friday, while falling to Ole Miss 0-4 in Oxford, Mississippi, on Sunday.

First, the Wildcats traveled to Starkville, Mississippi, to take on the Bulldogs to kick off SEC play for the season.

The team jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point, starting with juniors Makayla Mills and Elizabeth Stevens beating Emmanouela Antonaki and Chloe Cirotte 6-4.

Clinching the doubles point was Ellie Eades and Zoe Hammond who defeated Alexandria Mikhailuk 7-5 on court two.

Moving into singles play, Hammond extended Kentucky’s lead after beating No.66 singles player Maria Rizzolo 6-4 in the first set and recorded a bagel – 6-0 in the second.

The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard after Stevens fell on court two to Gia Cohen in straight sets 6-2, 6-4, making the score 3-1.

Finishing next and adding to Kentucky’s lead was Lidia Gonzalez who took down Cirotte 6-2, 6-3.

Clinching the win for the Wildcats was Eades, who defeated Mikhailuk 6-4 in straight sets. To follow, No. 73 Florencia Urrutia won a hard-fought battle with Antonaki 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-2.

After defeating the Bulldogs, Kentucky tennis stayed in Mississippi and traveled to Oxford to take on Ole Miss.

In their second match of the weekend at the William F. Galtney Tennis Center, the Wildcats lost their first SEC match of the season.

The Rebels took control of the match after winning the doubles point with victories on courts one and two.

On court one, Stevens and Mills lost to Anelle Leclercq and Ludmila Kareisova 6-3, while Lillian Gabrielsen and Kelsey Mize for the Rebels beat Hammond and Eades 6-2.

Finishing first in singles play, giving Ole Miss its second point, No. 101 Kareisova defeated Stevens convincingly 6-2, 6-0.

Eades then fell on court two to Gabrielsen in straight sets 6-2, to make the overall score 3-0.

Before Kentucky could have the chance to join the score board, Emma Kette for Ole Miss took down Lidia Gonzalez 6-3, 6-1 to end the match.

After splitting the weekend’s matchups, Kentucky moves to 6-4 on the season and faces off against No. 6 Georgia in its third SEC match at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center on Friday, March 10, at noon EST.