Kentucky womens tennis falls short against South Carolina 4-3


Fiona Arrese hits 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

Sara Gibson, Reporter

Kentucky womens tennis traveled to Columbia, South Carolina, on Saint Patrick’s Day where it suffered its fourth SEC loss of the season to the Gamecocks, falling 4-3.

The Wildcats grabbed the doubles point after Ellie Eades and Zoe Hammond won court two and the clincher from Elizabeth Stevens and Carlota Molina on court three.

Shortly into singles play, the match was delayed and moved indoors due to weather as Kentucky was heating up.

Finishing first on court six in her first SEC match this season was senior Maialen Morante who won in straight sets 6-2.

Expanding Kentucky’s lead and making the score 3-0 was Zoe Hammond who won a tightly contested first set 6-4 and 6-1 on the second to win her match.

Only needing one more point to secure the win, Kentucky was unable to stop the Gamecock’s comeback, losing four consecutive singles matches.

No. 74 Florencia Urrutia was the first to drop a match, losing to No. 7 Ayana Akli 6-1, 6-4.

Stevens lost a close match, dropping the first set 6-4 after being interrupted by the delay. She went on to dominate the second set 6-0, but fell in the final 6-0 to South Carolina’s No. 14 Sarah Hamner.

Tying the match at three, Gracie Mulville defeated Molina 6-4, 7-5 in the tiebreaker.

Finally giving South Carolina the win, Lidia Gonzalez fell to No. 4 Misa Malkin in three sets, winning the first 6-1, but losing the last two with scores of 6-2.

The Wildcats are now 1-4 in conference play and move to 7-7 on the season.

Kentucky will look to rebound in Gainesville for its sixth SEC matchup of the season against No. 18 Florida on Sunday, March 19, at noon EST.