Steve Franz

Johnson Ends Regional With Consolation Finals Win

Chase Wales
Chase Wales
Communications Student Assistant

AUBURN, Ala. -- Junior Kennan Johnson wrapped up the LSU women’s tennis team’s time at the ITA Southern Regional by winning her fifth consecutive match to take home the consolation singles title at the Yarbrough Tennis Center Sunday.

After falling in her opening round of 64 match Friday, Johnson rebounded in a huge way, tearing her way through the consolation bracket en route to a five-match win streak capped off by a three-set win over Rikeetha Pereira of Southern Miss to claim the backdraw singles title.

“It is such a physical grind to win a tournament like this, so we’re really proud of Kennan for battling her way through three or four matches a day to win the backdraw,” co-head coach Julia Sell said.

In the singles main draw, both Ryann Foster and Eden Richardson fell to their respective opponents in the quarterfinal round, effectively ending their impressive 2017 regional run.

Richardson got out to an early lead, winning her first set against No. 37 Andie Daniell by a score of 6-2, but the Alabama junior fought back to claim the next two sets over the Tiger freshman.

In doubles, both of LSU’s duos faced off against a couple of Ole Miss pairings in the semifinals, but their opponents ultimately came out on top in both matches as Savina Machalova/Natalie Suk defeated Foster and Elyse Lavender while the sixth-ranked tandem of Arianne Hartono/Alexa Bortles overcame Johnson and Richardson’s strong effort to advance to Monday’s final round.

“Overall, there were some really great positives from our doubles play and I think that our team has gained a lot of confidence from this weekend,” Sell said.

Sunday’s loss snapped a seven-match unbeaten streak for Foster and Lavender dating back to their first match played together at the H-E-B Invitational in October where the senior-freshman pairing won the doubles title.

The Tigers will return to Baton Rouge in preparation for the Tiger Fall Classic Nov. 3-5 at the LSU Tennis Complex.

For more information on the LSU women’s tennis program follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.

ITA Southern Regional

Sunday, October 22

Singles

Quarterfinals
No. 60 Taylor Russo (AUBURN) def. No. 64 Ryann Foster (LSU) 6-2, 6-3
No. 37 Andie Daniell (BAMA) def. Eden Richardson (LSU) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1

Consolation Semifinals
Kennan Johnson (LSU) def. Nancy Karaky (TROY) 6-1, 6-1

Consolation Finals
Kennan Johnson (LSU) def. Rikeetha Pereira (USM) 6-0, 1-6, 1-0 (7)

Doubles

Semifinals
Savina Machalova/Natalie Suk (OM) def. Ryann Foster/Elyse Lavender (LSU) 6-2, 6-4
No. 6 Arianne Hartono/Alexa Bortles (OM) def. Kennan Johnson/Eden Richardson (LSU) 6-1, 6-2

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