BATON ROUGE - The LSU Lady Tigers tennis team (8-6, 2-2 SEC) swept Prairie View A&M 4-0, to split its Saturday doubleheader. LSU dropped a dramatic 4-3 decision to Minnesota (11-1) in a match, which came down to the last court in play on Saturday at W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium.
"It was good to come back and play really well against Prairie View after a tough match," LSU head coach Tony Minnis said. "It was nice seeing Paige Bahnsen get to play and clinch the match. I was happy with the way the team handled a long day of tennis."
LSU produced a flawless performance against Prairie View as they got off to a great start in doubles.
Olivia Howlett and Yvette Vlaar blanked Raven Lewis and Lerato Ndlovu on court one. Kaitlin Burns and Keri Frankenberger clinched a 1-0 lead for LSU with an 8-2 win against Brittany Harrell and Alejandra Berrera on court two.
Hayley Everett and Bahnsen earned their first dual match victory together over Prairie View's Christine Ngo Gwodog and Alix Thomas 8-4 on court three.
Frankenberger gave LSU a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Ndlovu on court three. Howlett made short work of Harrell on court one as she prevailed 6-0, 6-2.
Bahnsen's first career dual match win also clinched the match for LSU 6-1, 6-3 over Alix Thomas.
The dual match ended with three courts unfinished, after LSU had earned the four points required to win.
Kaitlin Burns was just a game away from victory leading Raven Lewis 6-1, 5-1 on court two when the match was stopped.
Yvette Vlaar also held a commanding 6-0, 4-1 lead over Christine Ngo Gwodog on court four when play was called.
Hayley Everett dropped the first set 6-3, but was on her way to forcing a third set holding a 4-1 against Alejandra Berrera when the evening proceedings concluded.
LSU Comes Up Just Short Against Minnesota
The doubleheader day cap accounted for the lion's share of tennis played on a long afternoon, finishing after four hours 35 minutes of edge-of-your-seat drama.
"Minnesota is having a great year, and they played really well," Minnis said. "We had chances, we lost two three-set matches. We have won matches like that three times this year and this is the first one we have lost. Whitney Wolf played unbelievably in her match. She just fell a little bit short, but she gave a great effort."
The match ended on court two where Wolf fell to Minnesota's Natallia Pintusava 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in a tension-filled third set in which both players had a number of break chances.
Wolf and Frankenberger began the day with an 8-4 victory over Pintusava and Magdalena Wiecha on court one. It was the pair's second-consecutive victory, and they have taken seven out of their last 10.
Howlett and Vlaar then clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 win against Doron Muravnik and Tereza Brichacova.
Ariel Morton and Ebie Wilson traded breaks with Minnesota's Alexa Palen and Emilie Renault on court three, but the visitors pulled out the tiebreaker to claim an 8-7 (7-2) outcome.
Minnesota quickly gained a 2-1 advantage during singles with wins on both ends of its lineup. Palen beat Howlett 6-0, 6-1 on court one, and Aria Lambert downed Vlaar 6-3, 6-2 on court six.
Kaitlin Burns put LSU on level terms at 2-2, cruising 6-3, 6-3 over Brichacova for her third singles triumph in-a-row.
With the score tied, the three remaining matches all went to third sets.
Ebie Wilson fell to Muravnik 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 on court five, and Frankenberger fought back from a set down to outlast Julia Couter 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Court two then took center stage, but the Lady Tigers came up just short in front of the boisterous home crowd.
The Lady Tigers' next outing will be another doubleheader, against Ohio State and Grambling on Tuesday at 1 p.m. CT and 5 p.m. at the Dub.
For the latest information on the women's tennis team, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and on www.facebook.com/lsuwten.
#34 Minnesota 4, #50 LSU 3
1. Alexa Palen (MINN) def. Olivia Howlett (LSU) 6-0, 6-1
2. Natallia Pintusava (MINN) def. Whitney Wolf (LSU) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
3. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) def. Tereza Brichacova (MINN) 6-3, 6-3
4. Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Julia Courter (MINN) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Doron Muravnik (MINN) def. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 4-6, 6-0, 6-2
6. Aria Lambert (MINN) def. Yvette Vlaar (LSU) 6-3, 6-2
1. Whitney Wolf/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Natallia Pintusava/Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 8-4
2. Olivia Howlett/Yvette Vlaar (LSU) def. Doron Muravnik/Tereza Brichacova (MINN) 8-6
3. Alexa Palen/Emilie Renault (MINN) def. Ariel Morton/Ebie Wilson (LSU) 8-7 (7-2)
Minnesota 11-1; National ranking #34
LSU 7-6; National ranking #50
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,6,3,5,4,2)
#50 LSU 6, Prairie View A&M 0
1. Olivia Howlett (LSU) def. Brittany Harrell (PVAMW) 6-0, 6-2
2. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) vs. Raven Lewis (PVAMW) 6-1, 5-1 (DNF)
3. Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Lerato Ndlovu (PVAMW) 6-1, 6-1
4. Yvette Vlaar (LSU) vs. Christine Ngo Gwodog (PVAMW) 6-0, 4-1 (DNF)
5. Alejandra Berrera (PVAMW) vs. Hayley Everett (LSU) 6-3, 1-4 (DNF)
6. Paige Bahnsen (LSU) def. Alix Thomas (PVAMW) 6-1, 6-3
1. Olivia Howlett/Yvette Vlaar (LSU) def. Raven Lewis/Lerato Ndlovu (PVAMW) 8-0
2. Kaitlin Burns/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Brittany Harrell/Alejandra Berrera (PVAMW) 8-2
3. Hayley Everett/Paige Bahnsen (LSU) def. Christine Ngo Gwodog/Alix Thomas (PVAMW) 8-4
Prairie View A&M 5-8
LSU 7-6; National ranking #50
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,1,6)