BATON ROUGE, La. - The LSU women's tennis team opened SEC play Friday with a 7-0 loss to the No. 12 Vanderbilt Commodores at W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium.
"It isn't fun to lose, but we're getting better," head coach Julia S. Sell said. "That's all that matters. In practice, they're doing a really good job. It's just about transferring that into a match. Unfortunately, that's tough to do when you're playing such a good team. They battled, and they showed a lot of heart. That's what it's all about."
LSU faced multiple ranked players, and Kaitlin Burns took court one into the third set of competition, battling No. 60 Lauren Mira. The senior fought back from a 6-1 first set loss to notch a 6-3 win in the second. She ultimately faced a 6-2 defeat in the third set, which gave Vanderbilt its final point of the day.
Mary Jeremiah and Ariel Morton also faced a tightly-contested doubles match with the No. 29 ranked duo of Vanderbilt's Mira and Courtney Colton in the top spot. After trailing 5-3, the pair came back to tie the match at 5-5, and the competition was left at an undecided 6-5 Commodore advantage, as Vanderbilt clinched the doubles point on courts two and three.
The team of Burns and Ella Taylor faced an 8-3 loss on court three to Vanderbilt's Georgina Sellyn and Frances Altick, followed by Ebie Wilson and Keri Frankenberger's 8-3 loss to the Commodores' Ashleigh Antal and Marie Casares in the No. 2 spot.
Court five marked Vanderbilt's first singles point, as the Commodores' Antal took a 6-1, 6-1 victory over senior Frankenberger. Sophomore Jeremiah then faced a 6-4, 6-1 loss in the No. 2 spot to Vanderbilt's Casares.
Despite a nail-biting first set, Morton was bested by the Commodores' No. 64 Sellyn 7-5, 6-3 on court four following Ella Taylor's 6-2, 6-4 defeat in the No. 3 spot against Vanderbilt's Colton.
Wilson brought her match into the third set of competition after tallying a 6-0 win in the first set and taking a 6-3 loss in the second against the Commodores' Altick. The senior ultimately retired from the match with the score left at 0-6, 6-3, 2-1.
"(Ebie Wilson) has been nursing injuries since last year," Sell said. "She's the healthiest she's ever been, but with her (Plantar Fasciitis), it's nagging (pain). We have a lot more of a season to play, so we're trying to save her as much as possible once the point is decided. We're competing and getting out there and believing, and we keep going for our shots. That showed today against easily the best team we've played all season long. I'm a proud coach."
The Lady Tigers will see their next action Sunday as LSU hosts the No. 53 University of Kentucky at noon CT at the W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium.
For the latest information on the women's tennis team, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
#12 Vanderbilt 7, #63 LSU 0
1. #60 Lauren Mira (VU) def. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
2. Marie Casares (VU) def. Mary Jeremiah (LSU) 6-4, 6-1
3. Courtney Colton (VU) def. Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-2, 6-4
4. #64 Georgina Sellyn (VU) def. Ariel Morton (LSU) 7-5, 6-3
5. Ashleigh Antal (VU) def. Keri Frankenberger (LSU) 6-1, 6-1
6. Frances Altick (VU) def. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 0-6, 6-3, 2-1, retired
1. Mary Jeremiah/Ariel Morton (LSU) vs. #29 Lauren Mira/Courtney Colton (VU) 5-6, unfinished
2. Ashleigh Antal/Marie Casares (VU) def. Ebie Wilson/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) 8-3
3. Georgina Sellyn/Frances Altick (VU) def. Kaitlin Burns/Ella Taylor (LSU) 8-3
Vanderbilt 8-4; National ranking #12
LSU 7-4; National ranking #63
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,2,3,4,6,1)