BATON ROUGE, La. - The LSU women's tennis team (7-5) had early success against the University of Kentucky Wildcats (9-3), but ultimately faced a 4-3 loss Sunday at W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium.
The Lady Tigers kicked off the afternoon with two straight wins in doubles. The senior pair of Ebie Wilson and Keri Frankenberger finished first with an 8-2 triumph over Kentucky's Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff and CeCe Witten on court two, and court three clinched the doubles point for LSU, as Kaitlin Burns and Ella Taylor marked an 8-5 victory against the Wildcats' Jessica Stiles and Kirsten Lewis.
"Doubles was the best we've played all year," head coach Julia S. Sell said. "Even in singles, we're doing great things. We're just not totally firing on all cylinders yet. This is the most electric atmosphere we've had all year, and the most competitive. We came out here today, and we had an unbelievable atmosphere. It's truly what college tennis is about. This is what we play for, and this is what we practice for. We're having our chances. It's just having the confidence to execute under pressure. That's what it comes down to."
Kentucky secured its first point of the day on court one, as senior Burns fell to Kentucky's No. 51 Nadia Ravita 6-3, 6-1.
LSU followed with two consecutive singles victories, as Ariel Morton tallied a 6-0, 6-3 win over the Wildcats' Caitlin McGraw on court four, and Taylor notched a 6-1, 7-5 win on court three against Kentucky's Morin-Kougoucheff.
A series of Wildcat victories concluded the match. Mary Jeremiah fell 6-4, 6-1 on court two against Kentucky's Stiles, and Wilson battled through the first set but ultimately took a 7-5, 6-1 loss to the Wildcats' Stephanie Fox on court six, tying the match.
The match decision came down to freshman Caroline Hudson on court five, as her court was the only one taken into the third set of competition. Trailing 5-2, Hudson advanced to a 5-4 score, but Kentucky's Lewis notched the final game and secured a Wildcat victory with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 score.
The Lady Tigers next set off to face No. 17 Auburn University on Friday at 3 p.m. CT at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
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.
#53 Kentucky 4, #63 LSU 3
1. #51 Nadia Ravita (UK) def. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 6-3, 6-1
2. Jessica Stiles (UK) def. Mary Jeremiah (LSU) 6-4, 6-1
3. Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff (UK) 6-1, 7-5
4. Ariel Morton (LSU) def. Caitlin McGraw (UK) 6-0, 6-3
5. Kirsten Lewis (UK) def. Caroline Hudson (LSU) 1-6, 7-5, 6-4
6. Stephanie Fox (UK) def. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 7-5, 6-1
1. Mary Jeremiah/Ariel Morton (LSU) vs. Caitlin McGraw/Nadia Ravita (UK) 6-7, unfinished
2. Ebie Wilson/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Edmee Morin-Kougouch/CeCe Witten (UK) 8-2
3. Kaitlin Burns/Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Jessica Stiles/Kirsten Lewis (UK) 8-5
Kentucky 9-3; National ranking #53
LSU 7-5; National ranking #63
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,4,3,2,6,5)