BATON ROUGE, La. - The LSU women's tennis team (7-6; 0-3 SEC) started off strong against the Auburn University Tigers (13-1; 3-0 SEC), but ultimately faced a tough 7-0 loss Friday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
The doubles pair of Mary Jeremiah and Ariel Morton boasts a 7-1 overall record in the top spot, and the duo continued their success by dominating Auburn's No. 56 team of Pleun Burgmans and Plamena Kurteva. LSU's pair held a 5-1 advantage before ultimately tying the match a 5-5 when the doubles point was clinched on courts two and three.
Auburn scored the doubles point following Keri Frankenberger and Ebie Wilson's 8-3 defeat against the Auburn Tigers' Emily Flickinger and Jackie Kasler on court two, and after Kaitlin Burns and Ella Taylor marked an 8-4 loss on court three to Auburn's Jen Pfeifler and Paulina Schippers.
"Our No. 1 doubles came out firing and played really well," head coach Julia S. Sell said. "In singles, it was the most competitive first set we've played all year. We won one of them and almost won a few more, and, because we were playing against a team that's No. 14 in the country, that is nothing short of exceptional. I really think we're one match away from playing very exceptional tennis, and I hope we can keep it up to take on Alabama."
Freshman Caroline Hudson grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first set and maintained a tight score with Auburn's Kurteva before facing a 6-4, 6-0 loss on court six.
Burns took on No. 70-ranked Burgmans in the top position and worked her way up to a 6-5 advantage before the court entered into a tiebreaker, resulting in a 7-6 (7-3) first set loss that was followed by a 6-0 defeat in the second set.
Auburn clinched the match on court two after Jeremiah tallied a 6-4, 6-4 loss against the Auburn Tigers' Michala Kucharova, despite notching a 4-1 lead in set one.
Following the match-deciding victory, Wilson retired from her court five match against Auburn's Pfeifler, due to her Plantar Fasciitis in an effort to preserve her strength for upcoming competitions.
Taylor also battled in the No. 3 spot versus Auburn's Flickinger, marking a 7-5, 6-0 loss, although the freshman held a 5-4 advantage in the first set.
Morton marked LSU's only first-set win, and she faced the only competition brought into set three. A quick 6-1 victory over Kasler was retaliated with a 6-0 second-set loss. The junior took the first two points in the final set of competition, but could not capture any more, tallying a 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 defeat on court four.
The Lady Tigers will next face No. 6 University of Alabama on Sunday at noon CT at the Alabama Tennis Complex.
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.
#14 Auburn 7, #71 LSU 0
1. #70 Pleun Burgmans (AU) def. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-0
2. Michala Kucharova (AU) def. Mary Jeremiah (LSU) 6-4, 6-4
3. Emily Flickinger (AU) def. Ella Taylor (LSU) 7-5, 6-0
4. Jackie Kasler (AU) def. Ariel Morton (LSU) 1-6, 6-0, 6-2
5. Jen Pfeifler (AU) def. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 7-5, 4-2, retired
6. Plamena Kurteva (AU) def. Caroline Hudson (LSU) 6-4, 6-0
1. #56 Pleun Burgmans/Plamena Kurteva (AU) vs. Mary Jeremiah/Ariel Morton (LSU) 5-5, unfinished
2. Emily Flickinger/Jackie Kasler (AU) def. Keri Frankenberger/Ebie Wilson (LSU) 8-3
3. Jen Pfeifler/Paulina Schippers (AU) def. Kaitlin Burns/Ella Taylor (LSU) 8-4
LSU 7-6; National ranking #71
Auburn 13-1; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (6,1,2,3,5,4)