Lady Tigers Fall in Home Finale to South Carolina
BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU women’s tennis team (8-12; 1-9 SEC) concluded its home season with a 5-1 loss to the No. 31 University of South Carolina (11-8; 4-5 SEC) Sunday at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Stadium.
Also marking Senior Day, the trio of No. 114 Kaitlin Burns, Keri Frankenberger and Ebie Wilson were honored prior to the start of the match.
“I know through the course of this year, from where (the seniors) started to where they are now, is a miraculous difference,” head coach Julia S. Sell said. “When I first came in, they weren’t playing their best game styles for their abilities. They’ve been able to watch themselves improve. With that, they’ve fallen back in love with the sport.”
Due to possible inclement weather, competition began with singles, and the doubles matches were not played.
Highlighting the day’s competition was Ella Taylor, as she notched a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over South Carolina’s Elixane Lechemia on court three. The victory put LSU on the board and captured the final point of the day, as well as advanced Taylor to a four-match winning streak and snagged the freshman her 20th career singles win.
Before Taylor’s success, the Gamecocks kicked off competition by tallying the first five victories of the day. No. 114 Burns faced a 6-0, 6-3 defeat against South Carolina’s 87th-ranked Jaklin Alawi in the top spot, and Mary Jeremiah followed with a 6-2, 6-1 loss to the Gamecocks’ No. 98 Katerina Popova on court two.
Continuing South Carolina’s streak, Ariel Morton fell 6-1, 6-1 to the Gamecocks’ Dominika Kanakova in the No. 4 spot. Frankenberger battled back from a 6-0 first-set loss to take the second set 6-4 against South Carolina’s Josefin Andersson on court six. Despite fighting through the final set, the senior marked a 6-2 loss in set three that clinched the match for the Gamecocks.
Wilson quickly followed with South Carolina’s final point of the match, as she faced a 6-2, 6-1 defeat against the Gamecocks’ Ximena Siles Luna on court five.
“We need to cut out the unforced errors,” Sell said. “I feel like we really had a lot of mental lapses on a lot of courts today. We’re a team in development. (The team is) not used to working this hard day in and day out, and today was the first time I saw them be mentally fatigued.”
LSU will next set off on a series of road matches, beginning with fifth-ranked Georgia Friday at 3 p.m. CT at Dan Magill 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.
#31 South Carolina 5, #54 LSU 1
1. #87 Jaklin Alawi (USC) def. #114 Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 6-0, 6-3
2. #98 Katerina Popova (USC) def. Mary Jeremiah (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
3. Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Elixane Lechemia (USC) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Dominika Kanakova (USC) def. Ariel Morton (LSU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Ximena Siles Luna (USC) def. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Josefin Andersson (USC) def. Keri Frankenberger (LSU) 6-0, 4-6, 6-2
1. #50 Jaklin Alawi/Dominika Kanakova (USC) vs. Mary Jeremiah/Ariel Morton (LSU) no result
2. Katerina Popova/Josefin Andersson (USC) vs. Ebie Wilson/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) no result
3. Elixane Lechemia/Ximena Siles Luna (USC) vs. Kaitlin Burns/Ella Taylor (LSU) no result
South Carolina 11-8, 4-5 SEC; National ranking #31
LSU 8-12, 1-9 SEC; National ranking #54
Order of finish: Doubles (); Singles (1,2,4,6,5,3)