LEXINGTON, Ky. — With the match knotted at 3-3 overall, senior Skylar Kuykendall came back from a 3-0 hole in the third set to defeat Akville Parazinskaite 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 and clinch 18th-ranked LSU’s win over No. 26 Kentucky Thursday evening at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center.
The Lady Tigers improved to 14-5 overall and 3-2 in conference play with the win. The Wildcats dropped to 11-5 and 0-4 in the league. In five SEC matches this season, four have finished with scores of 4-3 overall and LSU has won three of those matches.
“It was an amazing comeback for Skylar in the third after going down 3-0. She battled and then closed it out in the end,” co-head coach Julia Sell said. “It was an unbelievable match all the way around from both teams. That is what you are going to face every weekend. Every team in this conference is so good and competitive. You have to be ready for an intense battle every time you go out there.”
LSU dropped the doubles point to the Wildcats to begin the afternoon. Ryann Foster and Abby Owens picked up a 6-2 victory over Parazinskaite and Morgan Chumney to start things off but Kentucky followed by taking courts one and three.
“Kentucky has only dropped the doubles point twice this year, and I think they have the best doubles lineup in the conference,” Sell said. “We had a chance on court one to get a win over the No. five team. I was very happy to see how much better our doubles is doing even though we did lose the point.”
Down 0-1, Ella Taylor and Owens once again provided a strong start for LSU by taking courts five and six. Taylor defeated Kristen Lewis 6-1, 6-0 on court six to even the match. Taylor improved to 13-5 and 4-2 in conference play.
Owens gave the Lady Tigers a 2-1 lead with her 6-3, 6-1 win on court five. The Duluth, Georgia native defeated Mami Adach to move her winning streak to eight matches and improve to 14-3 overall and 5-0 in conference.
Kentucky regained the lead, 3-2, with wins on courts two and three over freshman Jessica Golovin and Foster in two sets. The loss marked Foster’s first of the spring season and snapped a 17-match winning streak that dated back to the fall.
After dropping her first set to Justina Mikuskyte on court one, junior Joana Vale Costa took the following sets 6-0, 6-1 to even the match at 3-3 overall. The win for Vale Costa marked her first conference win of the season.
LSU returns to action against No. 7 Vanderbilt at noon Saturday. The Commodores feature three players ranked in the top-30 in singles play, including No. 16 Frances Altick on the top court.
For more information on the LSU women’s tennis program, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and at www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
Tennis Match Results
#18 LSU 4, #26 Kentucky 3
March 17, 2016 at Lexington, Ky.
(Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center)
1. #20 Joana Vale Costa (LSU) def. Justina Mikulskyte (UK) 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 6-1
2. #42 Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) def. #57 Jessica Golovin (LSU) 6-4, 6-2
3. Nadia Ravita (UK) def. Ryann Foster (LSU) 6-0, 6-2
4. Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) def. Akvile Parazinskaite (UK) 6-4, 5-7, 7-5
5. Abigail Owens (LSU) def. Mami Adachi (UK) 6-3, 6-1
6. Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Kirsten Lewis (UK) 6-1, 6-0
1. #5 Mami Adachi/Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) def. Joana Vale Costa/Jessica Golovin (LSU) 6-4
2. Ryann Foster/Abigail Owens (LSU) def. Akvile Parazinskaite/Morgan Chumney (UK) 6-2
3. Justina Mikulskyte/Nadia Ravita (UK) def. Skylar Holloway/Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) 6-3
LSU 14-5, 3-2 SEC; National ranking #18
Kentucky 11-5, 0-4 SEC; National ranking #26
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,5,2,3,1,4)