Women's Tennis Season Ends at Virginia, 4-2

LSU's Ella Taylor
LSU's Ella Taylor
Javier Fernandez
Brandon Berrio
Brandon Berrio
Assistant Communications Director

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Eighteenth-ranked LSU’s run in the 2016 Division I Women’s Tennis Tournament ended in the second round at the hands of No. 14 Virginia, 4-2, Saturday afternoon at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.

“We have to give Virginia a lot of credit,” co-head coach Julia Sell said. “This match was about pressure-filled moments and they stayed calm and composed. They are used to being in this position. I was proud of the way we fought from the very beginning though. We are going to learn from this and build from it toward next season.”

The Lady Tigers finished the season with a record of 19-12 in one of the best seasons in school history. In the fourth season under co-head coaches Julia Sell and Michael Sell, the LSU women’s tennis team reached the highest ranking in school history and advanced to the ITA Team Indoor Championships for the first time in school history.

In the second round match against Virginia, LSU opened by dropping a tough doubles point. Joana Vale Costa and Ella Taylor began with a 6-1 win over Julia Elbaba and Erica Susi. The Cavaliers evened doubles with a 6-4 win over Ryann Foster and Abby Owens on one.

Partners Skylar Holloway and Skylar Kuykendall held a 5-3 lead on two but ultimately fell 7-6 to Cassie Mercer and Stephanie Nauta to give UVA the first point.

LSU bounced back and opened singles play strong with a 6-3, 6-1 win by Owens over Susi on court five for her 32nd victory of the season.

The Cavaliers took a 2-1 lead on court one with second-ranked Collins’ 6-1, 6-2 win over Vale Costa.

In her final match at LSU, Taylor captured her 86th career win. The senior defeated Mercer 6-2, 6-1 on court six to even the match at 2-2.

Meghan Kelley propelled UVA to a 3-2 lead on court four over Kuykendall. Kelley defeated the senior 7-5, 7-5.

“Ella and Skylar (Kuykendall) have both been incredible for us and helped elevate this program to new levels. They have accomplished so much and have set more program records in their time here than I can count.”

“Ella has been with me from the start and can remember what it was like when we couldn’t even win sets. She came out like a champ and put a point on the board quick for us today. They will both be truly missed.”

Foster took the first set on court two, but Nauta ultimately fought back to clinch the Cavaliers’ spot in the Round of 16 with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.

Freshman Jessica Golovin fell 4-6 in the first set to Elbaba but fought back to push the match to a third set. The match went unfinished though with Golovin trailing 2-5 in the third.

“It’s been a really good season and we are looking toward another exciting season,” Julia Sell said. “We bring in one of the top recruiting classes in the country. We know how to react with the target on our backs. It’s about trusting the process and not worrying about other things going on.”

For more information on the program, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.

Tennis Match Results
#14 Virginia 4, #18 LSU 2
May 14, 2016 at Charlottesville, Va.
(Boar's Head Sports Club)

Singles competition
1. #2 Danielle Collins (UVA) def. #22 Joana Vale Costa (LSU) 6-1, 6-2
2. #12 Julia Elbaba (UVA) vs. #59 Jessica Golovin (LSU) 6-4, 5-7, 5-2, unfinished
3. #97 Stephanie Nauta (UVA) def. Ryann Foster (LSU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Meghan Kelley (UVA) def. Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) 7-5, 7-5
5. Abby Owens (LSU) def. Erica Susi (UVA) 6-3, 6-1
6. Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Cassie Mercer (UVA) 6-2, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. Danielle Collins/Meghan Kelley (UVA) def. Ryann Foster/Abby Owens (LSU) 6-4
2. Cassie Mercer/Stephanie Nauta (UVA) def. Skylar Holloway/Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) 7-6 (7-3)
3. Joana Vale Costa/Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Julia Elbaba/Erica Susi (UVA) 6-1

Match Notes:
LSU 19-12; National ranking #18
Virginia 18-10; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,5,6,4,3)
NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament - Second Round
Match Played Indoors

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