BATON ROUGE, La. -- In the final non-conference match of the season prior to Southeastern Conference play , the 12th-ranked LSU women’s tennis team improved to 11-3 with a 5-2 victory over No. 37 Arizona (8-3) Friday afternoon at the LSU Tennis Complex.
It was an exciting day for both the men’s and women’s program as LSU officially opened the facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony prior to the match.
“It’s absolutely really good to get out and get the win,” co-head coach Julia Sell said. “Now we get a nice weekend off before we go into SEC play. It was perfect and exactly what you want to do.”
LSU opened up with a thrilling doubles point. After court one dropped their match and Skylar Kuykendall and Abby Owens won 6-1 on two, it was up to Ella Taylor and Skylar Holloway. The duo went back and forth and was on the verge of being pushed to a tiebreaker. Taylor and Holloway prevailed and took the match 7-5 to clinch the doubles point for LSU.
“That doubles point is crucial,” Sell said. “Today we dropped two first sets in singles and Joana’s match went into a tie breaker. Winning the doubles point allows them to be more relaxed. It makes a really big difference in their mentality.
With the doubles point won, Kuykendall dominated court two 6-1, 6-4. Kuykendall defeated Austin to improve to 8-5 on the spring season.
With a 2-0 lead on the board, Owens and Joana Vale Costa won their matches almost simultaneously to clinch the overall match. Vale Costa defeated No. 54 Lauren Marker 7-6, 6-0 and Owens won 6-4, 6-4 over Kinga Garnter on four.
Sophomore Ryann Foster defeated Camila Wesbrooks 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6) on three to extend the Lady Tiger lead to 5-0. Foster improved to 12-0 in dual matches. This was the first completed match that has gone to a third set for Foster.
Although the Lady Tigers were up 5-0, the Wildcats fought back to take the final two available points on courts five and six. After Holloway took her first set 7-5, Samantha Czarniak fought back to take the final two sets 6-2, 1-0. Devin Chyphya also defeated Taylor 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 on five.
The match against the Wildcats marked the final non-conference match ahead of Southeastern Conference play. LSU takes to the road for the opening weekend at 5 p.m. against Alabama and noon Sunday against Auburn.
Follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
Tennis Match Results
#12 LSU 5, #37 Arizona 2
Feb 26, 2016 at Baton Rouge, La.
(LSU Tennis Complex)
1. #20 Joana Vale Costa (LSU) def. #54 Lauren Marker (ARIZ) 7-6, 6-0
2. Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) def. Shayne Austin (ARIZ) 6-1, 6-4
3. Ryann Foster (LSU) def. Camila Wesbrooks (ARIZ) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6)
4. Abigail Owens (LSU) def. Kinga Garnter (ARIZ) 6-4, 6-4
5. Devin Chypyha (ARIZ) def. Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
6. Samantha Czarniak (ARIZ) def. Skylar Holloway (LSU) 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8)
1. Lauren Marker/Shayne Austin (ARIZ) def. Joana Vale Costa/Ryann Foster (LSU) 6-1
2. Abigail Owens/Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) def. Samantha Czarniak/Inge Hendrikx (ARIZ) 6-1
3. Skylar Holloway/Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Devin Chypyha/Camila Wesbrooks (ARIZ) 7-5
Arizona 8-3; National ranking #37
LSU 11-3; National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,1,4,3,6)