BATON ROUGE — Senior Skylar Kuykendall defeated Mackenzie Craft 6-3, 0-6, 6-3 on court four to clinch 15th-ranked LSU’s 5-2 victory over No. 26 Arkansas Friday evening at the LSU Tennis complex.
The Lady Tigers improved to 15-6 and 4-3 in conference with the victory over the Razorbacks. Arkansas dropped to 10-7 and 3-3 in the league with the loss.
“It started off with a highly contested doubles point and we took that momentum into singles with first-set wins on four courts,” co-head coach Julia Sell said. Even on the courts we lost, they were still close. As a team, I thought we found our identity today. We will look at this match at the end of the season as a turning point.”
LSU opened with a thrilling doubles point over the Razorbacks. It was the first time LSU has won consecutive doubles point in SEC play since matches against Kentucky and Missouri last season.
Joana Vale Costa and Jessica Golovin teamed up to defeat Yuliya Lysa and Shannon Hudson on court one, 6-1. With the remaining courts tight to the end, Skylar Holloway and Kuykendall defeated Mia Jurasic and Ana Oparenovic, 7-6 (7-4) on court three to clinch the point.
Heading into singles play, LSU took the first set on four of six courts. Junior Abby Owens led the charge with a dominating 6-0, 6-1 victory on five over Agne Cepelyteto make it 2-0 overall.
Ryann Foster followed with another convincing win on court three to give the Lady Tigers a 3-0 lead. Foster defeated Hudson 6-1, 6-2.
With the win in hand thanks to Kuykendall’s clinch, Arkansas closed the gap. Lysa defeated Vale Costa 7-5, 6-4 to give the Razorbacks their first point. Golovin followed with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 win over No. 83 Ana Oparenovic. Jurasic then defeated Ella Taylor for the final point of the evening.
LSU returns to action at 11 a.m. Sunday against Missouri. The Tigers from Columbia are 13-5 overall and 1-4 in conference.
Follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
Tennis Match Results
#15 LSU 5, #26 Arkansas 2
March 25, 2016 at Baton Rouge, La.
(LSU Tennis Complex)
1. #88 Yuliya Lysa (ARK) def. #19 Joana Vale Costa (LSU) 7-5, 6-4
2. #48 Jessica Golovin (LSU) def. #83 Ana Oparenovic (ARK) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
3. Ryann Foster (LSU) def. Shannon Hudson (ARK) 6-1, 6-2
4. Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) def. Makenzie Craft (ARK) 6-3, 0-6, 6-3
5. Abigail Owens (LSU) def. Agne Cepelyte (ARK) 6-0, 6-1
6. Mia Jurasic (ARK) def. Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-3, 7-6 (7-0)
1. Joana Vale Costa/Jessica Golovin (LSU) def. Yuliya Lysa/Shannon Hudson (ARK) 6-1
2. Abigail Owens/Ryann Foster (LSU) vs. Flavia Araujo/Makenzie Craft (ARK) 6-6, unfinished
3. Skylar Holloway/Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) def. Mia Jurasic/Ana Oparenovic (ARK) 7-6 (7-4)
Arkansas 14-7, 3-3 SEC; National ranking #26
LSU 15-6, 4-3 SEC; National ranking #15
Order of finish: Doubles (1); Singles (5,3,4,1,2,6)