GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The No. 15 LSU women’s tennis team pushed the sixth-ranked Florida women’s tennis team to a third set on four courts and Abby Owens earned a ranked win in the Lady Tigers’ 6-1 loss to the Gators Thursday evening at the Ring Tennis Complex.
Despite dropping the opening set, 2-6, Owens fought back to take the second and third set 6-2, 6-1 to defeat No. 82 Josie Kuhlman. It marked Owens’ second top-100 victory of her career.
With the loss, LSU dropped to 16-7 and 5-4 in conference play. The Gators improved to 13-2 overall and a perfect 8-0 in conference.
“That was a battle tonight that had four singles matches go the distance and plenty of chances in doubles,” co-head coach Julia Sell said. “These girls played their hearts out and almost got to the finish line. We have another great opportunity against another top-eight team, and we will be ready for another battle Saturday.”
The Lady Tigers pushed the Gators in both singles and doubles. Joana Vale Costa and Jessica Golovin dropped court one, 6-3, to No. 5 Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan. The 30th-ranked team of Josie Kuhlman and Belinda Woolcock clinched the doubles point on court two, 6-4.
Keegan, the 43rd ranked singles player, gave Florida a 2-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Skylar Kuykendall on court four. Owens followed on court five with LSU’s lone point.
Senior Ella Taylor dropped the opening set on court six to No. 87 Anna Danilina. Taylor pushed the second set to a tiebreak but ultimately Danilina gave Florida a 3-1 lead with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) win.
After Vale Costa got court one to a third set, Austin, ranked 10th in singles, ultimately clinched the match with a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 win. Golovin took the first set on court two but ultimately fell to No. 9 Woolcock 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
The final match between Foster and Brianna Morgan was pushed to a third-set tie breaker with Morgan ultimately taking the win 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 1-0 (10-0).
LSU continues its SEC road weekend in Columbia against South Carolina. The matchup between the Gamecocks and Lady Tigers takes place at 11 a.m. Saturday. South Carolina is ranked eighth in the country but is coming off of a 6-1 loss at the hands of Texas A&M Thursday.
Follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
Tennis Match Results
#6 Florida Gators (W) 6, #15 LSU 1
March 31, 2016 at Ring Tennis Complex
1. #10 Austin,Brooke (FLA-W) def. #18 Joana Vale Costa (LSU) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
2. #9 Woolcock,Belinda (FLA-W) def. #48 Jessica Golovin (LSU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. #101 Morgan,Brianna (FLA-W) def. Ryann Foster (LSU) 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 1-0 (10-0)
4. #43 Keegan,Kourtney (FLA-W) def. Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) 6-0, 6-3
5. Abigail Owens (LSU) def. #82 Kuhlman,Josie (FLA-W) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
6. #87 Danilina,Anna (FLA-W) def. Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
1. #5 Austin,Brooke/Keegan,Kourtney (FLA-W) def. Joana Vale Costa/Jessica Golovin (LSU) 6-3
2. #30 Kuhlman,Josie/Woolcock,Belinda (FLA-W) def. Ryann Foster/Abigail Owens (LSU) 6-4
3. Danilina,Anna/Morgan,Brianna (FLA-W) vs. Skylar Holloway/Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) 6-5, unfinished
LSU 16-7, 5-4 SEC; National ranking #15
Florida Gators (W) 13-2, 8-0 SEC; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (4,5,6,1,2,3)