With the last two singles matches coming down to a third set, the No. 17 Kentucky women’s tennis team fended off No. 45 Dartmouth 4-2 on Friday afternoon at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships. The Wildcats improved to 17-8 on the season, while Dartmouth saw its season end at 17-5.
“I am happy that our team prevailed today,” Coach Carlos Drada said. “Our ladies rose above to get an important win today against a highly competitive Dartmouth team. We are excited about tomorrow’s opportunity.”
Kentucky will take on No. 10 Michigan at 1 p.m. Saturday with a trip to the championship site in Athens, Ga., on the line. It will be a rematch from last season’s second-round bout that saw Michigan end UK’s season with a 4-1 defeat.
On Friday, Kentucky jumped out to the lead after taking the No. 1 and 3 doubles matches. UK’s sixth-ranked duo of Mami Adachi and Aldila Sutjiadi shut out their opponents. The Cats’ No. 3 squad — Justina Mikulskytė and Emily Fanning — clinched the point with a swift 6-1 victory.
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In singles, Mikulskytė stretched Kentucky’s lead to 2-0 by defeating Racquel Lyn in straight sets on court five, but the Big Green battled back for wins on courts three and four to even the match.
Senior Morgan Chumney helped UK regain the advantage by winning a second-set tiebreak in No. 6 singles over Allison McCann.
Although Sutjiadi and sophomore Akvilė Parazinskaitė each won their first sets at the top the lineup, both would need a third set to decide their matches.
It was Sutjiadi who ultimately sealed the victory for UK. After breaking serve, the senior took control in the final game to take a hard-fought 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4 victory over Taylor Ng.
No. 17 Kentucky 4, No. 45 Dartmouth 2
At Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Singles competition (Order of finish: 5-3-4-6-1)
1 – #22 Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) def. Taylor Ng (Dartmouth), 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4
2 – #103 Akvilė Parazinskaitė vs. Jacqueline Crawford (Dartmouth), 6-2, 5-7, 5-4, unf.
3 – Kristina Mathis (Dartmouth) def. Mami Adachi (UK), 6-1, 6-3
4 – Julia Schroeder (Dartmouth) def. Emily Fanning (UK), 6-2, 7-5
5 – Justina Mikulskytė (UK) def. Racquel Lyn (Dartmouth), 6-0, 6-3
6 – Morgan Chumney (UK) def. Allison McCann (Dartmouth), 6-3, 7-6 (4)
Doubles competition (Order of Finish: 1-3)
1 – #6 Aldila Sutjiadi/Mami Adachi (UK) def. Taylor Ng/Kristina Mathis (Dartmouth), 6-0
2 – Julia Schroeder/Racquel Lyn (Dartmouth) vs. Morgan Chumney/Akvilė Parazinskaitė (UK), 5-2, unf.
3 – Justina Mikulskytė/Emily Fanning (UK) def. Jacqueline Crawford/Lexxi Kiven (Dartmouth), 6-1