NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The first round of the NCAA Tennis Tournament put No. 23 Kentucky against No. 44 Boise State. Despite the doubles point loss, the Wildcats pulled out a win with singles, defeating the Broncos 4-1.
Doubles play went down to the wire with split wins between courts two and three and close scores on court one. Boise State had the first serve on two against UK’s Megan Broderick and Alaina Trgovich. The Wildcats traded points with the Broncos but only allowed two opponent points. Kentucky took the lead at 3-2 and never looked back. Broderick and Trgovich remained in front to defeat Laura Baum and Jana Mackova 8-5.
Courts one and three remained tight through doubles. Sarah Woestmann and Whitney Spencer of the Cats occupied three’s against Bianca Jochimsen and Klaudia Wlodarczyk. The Broncos kept the lead, splitting the match wins with an 8-5 victory. Kentucky’s pair of No. 37 Christine Johnston and Carolina Escamilla was unable to rise above Boise State’s number one duo Polina Kokoulina and Pichittra Thongdach. The Broncos secured the doubles point with an 8-6 win over the Cats.
In singles action, Kentucky’s Escamilla led Kokoulina the entire match on court two to put UK on the board for a 1-1 score. The Wildcats’ Spencer added to the points on court six. After winning the first set 6-4, Spencer commanded the second set against Baum for a 6-1 win and second match point for the Cats.
The Blue and White continued to lead the Broncos at 3-1. Johnston won a hard-fought match on court four with BSU’s Wlodarczyk. After a long 6-3 first set, Johnston remained strong for an ace on the last point and a 6-4 second set victory.
All remaining courts boasted close scores. Broderick on court one led BSU’s Thongdach with a 6-2 first set and a lead in the second. After a Boise 7-5 second set win against Broderick, attention turned to Kentucky’s No. 101 Woestmann on court three. After a first set 7-6(4) tie-breaker in UK’s favor, the Cats closed the deal with a 6-4 final decision. Woestmann clinched the fourth point for the Cats, taking Kentucky into the second round of the NCAA Championship for the eighth consecutive year.
This makes the third match the Wildcats have lost the doubles point but came back firing in singles for the win. The first occurance was against in-state rival Louisville with a 4-3 Big Blue win. UK also bounced back from a doubles loss during their 5-2 upset of then-No. 18 Clemson.
“I’m really proud of the team’s determination after a facing strong Boise State team who came after us with a lot of hunger during the doubles point,” Head Coach Carlos Drada stated. “Falling behind in doubles helped us play with a higher level of intensity during singles. I am proud of the team for their effort under pressure.”
The Cats will make their seventh consecutive and ninth overall NCAA second round appearance. Kentucky will play the winner of Vanderbilt and Indiana State in the second round on Saturday May 10 at 1 p.m. ET. The successor of the second round will advance to the “Sweet Sixteen” in Tulsa, Okla. during May 15-26 at the University of Tulsa.
Tournament information and live stats will be available at http://vucommodores.cstv.com. Full NCAA Tournament information can be found at www.ncaa.com. For complete coverage of the Kentucky women’s tennis team visit, www.ukathletics.com.
#23 Kentucky 4, #44 Boise State 1
1: Megan Broderick (UK) tied Pichittra Thongdach (BSU), 6-2, 5-7, susp.
2: Carolina Escamilla (UK) def. Polina Kokoulina (BSU), 6-1, 6-3
3: #101 Sarah Woestmann (UK) def. Biana Jochimsen (BSU), 7-6(4), 6-4
4: Christine Johnston (UK) def. Klaudia Wlodarczyk (BSU), 6-3, 6-4
5: Stacey Housley (BSU) led Lauren Meier (UK), 7-6(3), 3-5, susp.
6: Whitney Spencer (UK) def. Laura Baum (BSU), 6-4, 6-1
1: Kokoulina/Thongdach (BSU) def. #37 Escamilla/Johnston (UK), 8-6
2: Broderick/Trgovich (UK) def. Baum/Mackova (BSU), 8-2
3: Joshimsen/Wlodarczyk (BSU) def. Spencer/Woestmann (UK), 8-5
Order of Finish: Doubles: 2, 3, 1 Singles: 2, 6, 4, 3