Wildcats earned their sixth-consecutive home win
The No. 38 University of Kentucky women's tennis team clinched their sixth-consecutive home win when they faced off with Ohio State, Friday, Feb 14 at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center. They beat Ohio State 4-2, but it wasn't an easy.
"This is what a college tennis match is supposed to be, ups and downs, momentum shifts and it's just a battle," Kentucky assistant coach Kevin Calhoun said. "Our girls fought through some really, really bad spots and they deserved to win."
An unspoken rivalry between the two teams, Ohio State and Kentucky battled to the very end. With every exchanging point, emotions ran high, but Kentucky kept its composure. The team came out firing on all cylinders, claiming an early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point.
In the No. 2 doubles position, Jakarta, Indonesia natives, Nadia Ravita and Aldila Sutjiadi, scored six straight points to take a 6-0 lead. After dropping 2 games, the duo came back to win, 8-2. At the No. 1 doubles slot, senior tandem Caitlin McGraw and CeCe Witten earned every bit of their 8-7(5) win over Grâinne O'Neill and Noelle Malley. The two teams exchanged points and entered into a tiebreak. Witten and McGraw won the tiebreak 7-5 and clinched the doubles point for Wildcats.
"I think sometimes it can get pretty stressful on the court so we do our best to calm each other down," senior CeCe Witten said. "We've been friends for a while so that helps us when playing."
Ohio State didn't back off in the singles competition and took two matches over Kentucky. Junior Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff was handed her first loss of the spring season. Morin-Kougoucheff fell to Sandy Niehaus, 6-4, 6-0. Sutjiadi dropped a heartbreaking match in the No. 2 singles position against Miho Kowase. Winning the first set, 6-3, Kowase took took the second set, 6-1, forcing a third set. The Buckeye won the final set 6-3 and won the match.
Kentucky didn't let the losses get them down, but rather used them as motivation to polish off OSU. No. 56 Ravita knocked off No. 78 Gabriella De Santis in a thrilling three-set match in the No. 1 singles spot. Ravita finished off De Santis, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.
"Nadia is really great at using her emotions to play really well," Calhoun said. "She was down 4-1 in the third set and used her heart to win the match, more than her forehand or backhand. She won a really important match, not just for her, but for the team."
Kelsey Dieters, a transfer from Ohio State, also notched a win. Dieters cruised by Ferny Angeles Paz, 6-1, 6-4 in No. 3 singles. McGraw ended the match behind her 6-4, 6-1 win against Nicole Flower. The Orlando, Fla. native says that while she was nervous playing in the doubles competition, she felt completely comfortable knowing that she could clinch the match for the Wildcats.
"I've been in this position multiple times and I just embrace it," McGraw said. "I knew that if I did what I needed to do, I was going to come out on top."
Kentucky moves to 9-1 for the season with their only loss coming to then No. 10 Duke. The Wildcats travel to Bloomington, Ind. to take on Indiana University Sunday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. ET.
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No. 38 Kentucky 4, Ohio State 2
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center – Lexington, Ky.
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
Singles (Order of finish:4, 3, 2, 1, 5*)
1 – Nadia Ravita (UK) def. Gabriella De Santis, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4
2 – Miho Kowase (OSU) def. Aldila Sutjiadi (UK), 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
3 – Kelsey Dieters (UK) def. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU), 6-1, 6-4
4 – Sandy Niehaus def. Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff (UK), 6-4, 6-0
5 – Kirsten Lewis (UK) vs. Grainne O'Neill, 6-2, 6-4, 2-1 (DNF)
6 – Caitlin McGraw (UK) def. Nicole Flower (OSU), 6-4, 6-1
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 1*)
1 – Caitlin McGraw/ CeCe Witten (UK) def. Grâinne O'Neill/ Noelle Malley (OSU), 8-7 (5)
2 – Nadia Ravita/ Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) def. Gabrielle De Santis/ Sandy Niehaus
3 – Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff / Kirsten Lewis (UK) vs. Miho Kowase/ Ferny Angeles Paz,
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