Mikulskyte Leads UK to Home Victory Over Ole Miss
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior Justina Mikulskyte led the University of Kentucky women’s tennis team to a 4-3 victory over Ole Miss on Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center, helping the Wildcats improve to a 16-5 overall mark and a 6-4 notch in the Southeastern Conference.
Ole Miss rallied the doubles point, earning victories on courts Nos. 1 & 2. Rebels’ Tea Jandric and Anna Vrbenska handled freshman Tiphanie Fiquet and junior Diana Tkachenko, recording a 6-1 decision. The Rebels missed an opportunity on court No. 3, when redshirt-sophomore Lesedi Jacobs and junior Anastasia Tkachenko won in a 6-3 outcome. It marked only the second time Jacobs and A. Tkachenko have been paired together, boasting a 2-0 mark as a doubles team. UK’s momentum led Mikulskyte and redshirt-junior Akvile Paražinskaite to a tiebreak game on court No. 1, but the pair fell in a gritty 7-6 (7) decision.
With the Rebels leading 1 -0, play was paused midway through the singles division for a light mist. It wasn’t long after play resumed that A. Tkachenko sealed the deal on court No. 6, collecting a 6-1, 6-0 final score. Fiquet followed in suit, punching a 6-4, 6-4 outcome on court No. 3 to help UK grab its first lead. It marked Fiquet’s first win on court three this season. Right behind her was D. Tkachenko, who reported a 7-5, 6-2 decision on court five. The junior boasts the best winning percentage on the team (.765).
Stretching the lead to 3-1, Ole Miss tabbed back-to-back wins on courts four and two to meet UK with three points. Paražinskaite fell on court four on a 6-3, 7-6 decision, while Jacobs dropped her singles match on court two by a 7-5, 7-6 (5) outcome. However, it was the 16th-best singles player in the nation in Mikulskyte who came from behind to help UK defeat Ole Miss in the final match, recording a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 victory on court one. The Lithuania native improved to a 12-4 overall mark in singles this season.
The Wildcats will return the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center on Sunday for their final regular-season home match of the 2018-19 season. Hosting Mississippi State, the first serve is slated for 1 p.m., with Senior Day celebrations for UK’s lone senior, Mikulskyte, beginning at 12:50 p.m.
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