Kentucky Sweeps ETSU to Open 2021 Women’s Tennis Season
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s tennis team started out the 2021 season with an emphatic win on Thursday afternoon, sweeping the East Tennessee State Buccaneers, 7-0. Kentucky won all six singles matches played and both of the completed doubles matches.
Kentucky got out of the gates strong, securing the doubles point with a quick win on court six in just over a half an hour, and a win on court one. In a 6-2 win on court three, Lesedi Jacobs/Salsa Aher broke to start the match and raced out to a 3-0 lead, picking up a pair of breaks inside the opening trio of games. The duo would hold serve the remainder of the match and held on to win, 6-2.
On the first court, Akvile Parazinskaite/Fiona Arrese secured the early 1-0 lead for Kentucky, breaking in the 12th game of the match to cap a thrilling 7-5 win. The Wildcat pair fell behind an early break at 2-4 in the match before squaring the match back up at four all on a ball that fell out of the baseline. After both teams held to get to 6-5 with the Bucs serving, Parazinskaite/Arrese closed out the match by breaking serve and clinched the doubles point, 7-5.
UK doubled its lead quickly in the singles competition, as Carlota Molina won 6-1, 6-2 on court two in less than an hour’s time to put Kentucky up, 2-0 in the match. Molina didn’t drop serve the entire match and rode early breaks in both the first and second sets to victory.
Parazinskaite made it 3-0 overall in the match with a three-set win on court one over Laylo Bakhodirova. Parazinskaite won the first set 6-3 before dropping four of the final five games of the second set to find herself knocked into a third frame. Parazinskaite won the final four games in succession from 2-2 to win the third set and the match, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
In a wild back-and-forth affair, Carla Girbau clinched the win for Kentucky, as she emerged victorious in a three-set win, winning 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. Girbau built a lead in the third set as big as single-break and three games, but ETSU closed the set tight at the end before Girbau served out the win to put UK ahead 4-0.
Seconds later, Fiona Arrese closed out a three-set win on court five, winning 12 of the final 13 games of the match spanning over two sets. Arrese dropped the opening frame 6-4, but composed herself and closed out the fifth point of the match for Kentucky with a 6-0, 6-1 finish in the final two sets.
Elizabeth Stevens won her first-career dual singles match with a third-set tiebreak win in one of the most exciting matches of the dat. Stevens won the opening set 7-5 before dropping the second set by the same margin to set up a decisive third set. Stevens was ahead a majority of the third frame, before closing out the final points in the tiebreak 7-5 for the win. She became the fourth Kentucky player of the day to win in three sets.
Salsa Aher was impressive in her Wildcat debut on court six, winning 6-2, 6-3 in the final match of the afternoon as the lefty was solid all the way through the match.
Kentucky will play Memphis on Friday at 10 a.m. ET to close out the opening weekend of action.
Kentucky 7, East Tennessee State 0
January 21, 2021
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center
1- Akvile Parazinskaite (UK) def. Laylo Bakhodirova (ETSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
2- Carlota Molina (UK) def. Alejandro Morales (ETSU) 6-1, 6-2
3- Elizabeth Stevens (UK) def. A. Pascual-Larrinaga (ETSU) 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (5)
4- Carla Girbau (UK) def. Emilia Alfaro (ETSU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
5- Fiona Arrese (UK) def. Maria F. Carvajal (ETSU) 4-6, 6-0, 6-1
6- Salsa Aher (UK) def. Yunuen Elizarraras (ETSU) 6-2, 6-3
Order of finish: 2, 1, 4*, 5, 3, 6
1- Akvile Parazinskaite/Fiona Arrese def. Alejandro Morales/Mayya Gorbunova (ETSU) 7-5
2- Laylo Bakhodirova/Emilia Alfaro vs. Elizabeth Stevens/Carla Girbau (UK) DNF
3- Lesedi Jacobs/Salsa Aher (UK) def. A. Pascual-Larrinaga/Maria F. Carvajal (ETSU) 6-2
Order of finish: 3, 1*
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