Wildcats Fall to No. 3 Georgia in SEC Quarterfinals
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Despite going toe-to-toe with the third-ranked team in the country, the No. 26 Kentucky women’s tennis team fell 4-0 to Georgia in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Championship on Wednesday.
Georgia entered the matchup owning a No. 3 national ranking and was the league’s No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. The Bulldogs improved to 18-1 on the year with today’s victory and have yet to lose to another league foe. Furthermore, the Bulldogs sport top-65 rankings for each of their top-five singles players. The match was also forced indoors due to unseasonably cold conditions in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
For just the fifth time this season, Kentucky (15-8) was unable to come away with the doubles point. Georgia picked up wins on court No. 2 and court No. 1 to secure the edge. Morgan Coppoc and Elena Christofi earned a 6-2 win over Carla Girbau and Anastasia Tkachenko.
Akvile Paražinskaite and Fiona Arrese suffered just their second loss of the season from the No. 1 court, and coincidentally, to the same opponent. No. 8 Katarina Jokic and Ariana Arsenault topped UK’s nation-leading tandem by a 7-5 decision.
Lesedi Jacobs and Elizabeth Stevens’ match vs. Meg Kowalski and Lea Ma was undecided, but the Bulldogs had just eeked out a 6-5 margin before play was stopped with Georgia’s decisive win coming on court one.
Georgia earned wins on courts three and four nearly simultaneously to earn a 3-0 advantage. No. 54 Coppoc claimed a 6-0, 6-0 win over Stevens, while No. 16 Kowalski captured a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 3.
The decisive point came at court No. 2 as No. 60 Ma turned in a 6-2, 6-1 win over No. 95 Jacobs.
Paražinskaite was dominating fourth-ranked Jokic on court No. 1, 6-4, 4-1, but was unable to finish out what would have been the biggest win of the season for UK’s graduate student.
The NCAA Tournament field will be unveiled on May 3 at 6 p.m. via NCAA.com. The Wildcats are ranked in the top 30 of the latest polls and will be considered for an at-large bid.
It should be noted the most recent Oracle ITA Rankings were released in the middle of today’s match. The rankings listed in this publication are from the April 14 release date as the match began prior to the announcements of the updated rankings.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s tennis program, follow @UKWomensTennis on Twitter and on Instagram, on Facebook and on the web at UKathletics.com.
No. 3 Georgia 4, No. 26 Kentucky 0
April 20, 2021
University of Alabama Tennis Stadium
1. #45 Akvile Paražinskaite (UK) vs. #4 Katarina Jokic (UGA) 6-4, 4-1
2. #60 Lea Ma (UGA) def. #95 Lesedi Jacobs (UK) 6-2, 6-1
3. #16 Meg Kowalski (UGA) def. Carlota Molina (UK) 6-1, 6-0
4. #54 Morgan Coppoc (UGA) def. Elizabeth Stevens (UK) 6-0, 6-0
5. #63 Marta Gonzalez (UGA) vs. Carla Girbau (UK) 6-3, 4-0
6. Elena Christofi (UGA) vs. Fiona Arrese (UK) 6-4, 3-2
Order of finish: (4, 3, 2)
1. #8 Katarina Jokic/Ariana Arsenault (UGA) def. #1 Fiona Arrese/Akvile Paražinskaite (UK), 7-5
2. Morgan Coppoc/Elena Christofi (UGA) def. Carla Girbau/Anastasia Tkachenko (UK), 6-2
3. Meg Kowalski/Lea Ma (UGA) vs. Lesedi Jacobs/Elizabeth Stevens (UK), 6-5
Order of finish: (2, 1)