Women's Tennis

Kentucky Women’s Tennis Hosts Penn State, WKU on Sunday

by Chandler Brandes

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following a three-week break from competition, the Kentucky women’s tennis team is back in action on Sunday, Feb. 13 for a doubleheader with Penn State and Western Kentucky at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. First serve against the Nittany Lions is set for 11 a.m. ET while the match with the Lady Toppers is slated for 4 p.m.

Admission to all home tennis matches will be free for the 2022 season. Capacity at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center is limited and will be based on a first come, first serve basis.
 
Regardless of an individual’s vaccination status, all fans, guests, and staff are required to wear a mask as they enter, exit, and move around the building. If spectators are unable to wear masks, they are encouraged to not attend matches in person for the sake of their health and the health of others.
 
Free parking options include the three small E-lots adjacent to the facility 90 minutes prior to the first match. Spectators may also pay to park in the Sports Center Garage (PS No. 7) on the corner of Complex Drive and Sports Center Drive. The cost of parking is $2 per hour with a $16 maximum.

Kentucky last competed on Jan. 23 in a doubleheader at home against Southeast Missouri State, besting the Redhawks with back-to-back 6-1 and 4-0 victories. Florencia Urrutia won both of her singles matches, which included her first individual clinching point as a Wildcat. The junior has yet to drop a singles match this season. 

Just as the team enters Sunday’s matches with a perfect 6-0 record, the duo of Fiona Arrese and Urrutia also maintain an unblemished 4-0 mark in doubles action. In total, Kentucky has won five out of the six doubles points so far this season for a 10-3 doubles record, also boasting a 22-9 singles record.

The team’s two freshmen in Lidia Gonzalez and Ellie Eades have impressed in their first few outings in the blue and white. Gonzalez secured a singles point in the second match with ETSU on Jan. 14 to even the score while Eades survived a grueling battle to clinch the match point. They both picked up singles wins against Miami Ohio on Jan. 16 as well, with Gonzalez earning the clinch. 

The Wildcats last faced the Nittany Lions on the road on Feb. 4, 2017, in which UK prevailed with a 6-1 outcome. Kentucky squared off with WKU a season ago on Jan. 30, 2021, in Lexington for a 7-0 sweep over its in-state foe.

UK posted a 16-9 overall mark with a 6-7 record in the Southeastern Conference during the 2021 campaign. Last season was one for the record books, as Arrese and Akvile Paražinskaite earned the No. 1 seed in the doubles draw for the NCAA Championships. The duo were the first Wildcats to be ranked No. 1 since 2016 and the first with Carlos Drada at the helm.

The 2021-22 season marks Drada’s 17th year as head coach and his 21st season overall in Lexington. Prior to the start of the fall season, the team welcomed Brad Merchant as the assistant coach. No stranger to UK, Merchant had served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for Kentucky men’s basketball since 2019 and was the volunteer assistant for the women’s tennis team during the 2016-17 season.

For the latest on the Kentucky women’s tennis program, follow @UKWomensTennis on Twitter and Instagram, on Facebook, and on the web at UKathletics.com.
 

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