The upperclassmen doubles pair in Justina Mikulskyte and Akvilė Paražinskaitė did not fall short of expectations on Sunday, when the No. 14 University of Kentucky women’s tennis duo upset the best twosome in the ITA/Oracle Top 80, Gamecocks’ Mia Horvit and Gamarra Martins.
Tabbing the first doubles point in four dual matches, it was led by No. 14 Mikulskyte and Paražinskaitė who proved they shine under pressure as the duo is now unbeaten in six doubles matches against nationally-ranked opponents, this time knocking off the No. 1 pair in the nation by a 6-3 decision. The Wildcat twosome is now riding a six-match win streak, the best active win streak of any singles or doubles record on the team.
Also helping UK card the doubles point was freshman Alexis Merrill and redshirt-sophomore Lesedi Jacobs, who won on court three in a 6-4 outcome. It was only the second time this season the duo has been paired together.
One point ahead, UK was in good position ahead of the singles division. Although, South Carolina tabbed four of six singles matches to finish victoriously. The Gamecocks gained singles victories over junior Diana Tkachenko (6-2, 6-3), Paražinskaitė (6-4, 6-0), Fiquet (6-2, 6-4) and finally, Jacobs, to seal the deal (6-4, 2-6, 6-1).
Sandwiched in the middle of the Gamecocks’ four singles wins was a standout performance by Mikulskyte. The 35th-best singles player in the nation, Mikulskyte defeated the No. 7 singles player in the nation in Martins by a quick 6-1, 6-3 decision. Mikulskyte is now 6-1 against nationally-ranked foes.
The Kentucky women’s tennis team (15-4, Southeastern Conference 5-3) will return to the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center for its next three matches – Vanderbilt on March 29, Ole Miss on April 5, and Mississippi State on April 7 for senior day.
– GO CATS –
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