After falling in last year’s doubles title match, senior Aldila Sutjiadi and junior Mami Adachi can finally call themselves USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Champions. The Wildcats downed UCLA’s Jada Hart and Ena Shibahara in straight sets Sunday morning, earning a 6-3, 6-4 victory.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the outcome of today’s match,” said head coach Carlos Drada. “Seeing Mami and Aldila play with joy and intensity while being disciplined under pressure corroborates what we believe as a team. Structure and a willingness to view situations objectively maximizes our performance level.”
“Today’s performance was very special because they were leading last year but lost a very close match,” added Drada. “It is not an easy feat to improve a second-place finish in a national tournament. I am thrilled that Mami and Aldila get to experience winning a national championship.”
Kentucky took down two ranked opponents along the way. The Wildcats ousted No. 14 Jessica Aney and Hayley Carter from North Carolina in the quarterfinals on Friday, 7-6(1), 6-3. The pair then took on No. 12 Gabriela Knutson and Valeria Salazar of Syracuse on Saturday, where they earned hard-fought victory, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0(8).
The UNC match slightly resembled a rematch, as the UK pair was ousted in the tournament’s championship match last year by another UNC duo, when Carter teamed up with Whitney Kay to defeat the Kentucky tandem in a tiebreak, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0(6).
This marks the first time Kentucky duo has won the title match at the Indoor Championships. Last year saw Sutjiadi/Adachi tie UK’s previous best finish, which came when Sonia Hahn and Tamaki Takagi finished as runners-up in 1988.
This is also the fourth consecutive year the Wildcats have been represented in the Indoor Championships, the last three of which included appearances by Sutjiadi.
Hosted by Columbia University at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, the Indoor Championships serves as the final major tournament of the fall season. The prestigious event features some of the best collegiate tennis players in the country in its 32-player singles draw and 20-team doubles draw.
The tournament marks the close of the fall season for Kentucky. The Wildcats will open up the 2016 campaign Jan. 18 when they head to Huntington, West Virginia to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s tennis program, follow @UKWomensTennis on Twitter and Instagram, on Facebook at Facebook.com/UKWomensTennis, and on the web at UKathletics.com.
USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships
Billie Jean King Tennis Center – Flushing, N.Y.
Aldila Sutjiadi/Mami Adachi (UK) def. Jada Hart/Ena Shibahara (UCLA), 6-3, 6-4
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