March 23, 2012
AUBURN – No. 64 Auburn women’s tennis knocked off Kentucky 5-2 on Friday afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center to pick up its third SEC win of the season.
"We played solid doubles today and really dug in for singles." Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. "Kentucky is a tough team and it took a lot of mental toughness alogn with us playing our game to get this win. I am really proud of the effort and fight that we showed today. It feels great to get our third SEC win."
Auburn (8-6, 3-2) took the early lead with the doubles point on the back of a pair of victories, but that point didn’t come easy. The Tigers started doubles play with a loss on court three by Taylor Schreimann and Plamena Kurteva, 8-1.
Emily Flickinger and Jackie Kasler, playing at No. 1, started the climb back with an 8-3 win over Jessica Stiles and Khristina Blajkevitc, 8-3. Paulina Schippers and Jen Pfeifler then finished off a tight match and the comeback at the second post for an 8-6 win and the point.
Auburn opened up a 2-0 lead thanks to a decisive win at the third line by Kurteva, 6-4, 6-3, over Caitlin McGraw. The Wildcats (8-8, 0-5) responded with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Stiles over Pfeifler to close within a point at 2-1. After that, Auburn put the match away.
The Tigers countered with three-straight wins, first by Olivia Bennett in strong fashion 6-2, 6-4 over Marni Venter, then it was Flickinger grinding out a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) tie-break defeat of Blajkevitc to make it 4-2 in favor of Auburn and lockdown the victory. Not to be outdone, Schippers added a 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) win on court five to give Auburn its fifth point.
Kasler fell 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 0-1 (10-12) to Stephanie Fox in a marathon final match for Kentucky’s second and final point.
Friday’s match was played indoors due to rain in the Auburn area. Auburn last won three SEC matches in 2010, the Tigers were 1-10 in SEC play in 2011.
Auburn is in action next on Sunday when they visit No. 23 Vanderbilt in Nashville. The match is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT. For the latest on Auburn women’s tennis follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter.