March 29, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Myrthe Molenveld's dramatic three-set victory clinched the upset, as the No. 31 Auburn women's tennis team beat No. 19 Kentucky 5-2 Sunday afternoon at the Boone Tennis Complex. With the win, the Tigers improve to 10-6, 3-2 SEC and Kentucky is 11-4, 2-3 SEC.
"What a great effort today against a tough Kentucky team," head women's tennis coach Tim Gray said. "We did a better job in the doubles today, but it wasn't enough. We really stepped it up in the singles and showed a lot of guts. That's what we need from here on in. I'm proud of the fight we showed today."
Kentucky picked up the doubles point for the early lead, winning on courts two and three. Megan Broderick and Christie Johnston dealt Auburn's Fani Chifchieva and Molenvled an 8-3 setback in the No. 2 spot. The No. 3 doubles team of Lauren Meier and Whitney Spencer topped the Tiger duo of Heather Bybee and Jil Hastenrath, 8-3.
With the Wildcats picking up the point, action between Kentucky's 29th-ranked team of Carolina Escamilla and Caroline Lilley and Auburn's No. 44 duo of Alex Haney and Whitney Chappell was halted on court one.
The Tigers battled back for the victory with a strong showing in singles play. Fani Chifchieva, ranked eighth nationally, dominated Kentucky's No. 117 Megan Broderick with a 6-1, 6-1 victory in the No. 1 spot. On court three, Auburn's Whitney Chappell cruised to a 6-2, 6-2, win over Christine Johnston.
Senior Alex Haney, ranked 32nd nationally, opened with a 6-1 first-set win against Carolina Escamilla, but the Wildcat then turned in a 6-1 win in the second set to push the match into a third set. Haney emerged victorious in the decisive set, winning 6-4.
Molenveld was clutch for the Tigers in the No. 4 position against Kentucky's Lauren Meier, with a dramatic 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 victory to secure Auburn's upset. Rookie Daniela Vukadinovic also notched a 5-7, 6-4, 1-0(4) win over Whitney Spencer on court five.
Auburn will host Southern Miss for a mid-week matchup on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. Live stats and video for Tuesday's match can be found at www.auburntigers.com.
AUBURN 5, KENTUCKY 2
Doubles (order of finish: 2, 3)
1. No. 29 Carolina Escamilla/Caroline Lilley (UK) vs. No. 44 Alex Haney/Whitney Chappell (AU), DNF
2. Christine Johnston/ Megan Broderick (UK) def. Fani Chifchieva/Myrthe Molenveld (AU), 8-3
3. Lauren Meier/Whitney Spencer (UK) def. Heather Bybee/Jil Hastenrath (AU), 8-3
Singles (order of finish: 1, 3, 2, 4, 6, 5)
1. No. 8 Fani Chifchieva (AU) def. #117 Megan Broderick (UK), 6-1, 6-1
2. No. 32 Alex Haney (AU) def. Carolina Escamilla (UK), 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
3. Whitney Chappell (AU) def. Christine Johnston (UK), 6-2, 6-2
4. Myrthe Molenveld (AU) def. Lauren Meier (UK), 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
5. Daniela Vukadinovic (AU) def. Whitney Spencer (UK), 5-7, 6-4, 1-0(4)
6. Caroline Lilley (UK) def. Jil Hastenrath (AU), 7-6(3), 6-1