Women's Tennis Fall to Rice, 6-1

by Brandon Berrio
Feb. 22 Tennis Highlights +0
Women's Tennis Fall to Rice, 6-1

BATON ROUGE – No. 87 Skyler Kuykendall earned a hard-fought three-set victory, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5) on court three in a super tiebreaker, but it wasn’t enough as the LSU women’s tennis team fell 6-1 to Rice on Sunday afternoon at Dub Robinson Stadium.

LSU (8-3) won the first doubles match, 6-3, on court one as the duo of Joana Vale Costa and Noel Scott made quick work of Rice’s Natalie Beazant and Katherine Ip. However, the Lady Owls captured tight 7-5 matches on courts two and three to win the doubles point.

“There are so many positives that it makes the loss painful,” head coach Julia S. Sell said. “We really just took our foot off the gas. We gave away too many points out there. We are going to take the good out of today and get better this week.”

After earning the doubles point, Rice went on to earn the next four points and clinch the match. Scott dropped court two 6-4, 6-1 to Ip for the second point.

It was a battle of two ranked players on court one. Vale Costa, rated 29th, dropped a 6-4, 6-3 decision to No. 32 Beazant.

Solomiya Zinko clinched the match for Rice with a 6-4, 6-4 win on court six. Abby Owens won the first set 6-2 on court four but Rice’s Savannah Durkin took the following sets 6-3, 6-2.

After dropping the first set, junior Ella Taylor fought back to win the second set 6-2, but she came up short of the win by falling 7-5 in the third set.

“We’ll use this week to get better. We’re changing the format of our matches to the old way so we’ll take time to practice in that way,” Sell added. “The SEC is a strong conference and the depth is unbelievable so we have to be ready.”

The Lady Tigers conclude the non-conference schedule with an 8-3 record. LSU begins SEC play at No. 3 Georgia at 2 p.m. CT on Friday.

For more information on the program, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.

LSU Women’s Tennis Match Results
Rice vs. LSU
Feb 22, 2015 at Baton Rouge, La.
(Dub Robinson Stadium)

#36 Rice 6, #44 LSU 1

Singles competition
1. #32 Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. #29 Joana Vale Costa (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
2. Katherine Ip (RICE) def. Noel Scott (LSU) 6-4, 6-1
3. #87 Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) def. Lindsey Hodge (RICE) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5)
4. Savannah Durkin (RICE) def. Abigail Owens (LSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Alison Ho (RICE) def. Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
6. Solomiya Zinko (RICE) def. Skylar Holloway (LSU) 6-4, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Joana Vale Costa/Noel Scott (LSU) def. Natalie Beazant/Katherine Ip (RICE) 6-3
2. Lindsey Hodge/Alison Ho (RICE) def. #60 Abigail Owens/Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) 7-5
3. Savannah Durkin/Solomiya Zinko (RICE) def. Ella Taylor/Skylar Holloway (LSU) 7-5

Match Notes:
Rice 3-6; National ranking #36
LSU 8-3; National ranking #44
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,1,6,4,3,5)
Kuykendall won the third set super tiebreaker 10-5