LSU Gold

Vale Costa Clinches NCAA Opening-Round Win

by Brandon Berrio
Vale Costa Clinches NCAA Opening-Round Win

LUBBOCK, Texas — Sophomore Joana Vale Costa defeated Emily Olivier on court one to clinch No. 22 LSU’s spot into the second round of the NCAA Tournament. LSU defeated New Mexico 4-0 Friday afternoon at the McLeoud Tennis Center.

LSU clinched a spot into the second round of the NCAA Tournament for just the sixth time in school history. The Lady Tigers improved to 20-10 on the year and became just the third team in program history to reach the 20-win mark.

“We were playing in 20 mile winds and extremely high elevation today,” head coach Julia Sell said. “The challenge was huge but we came in and got the job done. In singles, we went down real quick on a few courts and weren’t quite adjusted. I’m proud of the way we played and fought back to get the win. ”

Vale Costa reached the 30-win mark with her 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 6-2 victory over Emily Olivier. The sophomore joined teammate Skylar Kuykendall on the list of players with 30 or more wins. It’s just the fifth time in school history that two or more teammates have reached the 30-win mark and the first time since the 1984-85 season.

After a weather delay of almost two hours, LSU took to the court and secured the team’s 11th doubles point of the season. The Lady Tigers fell into a hole after dropping court two. The 33rd-ranked team of Vale Costa and Noel Scott evened things up with an 8-4 win on court one. Skylar Holloway and Ella Taylor clinched the point with an 8-6 won on court three.

“I thought it was crucial with the conditions to get the doubles point,” Sell added. “I know they were use to playing in this type of weather and to start out with the win gave us a huge confidence boost.”

Abby Owens started off singles with a win to extend the LSU lead to 2-0. Owens defeated Meredith Hopson 6-0, 6-1 on court three.

Holloway came back on court six to push the Lady Tiger lead to 3-0. The Washington, D.C. native dropped the first set 6-1 and came back to take the final two sets 6-0, 6-2.

LSU returns to action at 3 p.m. Saturday for the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the McLeoud Tennis Center. The Lady Tigers will face off against the winner of New Mexico State and Texas Tech.

For more information on the program, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on

#22 LSU 4, #57 New Mexico 0
May 08, 2015 at Lubbock, Texas (McLeod Tennis Center)

1. #29 Joana Vale Costa (LSU) def. Emily Olivier (UNM) 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 6-2
2. #68 Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) vs. Natasha Smith (UNM) 6-3, 4-6, 5-0, unfinished
3. Abby Owens (LSU) def. Meredith Hopson (UNM) 6-0, 6-1
4. Noel Scott (LSU) vs. Dominique Dulski (UNM) 1-6, 6-3, 5-6, unfinished
5. Ella Taylor (LSU) vs. Sharon Coone (UNM) 1-6, 6-4, 5-3, unfinished
6. Skylar Holloway (LSU) def. Rachana Bhat (UNM) 1-6, 6-0, 6-2

1. #33 Joana Vale Costa/Noel Scott (LSU) def. Dominique Dulski/Natasha Smith (UNM) 8-4
2. Sharon Coone/Emily Olivier (UNM) def. Skylar Kuykendall/Abby Owens (LSU) 8-6
3. Skylar Holloway/Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Rachana Bhat/Susan Baklini (UNM) 8-6

Records: #57 New Mexico 16-10; #22 LSU 20-10.
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (3,6,1)
Notes: There 90 minute delay due to lightning
T-3:20 A-346