Women’s Tennis Geared for Away Match at No. 21 UCF
Orlando, Fla. – The LSU women’s tennis team (4-0) face its first away match of the dual season when they take on the No. 21-ranked UCF Knights at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday at the USTA National Campus.
No. 21 UCF (Feb. 4)
Sunday’s match will be the second meeting between the two programs. The lone matchup of the series took place at the LSU Tennis Complex last season, where the Knights took down the Tigers by a score of 4-1.
UCF enters the match with a 2-1 record and is currently ranked No. 21 in the ITA team rankings. The Knights opened the season with a 4-3 win over Stetson and were in action last weekend at ITA Kickoff Weekend. They opened the weekend with a 4-2 upset over No. 19 Arizona State before falling to No. 15 Auburn by a score of 4-1.
The Knights feature two players ranked in the ITA Singles Rankings as well as one doubles duo. Marie Mattel is the highest ranked in the singles polls at No. 47 and is joined by Nandini Sharma, who checks in at No. 110. The duo of Mattel and Sophia Biolay is ranked No. 29 and have played at the top doubles spot for UCF in their dual matches thus far.
Last time out, the Tigers earned their fourth win of the season with a 5-2 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions. LSU claimed the doubles point with a win from Anastasiya Komar and Nikita Vishwase before Maggie Cubitt and Safiya Carrington clinched it. In singles, Komar, Carrington, and Kylie Collins clinched the match with straight set singles win before Vishwase came from behind to win in three sets and secure LSU’s final point of the match.
Safiya Carrington has opened dual play in strong form, contributing to three out of four doubles points this season alongside partner Maggie Cubitt while also being the only player to score a singles point in every match. Carrington sits with ten singles wins on the overall season, trailing only Anastasiya Komar (17) in that category.
Anastasiya Komar’s first season in Purple & Gold is off to a flying start after a strong singles campaign in the fall. Komar posted a 13-3 record across four tournaments, including a dominant showing at the 2022 ITA Southern Regionals, where she was crowned the singles champion after running the table from the Round of 64. In the final ITA singles of the year, Komar rose from unranked to No. 32. The Belarus native enters Sunday’s match with a 3-0 singles record in dual play at the No. 1&2 courts for the Tigers.
In addition to singles success, Komar and doubles partner Nikita Vishwase led the Tigers with extraordinary doubles play in the fall, posting a 12-3 record playing together. The duo made a deep run from the pre-qualifying stages to the quarterfinal at the ITA All-American Championships, picking up multiple ranked wins in the process. Additionally, the duo ran the table in the doubles bracket at the ITA Southern Regional, defeating teammates Maggie Cubitt and Mia Rabinowitz in the final to claim the title. The newcomer duo was rewarded with a ranking of No. 7 in the final doubles ranking of 2022. The pair have carried their success into the spring by helping LSU secure the doubles point in three out of four matches this season.
Newcomer Kylie Collins made program history in October as she became the first Tiger in program history to reach the singles final of the ITA All-American Championships, the nation’s most competitive fall tournament. Starting in the round of 32, Collins earned four consecutive straight set wins en route to the final round. Collins’ stellar play was rewarded in the final fall rankings as she rose to No. 7 in the singles rankings, becoming only the fourth Tiger in program history to reach the top 10 and the first since 2019.
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