LSU Emerges Victorious in Four-Hour Showdown over Arkansas, 4-3
Fayetteville, Ark. – In an SEC Tournament second round match that began at 8:20 p.m. CT on Thursday night and finished at 12:20 a.m. CT early Friday morning, the No. 10-seed LSU women’s tennis team (13-9) battled from behind to defeat No. 7-seeded Arkansas (12-11) by a score of 4-3 at the Billingsley Tennis Center.
“What a college tennis match!” head coach Taylor Fogleman said. “So incredibly happy and proud of the ladies for their effort tonight. We certainly feel for Arkansas, we’ve been on that side of it a few different times this year. Tucker (Clary) and his staff are doing an awesome job.”
“Our team showed guts and resolve tonight and that’s something we won’t forget for a good while. On to the next round, Geaux Tigers!”
The match between Arkansas and LSU was the fourth and final of the day and was originally scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. CT start, but previous matches ran late and bumped back start times. This meant that LSU and Arkansas took the courts for an 8:20 p.m. CT start of doubles, nearly two and a half hours after its original time.
Carolina Gomez and Kelly Keller were the first pair off the doubles court after they defeated Nina Geissler and Mia Rabinowitz by a score of 6-1 at the No. 3 doubles court.
The Razorbacks clinched the doubles point at the No. 2 spot, where Lenka Stara and Grace O’Donnell narrowly defeated the sister duo of Noor and Safiya Carrington, 6-4.
Arkansas struck first in singles as Morgan Cross defeated Rabinowitz at the No. 5 court by a score of 6-3, 6-2.
LSU’s first points of the night came at the No. 4 spot, where Geissler earned a straight set win over Stara. Geissler claimed the first set by a score of 6-3 before staving off a comeback attempt in the second set from Stara to win 6-4 and make it 2-1 in the team match.
The Razorbacks extended their lead to 3-1 after No. 85 Keller defeated No. 33 Kylie Collins in a ranked battle at the No. 2 court. The two battled out a tight first set, but Keller narrowly edged it by a score of 6-4. The second set saw Collins take an early lead, but Keller rallied back and claimed another 6-4 win to secure victory.
The Tigers cut the deficit to 3-2 on the night after No. 14 Anastasiya Komar defeated No. 41 Gomez in three sets at the top court. Gomez claimed the first set by a score of 6-2 before Komar roared to life in the second set, only dropping game in a 6-1 win to extend the match into a third set. In the third set, Komar kept her foot on the gas pedal and only dropped two games as she won 6-2 to keep the Tigers in the match.
The match was all squared at 3-3 after Safiya Carrington came from behind to defeat Indianna Spink at the No. 3 spot. Spink edged Carrington in the first set, 6-4, before Carrington responded by blanking the Razorback in set two, 6-0, to extend the match. Carrington brought her momentum over to the third set, where she took an early lead on her way to a 6-3 win that tied the match.
In a singles match that lasted over three hours, freshman Nikita Vishwase clinched the match for the Tigers with a three-set win over Kacie Harvey at the No. 6 court in a match that went the distance. The first set had the players swap games back and forth until a tiebreaker was decided at 6-6, which Harvey won by a 7-3 margin. The second set was the same story between the two, tied at 6-6 after 12 games and needing a tiebreaker to decide it. In this tiebreaker, Vishwase came out on top, 10-8, to force a third set to decide the match. The third set was yet another one where neither player could pull away, split at 6-6 after 12 games and requiring one last tiebreaker. Vishwase outlasted her opponent in the tiebreaker, including staving off a match point when trailing 8-7, to win by a margin of 11-9 and secure the Tigers place in the quarterfinals.
LSU will face No. 2-seed Georgia at 6 p.m. CT on Friday night in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.
For more information on the LSU women’s tennis program follow the Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten , on Instagram @LSUWTen , and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
No. 10 LSU 4, No. 7 Arkansas 3
- #14 Anastasiya Komar (LSU) def. #41 Carolina Gomez (ARKW) 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
- #85 Kelly Keller (ARKW) def. #33 Kylie Collins (LSU) 6-4, 6-4
- Safiya Carrington (LSU) def. Indianna Spink (ARKW) 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
- Nina Geissler (LSU) def. Lenka Stara (ARKW) 6-3, 6-4
- Morgan Cross (ARKW) def. Mia Rabinowitz (LSU) 6-3, 6-2
- Nikita Vishwase (LSU) def. Kacie Harvey (ARKW) 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (11-9)
- #45 Indianna Spink/Morgan Cross (ARKW) vs. #4 Kylie Collins/Anastasiya Komar (LSU) 4-4, unfinished
- Lenka Stara/Grace O’Donnell (ARKW) def. Noor Carrington/Safiya Carrington (LSU) 6-4
- Carolina Gomez/Kelly Keller (ARKW) def. Nina Geissler/Mia Rabinowitz (LSU) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,4,2,1,3,6)
SEC Championships – Match 6
Match went into next day at 12:20 am on Friday, April 21