Women’s Tennis Set to Face Wisconsin in First Round of NCAA Tournament
Ames, Iowa – The LSU women’s tennis team (13-10) will open its campaign in the 2023 NCAA Tournament when they face the Wisconsin Badgers (19-6) at 11 a.m. CT on Friday, May 5.
Friday’s match opens the Ames regional, which features LSU, Wisconsin, Drake and host team Iowa State. The winners of LSU-Wisconsin and Drake-Iowa State will play in the second round at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 6.
Wisconsin (May 5)
Tigers in the Tourney
It is the 24th time in program history that the Tigers have made the NCAA Tournament, and the first since the 2021 season. LSU has a 16-23 overall record at the NCAA Tournament and has reached at least the second round in ten out of its previous 23 appearances.
For first-year coach Taylor Fogleman, it marks the first time in program history that a first-year head coach has led their team to the NCAA Tournament.
Five Tigers in the squad bring tournament experience to the team. Graduate Student Mia Rabinowitz has played in three matches in the tournament while at Illinois, two in 2018 and one in 2019. The senior trio of Safiya Carrington, Maggie Cubitt and Nina Geissler all featured for the Tigers in 2021 when the LSU Tennis Complex hosted its first NCAA regional in program history. Junior Kylie Collins was a key piece for Texas as they claimed back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2021 and 2022.
The Tigers and Badgers have only met on series history in 1980, a match that Wisconsin claimed by a score of 6-3.
The Badgers enter the NCAA Tournament with a 19-6 record and a ranking of No. 22 by the ITA. Wisconsin finished third in the Big 10, trailing only NCAA national seeds and regional hosts Michigan and Ohio State. They are led in singles by Ava Markham, a senior from Demarest, New Jersey, who has a dual record of 16-6 while playing at the top court and a ranking of No. 60 by the ITA. She is joined in the rankings by Maria Sholokhova and Xinyu Cai, who are ranked No. 72 and No. 120 respectively.
In doubles, the Badgers boast a strong 41-20 record in dual matches across its three doubles spots and have claimed the doubles court in all but five matches this season. Markham and Sholokhova have posted a 15-5 record at the top court while Cai and Alina Mukhortova have a 15-2 record playing primary at the No. 2 court.
The Tigers return to action for the first time since the SEC Tournament two weeks ago. In Fayetteville, LSU won its second round match against Arkansas by a score of 4-3 in a long, four hour match that began at 8:20 p.m. and finished at 12:20 a.m. local time. The Razorbacks claimed the doubles point, but the Tigers struck back with singles wins from Geissler, Komar and Safiya Carrington to eventually tie the match at 3-3. In a three-hour singles match that required a tiebreaker in each set to decide it, Nikita Vishwase defeated Kacie Harvey by a score of 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (11-9), to book LSU’s spot into the quarterfinal. In the quarterfinal round the next day, the Tigers battled but fell to the eventual SEC Champions Georgia by a score of 4-0.
Komar and Collins were selected by the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Subcommittee to participate individually in singles and as a duo in doubles in the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships. Komar was selected as a top 16 seed in singles, which checked off a requirement to be named an ITA Singles All-American. The All-American honors continued for Komar as her and Collins were named a top 8 seed in doubles, which locks in ITA Doubles All-American honors for the pair. Collins was named an at-large selection for the singles championship.
For Komar, she becomes only the third Tiger in program history to earn both singles and doubles All-American honors in the same season, joining Bruna Colosio (2000) and Joana Valle Costa (2017). For Collins, the doubles honor is the third All-American honor of her collegiate career after earning doubles honors in 2021 and singles honors in 2022 while at Texas.
Komar and Collins also received conference honors, being named to the First Team and Second Team All-SEC respectively. Komar’s first team place made her the first Tiger to receive the honor since Eden Richardson in 2019.
Safiya Carrington has enjoyed her most statistically successful season in her collegiate career this spring, posting a 13-8 record playing at the No. 2-4 courts. Of those 13 wins, eight came in SEC play, which ranked her for second most on the team.
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.