IRVINE, Calif. – The LSU women's tennis team (4-2) faced a tough 4-3 loss to No. 65 UC Irvine (5-3) Monday at the UC Irvine Tennis Stadium.
“This was another tough five hour battle,” head coach Julia S. Sell said. “I’m proud of the way we’re holding up physically. Unfortunately, we are suffering from the growing pains of development. We controlled every court and had leads everywhere, but, with our lack of experience of being the dominant player on the court, we gave away matches.”
The Lady Tigers started the day with two quick doubles wins that secured the doubles point for LSU. Kaitlin Burns and Ella Taylor competed for the first time together and scored an 8-1 win over UC Irvine's Ali Facey and Brooke Schweyer on court three, and the senior team of Keri Frankenberger and Ebie Wilson clinched the point with an 8-4 victory over the Anteaters' Marivick Mamiit and Sarah Stadfelt.
Ariel Morton posted the first singles win of the day, with a quick 6-2, 6-2 victory over UC Irvine's Sarah Gong in the No. 4 position.
After a series of Anteater wins, freshman Taylor notched the final match of the day and the Lady Tigers’ third point with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win over the Anteaters’ Franziska Goettsching on court three.
“Ariel (Morton) and Ella (Taylor) continue to lead the team with their commitment to improving and belief in the process,” Sell said. “We have gone from never being in a position to win to all of a sudden trying to close out a match. That doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s my job now to keep them focused on making the next step.”
The Anteaters scored points on courts one, two, five and six. No. 112 Burns fell 7-6 (7-6), 6-3 to Kristina Smith in the top position, and sophomore Mary Jeremiah followed as she faced a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 loss to the Anteaters' Mamiit the No. 2 position. Senior Wilson then fell 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to UC Irvine's Facey on court five, and freshman Caroline Hudson fell 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to Stadfelt on court six.