Women’s tennis will welcome Kentucky to the Dick Savitt Tennis Center on Saturday.
The Lions (5-2) are coming off two victories over Ivy foes Yale and Penn at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships last weekend and will look to ride that wave of momentum into Saturday’s contest against the Wildcats (4-2).
Head coach Ilene Weintraub, CC ’02, noted that Kentucky, which received votes in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, will present a challenge for her team. But Weintraub, who herself was a player for the Light Blue, felt that the Lions will be up for the challenge.
“I think the timing is perfect to play Kentucky, the highest-ranked team on our schedule right now,” she said. “The two wins against Yale and Penn should give us just the right boost to play well in that match.”
A season ago, the Light Blue battled Kentucky in Lexington and fell 4-0. In that match, the Wildcats easily won the doubles point and went on to claim three singles matches.
This year’s Wildcats most recently dispatched then-No. 16 Baylor 4-1 and will come into Saturday’s match having won two of three conference games and four of six overall this season.
But due to last year’s roster turnover and the arrival of a highly ranked recruiting class, the 2017-18 Lions are led by first-years Christie Wan and Jennifer Kerr and anchored by veteran junior Andrea Kevakian and senior Adi Milstein.
Playing at first singles, Wan will likely have the tall task of facing off against Kentucky’s Justina Mikulskyte, who recently topped Baylor’s No. 98 Theresa Van Zyl in straight sets. Wan starred for the Lions last weekend, where she topped Dartmouth’s Kristina Mathis in three sets, winning 12 straight games to get the Lions’ only point against the Big Green. Weintraub said that Wan’s adjustments this season have helped the first-year solidify her role atop the Light Blue’s lineup.
In doubles play, the Light Blue will hope for more consistent play from its three pairings. At the top of the lineup, Milstein and Wan have achieved mixed results this season, going 3-2 together.
Despite Kentucky’s success thus far, Weintraub is fairly confident that her team will perform at the level at which it is capable, particularly in the friendly confines of the Savitt Center.
“The two wins against Yale and Penn should give us just the right boost to play well [against Kentucky],” Weintraub said. “I am going to do everything I can to get us four points.”
First serve against Kentucky from the Dick Savitt Tennis Center is on Saturday at noon.