April 1, 1997

Cats Clip No. 17 Irish 5-4 To Win Third Straight

LEXINGTON, Ky. – In what looks like a break-through stretch for the Kentucky women’s tennis team, the Wildcats capped a three-match winning streak Tuesday, defeating No. 17 Notre Dame 5-4 at the W.H.H. Downing Outdoor Tennis Complex.

Kentucky (11-7 overall, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) won a pressure-packed, close match by playing aggressively and with confidence. UK’s doubles teams were again a source of strength, as the Cats took two of three matches to win the overall match.

“I’m really most pleased with the way everyone on the team is giving their maximum effort,” UK coach Mark Guilbeau said. “There was never a time in this match that we looked scared or looked like we were faltering. That’s very encouraging.”

Kentucky had its best weekend of the season, before capping a three-match stretch against the Irish. UK defeated both No. 25 Arkansas and No. 24 Indiana, dominating both matches over the weekend.

Under Guilbeau’s tutelage, the Cats have surpassed last season’s win total of seven. Additionally, five of Kentucky’s top six players have either tied or surpassed last season’s individual win total.

Sophomore Kelly Brown has made the most marked improvement, going from 3-7 a year ago to 15-14 this season, playing mostly at No. 2 singles. The others: Sophomore Massoumeh Emami (18-17 this year, 13-21 last year); junior Kathy Herring (15-12, 12-19); sophomore Caroline Kirk (12-15, 3-6); and senior Courtney Allen (13-12, 11-17).

UK’s charge of late has been led by Brown and sophomore Christy Sigurski. The two have won nine of 13 singles matches. Brown and Sigurski are also the Wildcats’ No. 2 doubles team.

The Wildcats play next at No. 4 Duke on Saturday, April 5. UK has two more home matches, on April 10 against Tennessee and April 15 against LSU.

Kentucky 5, Notre Dame 4
Jennifer Hall (ND) def. Messonmeh Emami, 7-5, 6-1
Kelly Brown (UK) def. Marisa Velarco, 6-3, 6-2
Kathy Herring (UK) def. Tiffany Gates, 6-3, 6-4
Kelly Zalinski (ND) def. Christy Sigurski, 6-4, 6-4
Caroline Kirk (UK) def. Kelley Olson, 6-2, 6-4
Darcie Sweet (ND) def. Courtney Allen, 6-2, 7-5

Gates-Hall (ND) def. Herring-Kirk, 8-2
Brown-Sigukrski (UK) def. Velasco-Zalinski, 8-5
Allen-emani (UK) def. Haskell-Olson, 8-4.