UK women’s tennis opens season with two wins in doubleheader

Kentucky defeated East Tennessee State in a pair of thrillers

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/UK ATHLETICS) – The University of Kentucky women’s tennis team began the 2022 season with a pair of wins on Friday, besting East Tennessee State in a thrilling doubleheader at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center. The Wildcats defeated the Buccaneers 4-3 in both matches to begin the year with a 2-0 record. 

The first match got off to an exciting start in doubles action. Fiona Arrese and Florencia Urrutia defeated Emilia Alfaro and Mayya Gorbunova, 6-1, before ETSU tied it up at one apiece. The duo of Ellie Eades and Carla Girbau then clinched the doubles point after taking down Laylo Bakhodirova and Alejandra Morales in a 6-3 decision.

Urrutia and Girbau both posted wins in singles action during the first match of the day. Sealing the overall match win for the Wildcats was Arrese, who posted a hard-fought 7-5, 7-6(4) victory over Maria Fernanda Carvajal in a match that lasted just over two hours.

East Tennessee State rallied at the start of the second match, clinching the doubles point after Bakhodirova and Morales got a 6-4 win over Eades and Girbau. 

Urrutia picked up another singles win in her Wildcat debut, again defeating Emilia Alfaro, 7-5, 6-1, in the second match after doing so 6-2, 6-0 in the first. After trailing Carvajal in the first set, Arrese rallied for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory – also her second of the day – to tie the match at two points apiece. 

Kentucky’s two freshmen showed up big in their first time donning the blue and white. Lidia Gonzalez secured a win by defeating Yunuen Elizarraras, 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-2, to bring the match up to 3-3. In what proved to be a tenacious comeback effort for the Wildcats, Eades outlasted Gorbunova in a grueling 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(9) battle to give UK another 4-3 win over ETSU.

The Wildcats continue their four-match home stretch on Sunday, Jan. 16 inside the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center for another doubleheader. Kentucky will play Miami Ohio at 11 a.m. ET before taking on Bellarmine at 5 p.m.

Match One
Kentucky 4, East Tennessee State 3

Singles 
1. Kaylo Bakhodirova (ETSU) def. No. 100 Carlota Molina (UK) 6-2, 6-0 
2. Carla Girbau (UK) def. Alejandra Morales (ETSU) 6-1, 7-5 
3. Fiona Arrese (UK) def. Maria Fernanda Carvajal (ETSU) 7-5, 7-6(4)
4. Florencia Urrutia (UK) def. Emilia Alfaro (ETSU) 6-2, 6-0 
5. Mayya Gorbunova (ETSU) def. Lidia Gonzalez (UK) 6-4, 7-6(3)
6. Yunuen Elizarraras (ETSU) def. Maialen Morante (UK) 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: 1, 4, 2, 3*, 6, 5

Doubles
1. Ellie Eades/Carla Girbau (UK) def. Laylo Bakhodirova/Alejandra Morales (ETSU) 6-3
2. Fiona Arrese/Florencia Urrutia (UK) def. Emilia Alfaro/Mayya Gorbunova (ETSU) 6-1
3. No. 44 Maria Fernanda Carvajal/Yunuen Elizarraras (ETSU) def. Carlota Molina/Lidia Gonzalez (UK) 6-2
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*

Match Two
Kentucky 4, East Tennessee State 3

Singles 
1. Alejandra Morales (ETSU) def Carla Girbau (UK) 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-5
2. Kaylo Bakhodirova (ETSU) def. No. 100 Carlota Molina (UK) 6-0, 6-2 
3. Fiona Arrese (UK) Maria Fernanda Carvajal (ETSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 
4. Florencia Urrutia (UK) Emilia Alfaro (ETSU) 7-5, 6-1
5. Ellie Eades (UK) def. Mayya Gorbunova (ETSU) 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(9)
6. Lidia Gonzalez (UK) def. Yunuen Elizarraras (ETSU) 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-2
Order of finish: 2, 4, 3, 1, 6, 5*

Doubles
1. Laylo Bakhodirova/Alejandra Morales (ETSU) def. Ellie Eades/Carla Girbau (UK) 6-4
2. Fiona Arrese/Florencia Urrutia (UK) Emilia Alfaro/Mayya Gorbunova (ETSU) Unfinished 
3. No. 44 Maria Fernanda Carvajal/Yunuen Elizarraras (ETSU) def. Carlota Molina/Maialen Morante (UK) 6-1
Order of finish: 3, 1*

For the latest on the Kentucky women’s tennis program, follow @UKWomensTennis on Twitter and Instagram, on Facebook, and on the web at UKathletics.com.  

Categories: Solid Blue, Sports