Making its sixth straight NCAA Championships appearance, the University of Kentucky women’s tennis team earned a spot in the Ann Arbor, Michigan, region. The Wildcats will compete against DePaul in the first round on Friday, May 3 or Saturday, May 4 at the University of Michigan Varsity Tennis Center. Sixty-four school were selected on Monday to compete in the single-elimination tournament, while 31 of those schools received automatic qualification.
UK women’s tennis head coach Carlos Drada has led 10 teams to the national tournament in his 14 seasons, including four straight appearances 2006-09 and six straight appearances 2014-19. The program has had 25 NCAA Championship berths, recording a 21-25 overall record on the national stage.
The Wildcats are 18-8 this season and have formed a 7-6 record in the league. Notching a 9-6 mark against nationally ranked foes, the program is 2-2 on neutral courts. Kentucky is 85-42 (.669) in singles matches this season and 40-24 (.625) on the doubles courts.
Lone-senior No. 21 Justina Mikulskyte has led the team in singles and in doubles this season. The All-SEC First Team selection has produced a 13-5 record (.722) on the No. 1 singles court, including defeating seven ranked opponents. Bonded with redshirt junior Akvilė Paražinskaitė to form one UK’s best doubles teams of all time, the pair also boast a 13-5 record (.722) on the No. 1 doubles court.
Most remarkable of the UK duo, Mikulskyte and Paražinskaitė have notched an 8-0 record against ranked foes, four of which were ranked inside the top 15. In March, the twosome defeated the No. 1- and No. 3-ranked doubles teams in the nation, raising their stock in the ITA/Oracle National Doubles Rankings tremendously, reaching as high as the 13th-ranked pair in the nation. The doubles team is currently ranked at No. 15.
Putting up valuable numbers in the singles division this season is junior Diana Tkachenko. The Russian native boasts a 16-4 record (.800) in dual matches, leading the nine-person squad, and competes consistently in the No. 5 placement.
DePaul, the 2019 BIG EAST Conference Tournament Champions, is 11-11 overall and 6-2 in its league. Last week, the foes robbed a 4-3 outcome over top-ranked Xavier to win its fourth league tournament title in the last six years. The Blue Demons and the Wildcats have only one meeting in all-time history, when DePaul defeated Kentucky in the NCAA First Round in 2015, 4-1.
Georgia, the 2019 SEC Champions, was the No. 1 overall pick and sits atop UK’s bracket. Also earning the top seeds are No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 South Carolina and No. 5 Stanford.
The winner of each site advances to super-regional competition May 10 or 11. Each super-regional site will feature two teams playing a single-elimination format. The super-regional winners advance to the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida, where the eight teams will compete for the national championship May 17-19. The event will be hosted by the University of Central Florida and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.
The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships selections will be released on Tuesday at 6 p.m. on NCAA.com.
2019 First and Second Round Schedule
Varsity Tennis Center – Ann Arbor, Mich.
First Round – Friday, May 3 or Saturday, May 4
No. 27 Kentucky vs. DePaul
No. 17 Michigan vs. UIC
Second Round – Saturday, May 4 or Sunday, May 5
Winner game 1 vs. winner game 2
– GO CATS –
For more information contact: