Lileikite/Wagner Fall to No. 11 Herring/Perez
WACO, Texas – Lina Lileikite and Stephanie Wagner of the University of Miami women’s tennis team dropped their match to No. 11 Lauren Herring and Ellen Perez in the first round of the NCAA Doubles Championship Thursday.
Lileikite, a senior, and Wagner, a junior, fell 6-2, 6-2 to the pair from Georgia at Baylor’s Hurd Tennis Center. This was the first time Lileikite and Wagner played together in over two months, as their last match as a pair came March 17, also on Baylor’s courts.
“Their rhythm was definitely off, and in doubles if your rhythm is off you really have to fight hard to try to get it back and we didn’t do a good job of that today,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “. . . The Georgia team was very good and we failed to make some adjustments that were necessary.”
Herring and Perez opened the match by breaking Miami’s serve, but the Hurricanes broke right back after a lengthy game to even the score at 1-1.
Lileikite and Wagner, ranked No. 17 in the nation, then fell behind 5-1 after Herring and Perez won four straight games. The Miami duo got one back, but the Bulldogs closed out the set right after, taking it 6-2.
Georgia won the first two games of the second set, but Lileikite and Wagner battled back to even it at a pair. However, the change in momentum would not continue, as the Bulldogs won the final four games to take the match, 6-2, 6-2.
Herring and Perez were named Tuesday to the NCAA Team Championship All-Tournament Team at the No. 1 doubles position and continued their strong play to open the doubles tournament.
The loss ended Lileikite’s superb career as a Hurricane, which was capped by her first appearance in the NCAA individual championships.
“Lina has represented this program each and every day in a way that I am so proud of. She has qualities that I hope every student-athlete who comes through this program possesses,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “She is mature, she is caring, she is a great student, and she is a hard worker. She has been a pleasure to be around and to have spent so much time with over the course of these years and we’re going to miss her. We’re going to really miss her.”
Wagner is still in the NCAA Singles Championship field, as is freshman Sinead Lohan. Wagner will play No. 54 Saska Gavrilovska of Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 Friday at 10:00 a.m. Lohan’s Sweet 16 match against No. 32 Natalie Beazant of Rice is set for Friday at 11:00 a.m.
To track Friday’s action on Twitter, as well as to learn more about University of Miami women’s tennis, follow @HurricaneTennis.
NCAA Doubles Championship First Round
NCAA Singles Championship Second Round
NCAA Singles Championship Round of 16