FAYETTEVILLE – From start to finish, the 32nd-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team was in control of its match with the 31st-ranked Sooners of Oklahoma and earned the 5-2 victory on Friday afternoon at the Billingsley Tennis Center. Arkansas earned a tough doubles point after it came down to the final match, before winning four singles matches, all in straight sets.
“We’re continuing to get better starts,” head coach Michael Hegarty
said. “Our intensity level today was our best of the season. That’s something that’s really making a difference for us. We have continue to build on it as we have another tough match on Sunday with Yale.”
During the doubles matches, it looked like Arkansas and Oklahoma would be in for a fight to the finish. That theory held true as Oklahoma won the first doubles match at court three, followed by Arkansas winning at court two. Seniors Emily Carbone
and Stephanie Roy
battled Oklahoma’s Nicole Long and Whitney Wofford for the entire match, before finally breaking OU’s serve and getting that cushion needed to win the match by a score of 8-5.
With one doubles win each, the first team point came down to the top court. Sophomore Laurie Gingras
and junior Claudine Paulson
were facing the No. 22 team of Marie-Pier Huet and Whitney Ritchie and were giving one of the top teams in the country a solid match. Much like court two, game-winners went back and forth before the Hogs found the opening they needed to break the Sooner’s serve. Paulson and Gingras took the 8-6 win for their first victory over a ranked team this year and gave Arkansas the early 1-0 lead.
In singles, the Hogs were in good position to get their fifth straight win after clinching the doubles point and got off to a fast start with wins at courts one and six. Carbone won her second match as the Hogs number one player with a straight set, 6-3, 6-3, win over Huet. The win was not only her second at the top spot, but also her ninth of the year overall.
Soon after at court six, Gingras was dominate in her match from start to finish as she dispatched Wofford, 6-3, 6-2. The win was her tenth of the year and makes her the second Razorback behind Paulson with 10 singles wins this season.
“Laurie has done a lot of good things so far this year,” Hegarty said. “She’s played with a great spirit and its great to see her blossoming and winning matches as a result of that.”
With those first two singles wins now in their back pockets, the Hogs were sitting on a nice 3-0 lead needing only one more singles win to take the team match. Oklahoma started to make its comeback at court two as Ritchie defeated Roy, 6-1, 6-3, but the Hogs were already in control at court four with Lukomskaya. The Hog senior was actually down in her first set, 5-2, with Abbi Melrose before she started her comeback. Game by game Lukomskaya crept back in before finally she found herself with the 6-5 lead. She went on to win the set, 7-5 and then nearly shutout the second set, 6-1, to give Arkansas the victory. With the win, Lukomskaya now sits on the .500 mark for singles wins as she is 8-8 on the year.
Arkansas finished the scoring with one more singles win at court five from freshman Catherine Parenteau
, who defeated Nicole Long, 7-6(5), 6-3, for her ninth win overall and sixth of the dual season. Parenteau now sits tied at the top of the team with those six dual wins.
The Razorbacks will return to the courts on Sunday when they take on 25th-ranked Yale at 11 a.m. in the Billingsley Tennis Center. Live stats and the live blog will be available during the match. A full recap and complete results will be posted online following the match.
#31 Oklahoma 2
#32 Arkansas 5
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1*
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 1, 6, 2, 4*, 5, 3