FAYETTEVILLE – The 34th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team showed some toughness in its singles matches with No. 17 Alabama, but could not win some tight first-set tiebreakers as it dropped its match with the Crimson Tide, 4-1, Sunday afternoon at the Billingsley Tennis Center.
The Razorbacks fell behind after losing the doubles point, but then seemed to be regaining some momentum as they won two quick first sets at courts two and four, then went to first-set tiebreakers at courts one and three. Unfortunately, Arkansas ended up on the wrong side of the conclusion of the first-set tiebreakers as those proved to be the difference in the overall match. With the loss, the Razorbacks fall to 8-6 on the year and are 1-3 in the Southeastern conference. The Crimson Tide move to 9-2 on the season and are a perfect 4-0 in conference play.
“I thought we responded well from a tough doubles point,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty
said. “We showed some good stuff at times in singles and credit Alabama for being the better team today. Those first sets were critical in singles and it just didn’t go our way.”
As the day began in doubles, it was all Crimson Tide from the start as the 30th-ranked team of Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane defeated sophomore Laurie Gingras
and junior Claudine Paulson
, 8-1, forcing Arkansas to win out on the remaining two matches to earn the doubles point.
Court two was played a little closer than court one, but it was the same story as Alabama showed how tough it can be in doubles with an 8-4 win for Mary Anne Macfarlane and Antonia Foehse over Stephanie Roy
and Emily Carbone
. It ended up being a doubles sweep for the Crimson Tide as the match at court three was unfinished because the point had already been one. The team of senior Kate Lukomskaya
and freshman Catherine Parenteau
were tied at 5-all with Alabama’s Taylor Lindsey and Yasmine Ebada, before the match was called.
With the match moving into singles, Arkansas needed four out of the six matches to go in its favor and seemed to be getting that with strong starts at courts two and four. Paulson was facing the 61st-ranked Guarachi and won her first set, 6-1. Lukomskaya wasn’t far behind as she took her first set also by the score of 6-1 against Alex Clay.
Unfortunately, on courts one, five and six Alabama got the first set win including a tight 7-6(9) win for 21st-ranked Macfarlane over Carbone. The Crimson Tide had first set wins on four out of the six matches, but Lukomskaya would be the first player to finish her singles match. She ended up defeating Clay, 6-1, 7-5, to tie the team points at 1-all and breaks a four-match winning streak she had coming into Sunday’s match. Lukomskaya is now 10-13 overall this year and is the fifth player to reach the 10-win plateau on the roster.
With the momentum the win from Lukomskaya could have given the women’s tennis team, it was not going to be enough as Alabama went on to win the next three matches for the overall win. Courts one, five and six all were won in straight sets by the Crimson Tide and suspended the remaining two matches at courts two and three.
The Razorbacks will get the week off before resuming conference play against the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday, March 23 at the Billingsley Tennis Center. First serve is scheduled for noon.
#17 Alabama 4
#34 Arkansas 1
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 1, 2*
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 4, 5, 6, 1*
No. 1 #21 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. Emily Carbone
(ARK) 7-6(9), 6-2