OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 36 Razorback women’s tennis team had quite a tough match Friday afternoon with No. 11 Alabama in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament. After dropping the doubles point and falling behind, the Hogs couldn’t get back on track in singles and fell 4-0 to be eliminated from the tournament.
Alabama (17-3), as the No. 2 seed, was able to benefit from the bye as Friday’s match was its first of the weekend. Arkansas (12-13) was coming off a second straight win over LSU during Thursday’s first round and was looking to pull the upset against the Crimson Tide after advancing to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament for the third straight year.
Unfortunately, Alabama proved too tough as they won all three of its singles matches in straight sets and Arkansas will now have to wait for its selection into the NCAA Tournament as a possible at-large bid.
“Congratulations to Alabama for advancing,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty
said. “They earned their win today. No doubt yesterday’s match affected us a bit, but that’s credit to Alabama for earning the bye. Hopefully, we can address the places we got exposed today and play our best tennis at the NCAA Tournament.”
The Razorbacks had quite the momentum in their favor going into Friday’s match as the Hogs were coming off two solid wins over the LSU Tigers. In both of those match, the Razorbacks won the doubles point and were looking to do the same against the Crimson Tide. Arkansas stayed close at all three courts until midway through Alabama made their move to go for the doubles win. Arkansas was within a 5-4 deficit on courts two and three, before Alabama went on to win three straight games at both courts to score 8-4 victories and the early doubles point.
With the lead in hand, Alabama continued to play well in singles as Alex Clay was the first off the courts at No. 4 after she defeated senior Kate Lukomskaya
, 6-0, 6-1. Alabama built on the lead soon after, winning at court six, also in straight sets, and needed only one more point to win in shutout fashion. The Crimson Tide got that win at court two as 44th-ranked Alexa Guarachi defeated senior Stephanie Roy
, 6-3, 6-2, and forced play to be suspended on the remaining courts.
Even though the match wasn’t in Arkansas’ favor, junior Claudine Paulson
was having a very good match before play was stopped. Facing Courtney McLane, Paulson won the first set at court three, 6-2, and then was leading the second frame, 3-1, but was not able to complete it and go for her second straight win.
Arkansas now awaits their fate in the NCAA Tournament. The Razorbacks will be looking for an at-large bid this year. If they do receive a bid it will be their fifth straight and sixth in the last seven years. The NCAA Tournament field will be selected on May 1 after the conclusion of the other conference tournaments.
For complete coverage of the Razorback women’s tennis team or University athletics, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
#36 Arkansas 0
#11 Alabama 4
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 2, 3*
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 2*
No. 1 #19 Mary Anna Macfarlane (UA) vs. Emily Carbone
(ARK) 7-5, unf.