FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team will compete at the ITA Central Regional in Tulsa, Okla. at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center from Oct. 19-22. This is the third event of the fall season for the Razorbacks. The tournament is one of 12 regional championships taking place across the country and also serves as a qualifier for the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, which will be held on Nov. 8-11 in Queens, N.Y.
This will be the first time competing at the ITA Central Regional for McLean, Pang, and Surin. Arkansas is anchored by Claudine Paulson
, who will compete at the event for a fourth straight year. She holds a career singles record of 4-4 and doubles record of 8-3 in the event. Paulson and Anouk Tigu
advanced to the doubles finals in both 2009 and 2010.
“The Central Regional is a very strong event,” Head Coach Michael Hegarty
said. “It’s a tournament that we enjoy playing in. We’ve had a lot of success in it, the past few years especially. We’ll be looking for a very high quality field, a lot of good players will be playing, and the four players that are playing are going to get a great test. We’re taking three players that have never been to the regional tournament before. We’re taking Claudine Paulson
, who has had a lot of success at the tournament and been to the finals in the doubles, so she knows what the tournament is all about. Our younger players are going to get a great preview of central region tennis.”
Arkansas will look to build on the success from last week at the Razorback Classic. As the tournament hosts, the Razorbacks earned six singles victories and two doubles wins. Yang Pang
and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez
went 2-1 in singles, while the doubles team of Pang/Surin went 2-1.
“We’re really happy about the overall performances at the Razorback Classic,” Hegarty said. “The highlight was Yang Pang
beating Samantha Vickers of Tulsa, the top seed in the tournament who is ranked 45th nationally. That was a really strong performance from her. We had some strong performances across the board, I was pretty pleased. Now we’re just looking for development as fast as possible.”
The tournament will be held on Oct. 19-22 at the University of Tulsa. There will be a total of 19 schools and over 100 players competing. Nine teams, including Arkansas, finished last season ranked in the top 75. Top teams competing this weekend include Nebraska, Tulsa, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma.
Matchups were set after the completion of qualifying Thursday. Paulson will face Tulsa's Isaura Enrique, while Kimberley - Ann Surin is set to face Saara Saartenien of Tulsa. Sarah McLean faces Kansas' Maria Jose Cardona, while Yang Pang is matched up against Iowa State's Simona Cacciuttolo.