NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Arkansas women's tennis team played another close match, but fell to No. 42 Oklahoma 4-3. The Razorbacks lost by just one point for the third straight week, and were led by singles victories from Claudine Paulson, Sarah McLean, and Brittany Huxley. The loss dropped the Razorbacks to 4-4 on the season.
"We definitely had our chances today to win it 4-3," Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. "Ultimately, it was Oklahoma that capitalized on their opportunities."
Arkansas opened the day by dropping the doubles point. The duo of Kimberley - Ann and Sarah McLean earned an 8-5 victory over the Sooners' duo of Lancaster and Melrose, but Arkansas dropped the other two doubles matches. Surin and McLean won their doubles match for the second straight week, and are 2-0 playing together this spring.
After winning in doubles, Oklahoma won the first two singles matches to extend their lead to 3-0. Surin fell to Zita Engbroks 6-3, 7-6, and Yang Pang dropped her match against No. 87 Hermon Brhane 6-3, 6-3.
The Razorbacks charged back into the match by winning the next two singles matches. Huxley earned a three set victory over Oklahoma's Emma Devine. Senior Claudine Paulson also earned a three set victory which cut the Sooner lead to 3-2. After dropping the second set without winning a game, Paulson rallied back to clinch an important win in the third set. Paulson defeated Mia Lancaster 7-5, 0-6, 6-2, and extended her dual singles record to a team-best 7-1.
Oklahoma clinched the match with the next result, as Flavia Araujo fell to Abbi Melrose 6-4, 6-4. Sarah McLean finished the day on a solid note for the Razorbacks, winning a hard fought three set match 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 over Whitney Wofford. McLean is now 4-2 in singles on the season.
"We played good doubles again," Hegarty said. "There is no question that this stretch of close matches will help us grow stronger."
Arkansas will return home next weekend, hosting their first two matches of the spring season at the Billingsley Tennis Center. The Razorbacks host Ohio State 5 p.m. on Friday, and will welcome Tulsa on Sunday at 12 p.m.
Complete Singles Results
1. No. 87 Hermon Brhane (OU) def. Yang Pang (UA) 6-3, 6-3
2. Claudine Paulson (UA) def. Mia Lancaster (OU) 7-5, 0-6, 6-2
3. Abbi Melrose (OU) def. Flavia Araujo (UA) 6-4, 6-4
4. Sarah McLean (UA) def. Whitney Wofford (OU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
5. Zita Engbroks (OU) def. Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez (UA) 6-3, 7-6 (5)
6. Brittany Huxley (UA) def. Emma Devine (OU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Complete Doubles Results