FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The University of Arkansas women's tennis team hosts Missouri and Texas A&M this weekend, facing the pair for the first time as conference opponents.
"We expect two extremely competitive matches from the SEC newcomers," Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. "Both programs were quality tennis programs in the Big XII and we played them both back then so we have some familiarity with them."
Arkansas is 6-8, and 1-3 in the SEC. The Razorbacks are led by senior Claudine Paulson, who is a team leading 12-2 in singles. Paulson is 4-0 in SEC play, and earned her first ranked victory of the season last match at Auburn. Yang Pang has also been strong at No. 1 singles, earning four of her six singles wins against ranked foes.
The Razorbacks saw two singles players and one doubles pair move into the ITA rankings last week. Pang entered the rankings for the first time in her career at No. 68 in singles, while Paulson in No. 93 in singles. Paulson and freshman Segou Jonker are No. 59.
The Tigers enter the match at 6-5, and are on a four game losing skid since beginning SEC play. Arkansas is 3-0 all-time against Missouri, last facing them in 2008 and earning a 7-0 victory. MU is ranked No. 75 in the country.
Texas A&M is ranked No. 3 in the country, and is 11-1 on the season, including a 4-0 conference record. The Aggies lone loss was to currently top-ranked North Carolina at the ITA Kickoff Weekend, and they face LSU on Friday before matching up against the Razorbacks on Sunday. In the Aggies' previous trip to Fayetteville, the Razorbacks easily dispatched of them 6-1 in 2011.
First serve on Friday is at 1 p.m. at the Billingsley Tennis Center against Missouri. Play will start at 1 p.m. also on Sunday against Texas A&M.