FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 49 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team finished their home slate with a strong performance, defeating No. 63 LSU 6-1. The win improved the Razorbacks record to 12-14, 4-9 in the SEC, as Arkansas concluded Senior Day with a victory. During the match, the Razorbacks honored lone senior Claudine Paulson, and she was instrumental in leading her team to a key conference win over the Tigers (8-15, 1-12 SEC). Arkansas has now won six in a row and seven of their last eight against LSU.
“On Senior Day, when you have a great senior like Claudine, it’s an important day,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. “Claudine has been as good of a senior, player, and person as we have ever had in the program. You want it to go well, and we are really excited about how it went today. It was probably as good a Senior Day match as we have ever played in ten years. We couldn’t be happier today that we were able to honor Claudine with a great match.”
In doubles, the Razorbacks earned the point with some strong overall play. The duo of Yang Pang and Brittany Huxley got Arkansas off to a good start, winning 8-1 over Morton and Jeremiah. Arkansas also dispatched the LSU pair at No. 3 doubles, as Kimberley – Ann Surin and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez cruised to an 8-2 victory over Burns and Taylor, clinching the doubles point for Arkansas. No. 2 doubles was suspended, with the duo of Paulson and Sarah McLean leading 6-5 over Frankenberger/Wilson.
In singles, senior Claudine Paulson had a strong performance in her final home match. Paulson defeated LSU’s Ella Taylor 6-1, 6-3 to put the Razorbacks up 2-0.
LSU responded, recording a victory at No. 5 singles. Arkansas freshman Ana Lorena Belmar Hernadez fell to Keri Frankenberger 6-2, 6-0.
The Razorbacks answered right away, with a win from Kimberley – Ann Surin. The Razorback freshman prevailed over Ariel Morton, 6-1, 6-2. Shortly after, the Razorback would clinch the victory with another strong performance from a freshman. Playing at No. 6 singles, Brittany Huxley prevailed over Ebie Wilson 6-2, 6-2, clinching the victory for Arkansas in their last home match.
Yang Pang and Sarah McLean also closed out the day with wins. Pang won 6-2, 6-2, and McLean won 6-2, 6-4. The Razorbacks closed out LSU by winning five of the six singles matches, all in straight sets.
“It felt amazing to finish with a win,” Paulson said. “It’s hard to believe that it’s over. The team is like sisters to me. I’ve tried to set a good example for them, and I’m really proud of the whole team.”
“It’s a big match win for us,” Coach Hegarty said. “It is important for us as we try to finish up strong and get ourselves into the NCAA Tournament. We’re really thrilled with how today went.”
Arkansas concludes the regular season on Sunday, playing two matches at the University of Houston. The bracket for the SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament, which will be held at Mississippi State on April 17-21, will be announced on Sunday night.
Arkansas 6 – LSU 1
Complete Singles Results
1. No. 46 Yang Pang (ARK) –def. No. 123 Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 6-2, 6-2
2. No. 78 Claudine Paulson (ARK) def, Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. Sarah McLean (ARK) def. Mary Jeremiah (LSU) 6-2, 6-4
4. Kimberley – Ann Surin (ARK) def. Ariel Morton (LSU) 6-1, 6-2
5. Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez (ARK) 6-2, 6-0
6. Brittany Huxley (ARK)def. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 6-2, 6-2
Complete Doubles Results
1. Yang Pang / Brittany Huxley (ARK) def, Ariel Morton / Mary Jeremiah (LSU) 8-1
2. Claudine Paulson / Sarah McLean (ARK) led Keri Frankenberger / Ebie Wilson 6-5, unfinished
3. Kimberley – Ann Surin / Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez (ARK) def. Kaitlin Burns / Ella Taylor (LSU) 8-2