01/19 - TBA
WTN vs Wichita State
01/24 - All Day
WTN at Kansas State
01/31 - 5:00 PM
WTN vs North Texas
02/01 - 10:00 AM
WTN vs Southern Illinois
02/02 - 11:00 AM
WTN vs Oklahoma State
02/02 - 3:00 PM
WTN vs Oral Roberts
02/14 - 12:00 PM
WTN vs Oklahoma
02/16 - 11:00 AM
WTN vs Purdue
02/28 - TBA
WTN at Vanderbilt
03/02 - TBA
WTN at Kentucky
Match Notes | Tournament Central | Bracket
FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 50 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team (13-14, 4-9 SEC) heads to Starkville, Miss. this week for the 2013 SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament, hosted by Mississippi State. Arkansas is the No. 10 seed in the tournament, and will face No. 7 seed Auburn at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
“We’ve had a really good season to this point,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. “We are heading to the conference tournament now with a little bit of momentum. The most important stuff is still ahead of us, so we need to keep our focus. We’ve gained a lot of confidence from what has brought us to this point.”
The Razorbacks are coming off a 4-9 conference regular season, with SEC wins over No. 53 Kentucky, Mississippi State, No. 36 Ole Miss, and No. 63 LSU. Arkansas earned the No. 10 seed for the tournament, and will face No. 7 seed Auburn. The winner of that match will face No. 2 Texas A&M on Friday.
Leading the Razorbacks during the regular season was senior Claudine Paulson. Paulson, who was ranked No. 79 by the ITA finished the season with a team leading 19-5 singles record, which was tied for the most dual singles wins in the conference, while her 10 conference wins also tied her for the second most in the SEC. The Razorbacks, who featured just one upperclassman, had four players reach double digits dual singles wins. Freshman Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez was second on the team with a record of 14-9. Two other freshmen each had 11 singles victories, as No. 42 Yang Pang had 11 wins at the No. 1 singles spot, and Brittany Huxley also recorded 11 victories.
Earlier this season, on March 10, the Razorbacks fell at then No. 14 Auburn 6-1. Claudine Paulson earned a singles victory over Michala Kucharova in straight sets for Arkansas’ lone point. Arkansas holds a 17-14 edge in the all-time series, and has won four of the previous six matchups. The Tigers are 17-7, and 7-6 in conference play. Since the two teams last met, Auburn is 3-6, while Arkansas is 7-6. The teams have faced each other four times at the SEC Tournament, splitting the matches with Arkansas taking the last two.
Arkansas’ potential second round opponent, Texas A&M, is 20-2 on the year, and 12-1 in SEC play. The Aggies won the SEC West and were Tri-Champions of the SEC. The two squads previously met on March 17 in Fayetteville, when Arkansas fell 6-1. Texas A&M leads the all-time series 11-6.
Last year at the SEC Tournament, Arkansas won their first match, defeating No. 41 LSU 4-1 in the 10/7 matchup. In their second round match, they fell to No. 11 Alabama 4-0. Since 1992, the Razorbacks have earned eight wins in the SEC Tournament, with four of the wins coming under current head coach Michael Hegarty.
“We play Auburn on Thursday, and we had a really good match with them in the regular season on the road earlier in conference play,” Coach Hegarty explained. “We know what’s to be expected from Auburn, a really tough performance. We feel good about it because we are playing well right now. Our last few matches have been our best matches in conference play. We feel good about Thursday, and we just need to keep winning.”
There will be a live blog and live stats available for the match on Thursday, as well as updates on twitter @RazorbackWTEN. Full recaps will be posted online following the match.