OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 36 Razorback women’s tennis team defeated No. 41 LSU for the second straight week Thursday afternoon, 4-1, in the first round of the 2012 SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament in Oxford, Miss. With the win, Arkansas advances to play second-seed Alabama in the tournament quarterfinals on Friday, which will start at noon.
The Razorbacks played a nearly identical match with the Tigers on Thursday with their regular-season finale last week against the same LSU team. This time around, Arkansas, once again, won the doubles point with wins at courts two and three, and then proceeded to win on courts two, four and five in singles to cruise to the three point victory. Arkansas’ clinching point came at the No. 2 position from senior Stephanie Roy
, who defeated Olivia Howlett in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, for her 13th win of the year
“We’re very excited to advance to the quarterfinals,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty
said. “It’s always hard to beat a quality team twice in a week, so this was a strong performance. The match was a lot closer than the 4-1 final score line indicates. It was really our seniors that were the difference in the match.”
Along with Roy, both seniors Kate Lukomskaya
and Emily Carbone
stepped up when it mattered most and helped push their team to the win. In doubles, Roy and Carbone were the first off the courts at No. 2 where they defeated Howlett and Yvette Vlaar, 8-5, for their second straight win and 17th of the season. Roy and Carbone have come up big against SEC opponents this year as Thursday’s win gave them five for the season, which leads the team.
After the win at court two, the Hogs were looking for just one more win to secure the doubles point, but LSU evened things with a win at court one, which forced the first point of the match to come down to court three. Luckily for the Razorbacks, Lukomskaya and Parenteau came up big, again, with an 8-6 victory over Kaitlin Burns and Ariel Morton to take the important first point into singles. The win for the duo is also their second straight and seventh of the year.
As singles began, Arkansas was looking for some of the same magic they had last week against the Tigers. It looked to be going that way early on as the Hogs jumped all over LSU at courts four and five with two straight set victories. Sophomore Laurie Gingras
was first off the courts with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Vlaar at court five. Gingras’ win continues her second-half surge as she now has 18 wins on the year and 13 dual match wins.
Gingras was followed right behind by Lukomskaya, who also won for the second straight week, as she defeated Keri Frankenberger, 6-3, 6-1 at court four to move to 14-18 on the year and record her fourth victory against league opponents.
With Lukomskaya’s win, Arkansas was in prime position for the shutout as they led 3-0 in the team standings, but LSU finally got on the board after a win at court six to make it 3-1. It was a little too late for the Tigers as Roy already secured five game winners in her second set at court two after a first set win. Roy finished off her match against Howlett for the 6-4, 6-3 win and gave Arkansas the victory.
Arkansas will now move on to play in the second day of the SEC Tournament and have a date set with 11th-ranked Alabama on Friday afternoon. First serve for the match is scheduled for noon. Live stats will be available for the match. A full match recap with complete results will be posted online following the day’s play.
#41 LSU 1
#36 Arkansas 4
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3*
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 6, 2*
No. 1 Whitney Wolf (LSU) vs. Emily Carbone
(ARK) 3-6, 6-0, 0-3, unf.