Senior Kate Lukomskaya
won her 11th singles match of the year Friday afternoon, but it was not enough to help the 29th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team defeat 17th-ranked Ole Miss as they lost their fifth Southeastern Conference match of the year, 6-1, to the Rebels.
Lukomskaya, who was a winner in only four of her last 10 matches, came out firing in her first set with Vivian Vlaar, winning 6-3. She then followed that up with a second set win, which was a little bit tougher. Lukomskaya was actually down for most of the set, but then battled back to force a tiebreaker that she eventually won, 7-3, for the 7-6(3) second set victory. Lukomskaya is now tied for second on the team with two conference singles victories along with sophomore Laurie Gingras
It was the only match Arkansas came out on top in all day as the Rebels benefited from a doubles point win and then three quick singles wins at courts two, three and six. For the team, Arkansas drops its record with the loss to 10-8 on the year and 2-5 in the SEC. Ole Miss ups its record to 12-7 overall and 4-3 in league play.
“We certainly had three singles matches that we were ready to win,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty
said. “We just needed a fourth one that we never found and that’s to Ole Miss’s credit. They jumped on us early in three singles courts so well that we didn’t have any answers there. If we could have put our teeth into one more court, then I think you have a much closer final score and different results. Credit goes to Ole Miss for not allowing that to happen.”
The day started in doubles for both teams and Ole Miss was the team to earn the quick two victories at courts one and three to earn the doubles point and the 1-0 lead going into singles.
Even with the two quick defeats to start the day, Arkansas was not about to go into singles on the wrong end of a doubles sweep. Seniors Emily Carbone
and Stephanie Roy
were locked in a back and forth battle with Gabby Rangel and Erin Stephens to see which team would enter singles on a winning note.
The match evened at 7-all, which sent it to a tiebreaker. A tiebreaker that Roy and Carbone ended up winning 7-4 to take the final doubles match, 8-7(4), for their team-leading 15th win of the year. The Razorback duo have continued their strong play over the last few weeks as they have won four of their last six, which have all come in conference play.
Ole Miss had the doubles point to start singles play, but it was Arkansas that entered with the most recent win. Unfortunately, Ole Miss proved its No. 17 national ranking and showed its strength at the top of the lineup, winning in straight sets at courts two and three. The Rebels also got a straight set win at court six, but the clincher came at court two after Julia Jones defeated junior Claudine Paulson
, 6-2, 7-5.
The Rebels also went on to win a tough three-setter at court four, before Lukomskaya’s win at court five. The final match of the day between Carbone and 78th-ranked Caroline Rohde-Moe at the top spot showed everything you would expect from a No. 1 singles match. After a tiebreaker first set that went Rohde-Moe’s way, 7-6(3), Carbone responded in a big way in set number two with a 6-3 win.
In the third set, both players were the only ones left on the courts as they were even at 6-all in the super tiebreaker third set. Unfortunately, Rohde-Moe went on to win four straight points to win the set 1-0(6), which put the final score at 6-1 in favor of the Rebels.
The Razorbacks conclude their home schedule on Sunday at the Billingsley Tennis Center when they face Mississippi State at 1 p.m. Live stats and the live blog will be available during the match and a complete match recap with complete results will be posted online following the day’s play.
#17 Ole Miss 6
#29 Arkansas 1
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 3, 1*, 2
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 6, 3, 2*, 4, 5, 1
No. 1 #78 Caroline Rohde-Moe (UM) def. Emily Carbone
(ARK) 7-6(3), 3-6, 1-0(6)