LOS ANGELES – The No. 33 Razorback women’s tennis team fell 4-0 to No. 43 Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament first round Sunday in Los Angeles. Arkansas ends the season with a 12-14 record, which was capped by a fifth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and sixth appearance in the last seven years.
In the match with the 49ers, doubles play was about as close as the Razorbacks had seen all year. With every match decided by two games or less, the first team point came down to the wire. Unfortunately, Long Beach State came back from a loss at number one doubles to win the final two matches for the first team point. They then took that momentum into singles and won three straight matches at courts one, two and six to earn the first round victory over Arkansas.
“I’d like to congratulate Long Beach State on advancing to the round of 32,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty
said. “They deserved to win and we wish them luck tomorrow. We played a very good doubles point and definitely should have been up 1-0 going into singles. That really hurt us and although we regrouped well it was a big point to let slip away. Have to give a lot of credit to our players who battled extremely hard all season and put themselves in many great situations.”
Doubles play was as much as a back and forth battle that had been seen all season. Arkansas and Long Beach State nearly held serve in every game on all three courts. With every broken serve here, there was another broken serve there to counter it.
The battle at the top court was one of the most entertaining of the day as sophomore Laurie Gingras
and junior Claudine Paulson
fought hard for a 9-7 victory over 84th-ranked Laura Bernard and Rachel Manasse. The win for Paulson and Gingras was their ninth of the year and fourth over a ranked opponent. It also put Arkansas in the driver’s seat to possibly take the doubles point for the early lead.
However, LBSU was able to break serve late in the match at court two and then held that lead for an 8-6 victory leaving court three as the decider of where the first team point was going to go. Much like court one, both teams at court three could not get more than a one game lead.
Arkansas freshman Catherine Parenteau
and senior Kate Lukomskaya
actually had a solid chance to win after going up 8-7, but LBSU’s Sarah Cantlay and Julie Luzar tied it up at 8-all and then burned through the tiebreaker, 7-0, for the 9-8(0) win and the doubles point for Long Beach State.
The Razorbacks had a tough time trying to come back in singles from that tough doubles loss. It seems like Arkansas had some life when Paulson won her first set, 6-1, over Bernard at court three along with Lukomskaya’s first frame win of 7-5 over Cantlay at court four. However, LBSU went on to win first sets at courts one, two, five and six and then completed straight set wins at courts one, two and six for the 4-0 team win. The remaining three courts were suspended when the fourth team point was won.
Friday’s match was also the final match in Razorback red for seniors Stephanie Roy
, Emily Carbone
and Kate Lukomskaya
. Combined, all three seniors accounted for nearly half of the Razorbacks’ singles wins totals. Roy finished with 13 singles wins this year and five conference victories. Lukomskaya completed a 14 win season with three SEC wins. Finally, Carbone had 11 wins for the team and was going up against some of the best players in the nation each and every week as the No. 1 or No. 2 player for Arkansas. Carbone was the only player on the team to face over 10 ranked opponents including today’s match against No. 102 Anais Dallara.
With Friday’s match, the 2012 spring season is complete for the Razorback women’s tennis team. It will now head into the offseason and get ready for another season and hopefully a sixth straight run to the NCAA Tournament.
For complete coverage of the Razorback women’s tennis team or University athletics, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
NCAA Tournament First Round
Los Angeles Tennis Center
Los Angeles, Calif.
Long Beach State 4
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3*
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 6*
No. 1 #102 Anais Dallara (LBSU) def. Emily Carbone
(ARK) 6-3, 6-4
No. 5 Laurie Gingras
(ARK) vs. Klaudia Malenovska (LBSU) 5-7, 2-5, unf.