FAYETTEVILLE — The 40th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team enters its final week of the regular season when they travel to Tulsa, Okla. tomorrow to take on the 26th-ranked Tulsa Golden Hurricane. The Razorbacks are in the midst of a hunt for a berth in the NCAA Tournament and know that this week is a good opportunity to state their case for a postseason selection.
“We want to play our best tennis at this very critical point in the season,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. “I think these last two matches are very important for us because Tulsa and LSU are ranked right near us. All three teams are fighting for postseason positioning. I think all three teams are going to play with a high degree of intensity. At this time of the year, you don’t want to be a team on the outside because of poor results down the stretch. I expect us to play our best tennis of the season and if we do that I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Arkansas is currently 10-11 on the season and 2-8 in Southeastern Conference play, but will have one more non-conference match before its season finale with the LSU Tigers. Last week, the Razorbacks had another tough outing, suffering 7-0 shutouts to both No. 2 Florida and No. 32 South Carolina.
The team did have one bright spot during its match with South Carolina when sophomore Laurie Gingras and junior Claudine Paulson earned their third victory over a ranked opponent after defeating the 68th-ranked team of Jaklin Alawi and Dijana Stojic by a score of 8-3.
Gingras and Paulson have been the de facto No. 1 doubles team for the Razorbacks since dual play began as they have won seven matches at the top spot, three of which have been against ranked teams. The duo was even ranked themselves at one point during the season, receiving a No. 75 ranking prior to the Georgia and Tennessee matches.
“They’re playing some good doubles together,” Hegarty said. “They’re obviously a new team this year and is going to return intact next season. For them to be having good success at number one doubles right now is a positive thing for us.”
Tulsa comes into Wednesday’s match with a 17-3 record and is a perfect 4-0 in the C-USA. The Golden Hurricane are fresh off victories over No. 74 Marshall and Louisville on back-to-back days. Tulsa is currently riding a 33-match win streak at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa dating back to February of 2010.
Tulsa also brings in two individually ranked singles players and one ranked doubles team. Sophomore Samantha Vickers is the highest ranked singles player at No. 75 in the country, while senior Anastasia Erofeeva sits at No. 83. The doubles team of Erofeeva and fellow senior Ewa Szatkowska earned a doubles rank of No. 69.
Wednesday’s match between the Razorbacks and Golden Hurricane is slated to start at 1 p.m. at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. A complete recap with complete results will be posted online following the day’s play.
For complete coverage of the Razorback women’s tennis team or University athletics, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.