COLLEGE STATION, Texas – A week after Mallory Cecil and the Duke Blue Devils cut short the University of Arkansas women’s tennis season in the round of 16 at the NCAA Team Championship, Cecil eliminated No. 2-ranked Razorback Aurelija Miseviciute in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championship with a 6-3, 6-3 decision Saturday.
“Today Aurelija tried everything to get back into the match,” head Arkansas coach Michael Hegarty said. “Cecil had too many answers. Hats off to her. She really is the reason Duke was the best team in the country this year."
Broken in the first game of the match at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, No. 2-seed Miseviciute (41-5), never found a rhythm against her fifth-seeded opponent. Cecil forced three breaks of serve to Miseviciute’s one in the first set to take a one set lead.
Looking strong in the first game of the second set, Miseviciute rallied to break Cecil’s serve, taking a brief 1-0 lead. However, Cecil returned the favor on Miseviciute’s first service game of the set, drawing even at 1-1.
The two traded two more breaks of serve in the following two games before the Blue Devil grabbed a 5-3 advantage on Miseviciute’s third break of serve in the set, her sixth on the day.
Cecil was threatened by Miseviciute as she served for the match but stood firm, holding serve and securing her spot in Sunday’s semifinal round.
Saturday’s loss to Cecil ends a historic career at Arkansas for Miseviciute who was a semifinalist in last year’s NCAA Singles Championship. A two-time ITA Indoor National Champion, Miseviciute is the winningest tennis player in Razorback history boasting two All-America and three All-Southeastern Conference honors.
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