Up Next for Arkansas: The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team is set for a home and away weekend against two regional rivals fro the Big 12 Conference. The Lady Razorbacks host the Oklahoma Sooners on Friday, Feb. 9 before traveling to Lawrence, Kansas for a match against Jayhawks on Sunday, Feb. 11.
More on the Sooners: A particularly young team, OU fell out of the national rankings in April of 2006 after spending four and a half years among the 75-best tennis teams in the country. The Sooners peaked two years ago with a national ranking of 24, but a slow spiral ensued that eventually left them unranked midway through the 2006 season. In dual meets against Arkansas, Oklahoma has the edge with 11 wins compared to the Lady’Backs 10, however the two teams have not met since the year after the Lady’Backs moved to the Southeastern Conference. That match in 1995 is one many Arkansas fans have tried to erase from their memories as OU blanked Arkansas 6-0.
More on the Jayhawks: The Kansas Jayhawks are looking for sweet revenge as the Lady’Backs travel to Lawrence for a Sunday matinee. Arkansas narrowly pulled a win at home last season against KU, giving the Lady’Backs an 8-7 edge in the all-time series. To win that match in Fayetteville, Arkansas had to rally back after losing their first doubles point of the season with singles wins by current players Maryori Franco and Audrey Bordeleau. It’s been tough going for the Jayhawks so far this season, however, as they are currently 1-5 overall this season and 0-1 in Big 12 Conference play.
Last time at Dills: Super Bowl Sunday marked a fairly relaxing day at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center for the Lady Razorbacks as they waltzed to two home victories over Sam Houston State and Saint Louis University. In the 12 singles matches played, Arkansas won each of them in straight sets with nine of the 24 sets registering as 6-0 decisions.
Against the Big 12: Desptie losing to No. 18 Texas in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament last season, the Lady’Backs have faired quite well against Big 12 opponents. In fact, before last season’s tournament loss to the Longhorns and a 2006 drop to Nebraska, Arkansas had not lost to a Big 12 team since 2002, where they beaten by a No. 21 Baylor squad. Since then, the Lady’Backs have notched wins over Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, one shy of half of the Big 12 Conference.
Undefeated in 2007: Ranked No. 65 in the nation this week, a mere glance at sophomore Ela Kaluder’s record dissolves in case for doubt in her current ranking. Anchoring the Lady’Backs at No. 1 in singles, Kaluder has not lost in five matches in 2007. Her most impressive win thus far came in the first match of the 2007 season as the Zagreb, Croatia, native blazed by No. 43 Daria Petrovic, 6-2, 6-4, in Arkansas’ 5-2 upset win. Kaluder is 12-2 in her last 14 matches.
Undefeated in 2007, No. 2: Junior Audrey Bordeleau has been an unexpected surprise for the Lady’Backs this season, notching five straight wins to open this year’s spring schedule. Bordeleau earned the wins splitting time between the three, four and five courts, with her most recent win coming on court three against Saint Louis’ Tara Grant. The five straight spring wins actually builds off a three match winning streak to finish the 2006 fall season, leaving her current string of wins at eight. Interestingly enough, this year’s current streak is not the longest of Bordeleau’s winning sprees. In fact, she has had an eight match winning streak every year of her Lady’Back tenure. She has an opportunity to break new ground for her own longest Lady’Back winning streak this Friday against Oklahoma