Up Next for Arkansas: The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team has stood the test of the non-conference season with a 4-1 record, but now it is time to get down to where it really counts, conference play. The Lady’Backs open SEC play on the road this weekend with two early tests against Georgia and Tennessee, who were ranked in the preseason at seven and 19, respectively. Arkansas begins with the 3-5 Bulldogs on Friday, Mar. 3, who have lost all but one match two teams ranked in the top 16. The Lady’Backs then go to Knoxville, Tenn. on Sunday, Mar. 5, for a dual match against the Lady Vols. Tennessee is currently 3-6 after a 5-2 win on Sunday, Feb. 26, at Ohio State.
Jovanovic makes it interesting against Kansas: Senior Vlatka Jovanovic painted an interesting picture in the Lady’Backs 4-3 win over Kansas on Sunday. The Zagreb, Croatia, native won the first set in a tiebreaker against Kansas’ Elizaveta Avdeeva, 10-8. In the second set, the two continued to battle as the only court still in play and the score tied at 3-3. It was Avdeeva who rose to the occasion in the second set, winning the second set in a tiebreaker, 7-4. In the dual match deciding third set, Jovanovic leapt out to a 6-0 lead in, yes, the match’s third tiebreaker. Avdeeva was slow to give up though, and took the Arkansas senior five more points to ice the match and the win for the Lady’Backs.
Arkansas freshmen jump up in the rankings…way up: Lady’Back freshmen made their way into the national rankings last week. No…that’s an understatement. Aurelija Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder cannonballed their way into the national individual rankings last week as the two check in at No. 20 and 43, respectively. Miseviciute is currently 17-1 in her collegiate career, with four of those wins coming over ranked players. Kaluder is 19-4 with two ranked player wins.
More on Miseviciute and Kaluder: Not only have the two freshmen bounced into the singles national rankings, but into the national doubles rankings as well. Both have been paired together for each of their 23 collegiate doubles matches, winning 19 of those opportunities. Team freshman is currently ranked No. 50 in the country.
Many years, opposite outcome: It has been 16 years since Arkansas has faced Nebraska and Kansas in the same season. 1989 was the year, and almost 16 years to the day since Arkansas lost to Kansas that year in Lawrence, Kan., 5-4. This year they won, but they also lost to the Cornhuskers in Lincoln this year. In 1989, Arkansas hosted the Huskers and won 5-4. Moral of the story, the home team is 4-0 in the scenario.