NORMAN, Okla. – The No. 14 Razorback women’s tennis team dropped their first match of the season on Sunday afternoon to No. 31 Oklahoma, 4-3, at the Gregg Wadley Indoor Tennis Pavilion in Norman, Okla. After losing their first doubles point of the season, the Hogs made a furious rally in singles to nearly win four of the six singles matches.
With the loss, the Razorbacks fall to 5-1 on the year while Oklahoma bounces back from their first loss of the season a week ago and moves to 3-1 this spring.
“Give credit to Oklahoma they played an excellent match,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “I thought we did some really good things today also and obviously if we had gotten that close doubles point we probably have a different result.”
In doubles, Arkansas was again taken to the brink after dropping the first match at court two. Needing to win out the final two matches to win the first point, the Hogs responded at court one, getting the win from the team of sophomore Claudine Paulson and senior Anouk Tigu over the 31st-ranked team of Ana-Maria Constantinescu and Alice Radu, 8-6. That win from the top Hog doubles team keeps their spring record perfect at 6-0. The important doubles point came down to court two, but Arkansas could not take the point and were put in an early 1-0 hole going into singles. That doubles loss was Arkansas‘ first of the spring.
Singles, however, would be a slightly different story. The Sooners were the first winners of the first singles match to go final at court two to take a quick 2-0 lead, but Arkansas did respond back at court five after junior Stephanie Roy defeated Maria Kalashnikova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, to keep her singles winning streak going at six matches. The win by Roy cut the team score to 2-1 as Arkansas seemed to get a little momentum for the remaining four matches.
Oklahoma took the next win at court six to be in position for the overall win, but the Razorbacks were determined to fight until the bitter end as junior Emily Carbone got the win at court four over Marie-Pier Huet in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. Carbone is on quite the win streak as well after that win. She now takes a six match winning streak to start the dual-match season.
As the match on court four went final, Paulson and Tigu were battling to keep the match going on their respective courts. After both lost their first sets, they would each bounce back in the second set to take their matches to a deciding third set. Paulson actually staved off defeat in the most dramatic of ways by being down 5-4 in the second set and then winning three straight games to take her match to a third set. Unfortunately, there was not enough magic left to get the win in the third set as she fell to Alice Radu, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, giving Oklahoma the team victory.
The women’s tennis team will return home for their next two matches, meeting first with Tulsa on Friday, Feb. 11 and then Texas Tech on Sunday, Feb. 13. Both matches will be played at the Dills Indoor Courts at the Billingsley Tennis Center and the match against Tulsa is set to start at 11 a.m. For all information regarding the Razorback women’s tennis team, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.Complete Results for No. 14 Arkansas vs. No. 31 OklahomaNo. 14 Arkansas 3No. 31 Oklahoma 4Complete Doubles ResultsOrder of Finish: 2, 1, 3*No. 1 Anouk Tigu/Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. No. 31 Ana-Marie Constantinescu/Alice Radu (OU) 8-6No. 2 Whitney Ritchie/Maria Kalashnikova (OU) def. Stephanie Roy/Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 8-5No. 3 Tara Eckel/Marie-Pier Huet (OU) def. Jade Frampton/Valentina Starkova (ARK) 9-7Complete Singles ResultsOrder of Finish: 2, 5, 6, 4, 3*, 1No. 1 #26 Anouk Tigu (ARK) def. Ana-Maria Constantinescu (OU) 4-6, 6-0, 7-6(4)No. 2 Whitney Ritchie (OU) def. Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 6-0, 2-1, ret.No. 3 Alice Radu (OU) def. Claudine Paulson (ARK) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3No. 4 Emily Carbone (ARK) def. Marie-Pier Huet (OU) 6-4, 6-4No. 5 Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. Maria Kalashnikova (OU) 6-3, 6-3No. 6 Mia Lancaster (OU) def. Kelsey Sundaram (ARK) 6-4, 6-1