TULSA, Okla. – Arkansas’ Ela Kaluder and Mayori Franco advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Central Regional Championships with a pair of singles victories to pace the day for the Lady Razorback tennis team.
While No. 1-seeded Kaluder has yet to lose a regional match in her career, it was Franco that scored the upset of the day by taking out Oklahoma’s Gabby Baker in the round of 16. Franco defeated the tournament’s No. 2 seed, 6-4, 6-0.
“That might be one of the best matches of her career as a Lady Razorback,” UA head coach Michael Hegarty said. “This has been a great tournament, and to have two players in the quaterfinals for singles and two teams advancing in doubles is outstanding.”
Franco plays Tulsa’s Carla Zapaeta on Saturday morning, one of four matches for the Lady’Backs still in the hunt to advance to the ITA Indoor Nationals.
Kaluder had little resistance in her two singles matches starting with Edina Horvath of Kansas. Natalia Shatkovskaya of Oklahoma State also went in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0, to advance Kaluder to a 10 a.m. match Saturday against OU’s Monica Purice.
“This has been a great day, and we’ve had some quality tennis played,” Hegarty said. “But I think the best may still be in front of our team Saturday.
Arkansas has two doubles teams still in play as well, with Nanar Airapetian and Franco set to take on Kudlakora and Yrureta of Kansas State, while Audrey Bordeleau and Kaluder face the UALR team of Jarvina and Robinson.
Bordeleau and Kaluder started the day for Arkansas by blitzing through their doubles matches.
After an opening bye, Bordeleau and Kaluder defeated Grant and Lozanora of St. Louis, 8-1, then took out Negrete and Zakrzynoka of UALR, 8-1.
Airapetian and Franco also started their doubles with a bye before defeating Collins and Poskitt of Oklahoma State, 8-1, then picking up a default against Baker and Carter of Oklahoma to reach the quarterfinals.
Franco defeated Olga Klimova of Kansas State, 6-2, 6-1, for her first singles match on Friday before the upset of Baker.
In other action, Nanar Airapetian dropped her round of 32 singles match to Wiveca Swarting of Nebraska, 6-1, 7-6. Bordeleau picked up a consolation singles win over Zuzanna Osinska of Oklahoma State and Rachel Wilhelm also won her consolation singles contest, 6-4, 7-6, against Jessica Collins, also of OSU.