TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The 15th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team dropped their match with the No. 35 Alabama Crimson in a close 4-3 fashion on Friday and lost their third straight match and fourth overall in conference play.
Arkansas (13-7, 3-4 SEC), who once again, lost the doubles point to fall behind early, came back strong in singles to keep the match close with two wins at courts two and six. However, the Tide (10-5, 3-3 SEC) had just enough distance between them and the Razorbacks to clinch a 4-3 victory with three singles wins at the three, four, and five spots.
The Crimson Tide recorded the first official win of the day at No. 1 doubles when the 15th-ranked team of Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane defeated the 24th-ranked tandem of senior Anouk Tigu and sophomore Claudine Paulson, 8-2. But the Hogs still looked to be in good shape as they were leading on court two and were putting up a late rally on court three. After being down, 7-2, freshman Jade Frampton and sophomore Valentina Starkova made it 7-4, Antonia Foehse and Mary Anne Macfarlane were still able to pull out the victory and give Alabama the doubles point.
The final doubles court was still played out and Arkansas‘ Kate Lukomskaya and Stephanie Roy prevented the clean doubles sweep after defeating Alex Clay and Taylor Lindsey, 8-6. The win by the two juniors is their ninth of the season together.
With a 1-0 lead in their pocket, the Crimson Tide looked to be in the driver’s seat and jumped out to a 2-0 lead as McLane, who is ranked No. 111 in singles, was first off the courts with a straight set, 6-4, 6-1 win over Lukomskaya at the three spot. Arkansas did answer back, however, on court two, getting a win from Roy over No. 85 Guarachi, 6-2, 6-3. The win by Roy is her second of the year over a nationally ranked player and was able to cut the Alabama lead to 2-1.
It then became a back and forth match when the Tide won in straight sets on court four, but freshman Jade Frampton had the answer again with a win over Meritt Emery on court six. In that match, Frampton won out a tough tiebreak first set with Emery, 7-6(4) and then easily took the second set, 6-2 for her 12th win of the dual season.
With the team score set at 3-2, the final two matches at courts one and five were going to third and deciding sets. Tigu actually lost her first set with the 40th-ranked Macfarlane, 4-6, but was able to send it to a third set with a 6-2 second set win. Over on court five, junior Emily Carbone had won her first set, but was taken to a third set by Foehse.
It didn’t take long for Alabama to get the clincher from Foehse, but Tigu still ended the Hogs day on a high note defeating Macfarlane, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, in the battle between top-ranked players. The win by Tigu gives her the 7th win of the season over a nationally ranked player and puts her overall singles record at 19-9.
A quick turnaround is up next for the Razorbacks as they now travel to Auburn, Ala. to face a Tigers team that is still in search of their first conference victory after a 5-2 loss to LSU on Friday. The match is set to start at 1 p.m. For complete coverage of the Razorback women’s tennis team, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. No. 15 Arkansas 3No. 35 Alabama 4Complete Doubles Results Order of Finish: 1, 3*, 2No. 1 #15 Alexa Guarachi/Courtney McLane (UA) def. #24 Anouk Tigu/Claudine Paulson (ARK) 8-2No. 2 Kate Lukomskaya/Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. Alex Clay/Taylor Lindsey (UA) 8-6No. 3 #60 Antonia Foehse/Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. Jade Frampton/Valentina Starkova (ARK) 8-4Complete Singles Results Order of Finish: 3, 2, 4, 6, 5*, 1No. 1 #27 Anouk Tigu (ARK) def. #40 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4No. 2 Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. #85 Alexa Guarachi (UA) 6-2, 6-3No. 3 #111 Courtney McLane (UA) def. Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 6-4, 6-1No. 4 Alex Clay (UA) def. Claudine Paulson (ARK) 7-5, 6-2No. 5 Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Emily Carbone (ARK) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3No. 6 Jade Frampton (ARK) def. Meritt Emery (UA) 7-6(4), 7-2