COLUMBIA, Mo. — No. 27 Arkansas opened Southeastern Conference play Friday with a convincing 4-1 win at Missouri.
The Razorbacks (5-5, 1-0 SEC) started fast and finished strong, earning the doubles point with back-to-back wins at the top two spots and securing three of four singles victories.
“It’s always great to get a strong start in conference play,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “It took a total team effort tonight as the crowd was a big factor in the tight four court indoor.”
The No. 36 ranked doubles duo of junior Ana Oparenovic and freshman Tatum Rice improved to an SEC-best 9-0 in dual matches and sealed the opening point with a 6-4 win at No. 1. Senior Mia Jurasic and sophomore Giulia Pairone were first off the court, winning 6-2 at No. 2.
Arkansas’ energy carried into singles action, where Pairone, No. 76 Oparenovic and Rice each earned victories in straight sets.
Pairone made quick work of her opponent, winning 6-0, 6-2 to improve to 8-0 this spring, including a 3-0 mark at the top spot.
The Tigers’ (11-4, 0-1 SEC) lone win came next at the No. 3 position.
Rice made the score 3-1 with her 6-4, 6-4 victory at No. 4, and then Oparenovic delivered the clinch, besting her opponent 6-3, 6-4 for her fourth straight win.
The Razorbacks will next play No. 15 Kentucky at home in Fayetteville at 5 p.m. CT on March 9.