FAYETTEVILLE – The 32nd-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team found themselves in a hole early after dropping the doubles point to North Texas Friday afternoon, but the team came all the way back in singles to win four matches, which turned into a 4-3 win over the Mean Green and Arkansas’ third win of the season. The Hogs had yet to win a match this season in which they lost the doubles point, but after getting a quick win from junior Claudine Paulson at court four, Arkansas rallied to win three straight to earn the victory.
"We’re very happy to get a victory today over a team that’s going to be extremely good this year," head coach Michael Hegarty said. "I think this will be a pretty strong win for us down the line. We’ve got to get out of the gates quicker in doubles, that’s the biggest thing. We’ll try to address that quickly and come out tomorrow to have a good match with Oklahoma State."
Much like its match with Nebraska a week ago, the Razorbacks struggled to get things going in doubles. All three matches remained close until North Texas pulled out an 8-5 win at court three and then clinched the first point with an 8-6 win at court two over seniors Emily Carbone and Stephanie Roy. Arkansas didn’t come out of doubles totally empty-handed, however, as Paulson and sophomore Laurie Gingras won their third doubles match of the year and second straight in dual play as they defeated Valentina Starkova and Barbora Vykydalova, 8-6.
The Hogs were in a hole, but knew with strong singles play that the match was not out of reach. Even though North Texas struck first with a win at court six to take a 2-0, the Razorbacks went to work and won first sets in four of the remaining five matches.
Paulson was the first to finish as she easily cruised to her fourth win in four matches over Irina Paraschiv, 6-2, 6-3. From there, Roy made easy work of Starkova in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. The win for Roy was her sixth of the year and gets her back to the .500 mark as she is now 6-6 this season.
At this point, the Hogs had retaken the lead at 2-1, but the final three matches were much more closely contested. After winning her first set, 6-4, Gingras had a much tougher time closing out her second set with Ilona Serchenko. The second set went back and forth before Gingras finally broke Serchenko’s serve and held on for the 7-5 second set win. The win for Gingras was her eighth of the year and remains good for second on the team behind Paulson.
Now the Hogs only needed one more match to go their way for the win and it looked like they were going to get that right away as Carbone was leading Kseniya Bardabush 5-2 in the second set. Carbone had already won the first set 6-3, but Bardabush won three straight games to make it 6-5. Having to win by two, Carbone needed to win the next game to prevent the tiebreaker. The Kentucky native eventually prevailed in the end, winning 7-5 and giving Arkansas its third victory of the year.
The Razorbacks will return to the courts tomorrow as they will face the Oklahoma State Cowgirls at 2 p.m. in the Billingsley Tennis Center. Live stats and the live blog will be available online during the match. A full recap and complete results will be posted online following the match.
North Texas 3#32 Arkansas 4
Complete Doubles ResultsOrder of Finish: 3, 2*, 1
No. 1 Laurie Gingras/Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Valentina Starkova/Barbora Vykydalova (UNT) 8-6No. 2 Irina Paraschiv/Kseniya Bardabush (UNT) def. Emily Carbone/Stephanie Roy (ARK) 8-6No. 3 Nadia Lee/Franzi Sprinkmeyer (UNT) def. Kate Lukomskaya/Catherine Parenteau (ARK) 8-5
Complete Singles ResultsOrder of Finish: 6, 4, 1, 5, 2*, 3)
No. 1 Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. Valentina Starkova (UNT) 6-2, 6-1No. 2 Emily Carbone (ARK) def. Kseniya Bardabush (UNT) 6-3, 7-5No. 3 Nadia Lee (UNT) def. Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 6-1, 4-6, 1-0(6)No. 4 Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Irina Paraschiv (UNT) 6-2, 6-3No. 5 Laurie Gingras (ARK) def. Ilona Serchenko (UNT) 6-4, 7-5No. 6 Paula Dinuta (UNT) def. Catherine Parenteau (ARK) 6-1, 6-1