FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 19th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team closed out its regular season on Saturday afternoon at the Billingsley Tennis Center with a 4-3 win over No. 57 LSU. The win gives Arkansas their sixth conference victory and clinches second place in the SEC Western Division. With the win, the Hogs also earn the six seed in the SEC Conference Tournament and will play Auburn in the first round on Thursday in Knoxville, Tenn.
“I’m very pleased for us to get the win on Senior Day,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “It was a big thrill for the whole group to do that and it certainly gives us momentum as we get ready for postseason play.”
Arkansas came into Saturday on a doubles winning streak, dating back to the Auburn match two weeks ago. The Hogs had won three straight doubles points leading up to their match with LSU and were able to continue that streak to four, getting wins at courts one and three. The Tigers, however, struck the board first with a win at court two, but the 28th-ranked team of sophomore Claudine Paulson and senior Anouk Tigu got Arkansas on the board with an easy 8-1 victory over Whitney Wolf and Kaitlin Burns. That win for the top Hog tandem is their 24th of the season.
With the doubles score tied at 1-all, Arkansas needed to get a win at court three to earn the point and freshman Jade Frampton and sophomore Valentina Starkova gave their team exactly what they needed. An 8-4 win over Ariel Morton and Olivia Howlett and the Razorbacks were able to take the 1-0 lead into singles play.
The Razorbacks had much needed momentum as they went into singles play. Not long after Tigu was honored as the lone senior on the team on Senior Day, she got a quick win at the top court over the 84th-ranked Wolf in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. The win for Tigu is her 23rd of the season and 94th of her caeer as a Razorback. Those 94 wins rank her 8th all-time in Razorback history and will continue to grow as she finishes her final matches as a Razorback.
The Hogs continued to roll after that on court three as Paulson, who struggled early against Burns and lost the first set, 6-2. Paulson was able to regroup and win the final two sets, 6-1, 6-1, to give her team the big 3-0 lead. Arkansas completed the win at court five as junior Emily Carbone defeated Morton in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, for her 22nd win of the season and 14th in dual play. With the match already clinched, the final three matches were played out and LSU was able to win three straight and make the match look closer than it played out to be.
This match completes the regular season portion of the Razorbacks schedule, but now they will prepare to compete in the SEC Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn. which will start on Thursday. The team is slated to play Auburn in the first round, but match times have yet to be set. For complete coverage of the Razorbacks women’s tennis team as they make a run through the postseason, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. No. 57 LSU 3No. 19 Arkansas 4Complete Doubles Results Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3*No. 1 #28 Anouk Tigu/Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Whitney Wolf/Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 8-1No. 2 Yvette Vlaar/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Stephanie Roy/Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 8-0No. 3 Jade Frampton/Valentina Starkova (ARK) def. Ariel Morton/Olivia Howlett (LSU) 8-4Complete Singles ResultsOrder of Finish: 1, 3, 5*, 6, 4, 2No. 1 #24 Anouk Tigu (ARK) def. #84 Whitney Wolf (LSU) 6-1, 6-3No. 2 Olivia Howlett (LSU) def. Stephanie Roy (ARK) 6-4, 7-6(4), 1-0(7)No. 3 Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 2-6, 6-1, 6-1No. 4 Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(1)No. 5 Emily Carbone (ARK) def. Ariel Morton (LSU) 6-3, 6-3No. 6 Yvette Vlaar (LSU) def. Jade Frampton (ARK) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3