CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 19th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team put a late scare in top-ranked Stanford during singles play on Friday, but the Cardinal would come through in the end and give Arkansas a 4-0 loss in the first round of the ITA National Indoors Championship at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.
Arkansas (7-2), who struggled mightily during the opening doubles matches against the Cardinal (6-0) had many close singles sets and seemed to only be a few game winners away from extending the match further than it went.
“We certainly found out how good Stanford is, they’re probably better this year than they were last year,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “We really struggled in the doubles to keep up with them and that was really surprising for us because we play good doubles. Obviously in the break we were concerned about really getting our teeth in to the match. I was really pleasantly surprised at how we came out in singles and played great on all six courts and really gave Stanford all they could handle. We’re certainly going to use this as a springboard for two more great matches that we have to play in the coming days.”
In doubles, Stanford certainly showed early why they are ranked No. 1 in the nation to take two of three matches at courts one and three in that order and forge ahead for the 1-0 lead going into singles. At the top doubles position, the 37th-ranked team of senior Anouk Tigu and sophomore Claudine Paulson just couldn’t seem to get anything going against the No. 3 team of Hilary Barte and Mallory Burdette, falling 8-1 in the first match to go final. The loss for Tigu and Paulson is their first this spring as they have won their last seven of eight matches together.
Moving into singles, the Razorbacks did not look to have their best stuff if one just looked at the scoreboard, but actually the Hogs came out with a lot more energy, especially at the top two spots. Paulson and junior Kate Lukomskaya both had leads at one point during their first set with the highly ranked singles players of Barte and Burdette. Even with the loss of the first set, the two Hogs made it a very respectable 7-5 drop of the first set.
However, at courts three and four, the Hogs had a much more difficult time in their first sets and eventually would fall in their second sets to give Stanford a quick 3-0 lead in the team match. Court two would hold the eventual clincher as Burdette had much more control with Lukomskaya to win the overall match for Stanford with a 6-2 second set victory.
A bright spot for the Razorbacks that came before the clinching point came on court six when freshman Jade Frampton took her match to a third set with Carolyn McVeigh. After losing set one, 6-1, Frampton came right back out to win set two, 6-2 to force the third set. Frampton led set three, 3-1 when the clinching team point was won and play was stopped.
The Razorbacks will be right back out on the courts tomorrow at the Boar’s Head Sports Club as they will face No. 18 Washington at 6:30 p.m. CST. Washington also dropped their opening match on Friday with No. 4 North Carolina, 4-0, and were sent to the consolation draw. The Huskies are a very familiar team to the Hogs as the two teams played each other last year in the ITA Kickoff with Arkansas coming away with the 5-2 victory in Fayetteville.
Live stats will, again, be available for tomorrow’s match as well as the live blog starting approximately fifteen minutes prior to the first serve of doubles. For all information on the Razorback women’s tennis team, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. ITA National Indoors Championship – Day OneNo. 1 Stanford 4No. 19 Arkansas 0Complete Doubles ResultsOrder of Finish: 1, 3*No. 1 #3 Hilary Barte/Mallory Burdette (STAN) def. Anouk Tigu/Claudine Paulson (ARK) 8-1No. 2 Kristie Ahn/Nicole Gibbs (STAN) leading Kate Lukomskaya/Stephanie Roy (ARK) 6-1No. 3 Stacey Tan/Carolyn McVeigh (STAN) def. Valentina Starkova/Jade Frampton (ARK) 8-3Complete Singles ResultsOrder of Finish: 3, 4, 2*No. 1 #2 Hilary Barte (STAN) leading Claudine Paulson (ARK) 7-5, 6-5No. 2 #22 Mallory Burdette (STAN) def. Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 7-5, 6-2No. 3 #20 Kristie Ahn (STAN) def. Emily Carbone (ARK) 6-2, 6-3No. 4 #21 Nicole Gibbs (STAN) def. Stephanie Roy (ARK) 6-0, 7-5No. 5 Valentina Starkova (ARK) tied with #87 Stacey Tan (STAN) 5-7, 4-4No. 6 Jade Frampton (ARK) def. Carolyn McVeigh (STAN) 1-6, 6-2, 3-1