CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 19 Razorback women’s tennis team nearly had its second top-five upset of the season on its hands, but the Golden Bears would finish out in front on Sunday night to defeat Arkansas, 4-2, the second loss for the Razorbacks over the weekend at the ITA National Indoors Championship at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. Arkansas would find itself in a hole early after losing the doubles point, but nearly won four matches out of six in singles to potentially pull off the huge come from behind victory.
The Razorbacks (8-3) finish the ITA tournament with a 1-2 record over the weekend which includes a 4-0 win over No. 18 Washington on Saturday. That win was Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty’s first as the Razorback head coach in this tournament in three tries.
“I think we played really well considering it was our third straight match to go close to midnight,” said Hegarty. “I think that was really difficult for our players, but I will say that they battled extremely well and did the best they could out of those circumstances. I think that was impressive out of our team to come that close to beating Cal-Berkeley and know we’re still in a building phase and have much more to show as we go throughout our season.”
After winning their first doubles point in five matches last time out, the Hogs nearly won the important first point again against a very talented California squad. The Bears got on the board first at No. 3 with an 8-2 victory, but Arkansas’ juniors Kate Lukomskaya and Stephanie Roy won their second straight doubles match at the No. 2 position to bring the doubles point down to the two ranked doubles teams from Cal and Arkansas.
The 37th-ranked team of senior Anouk Tigu and sophomore Claudine Paulson made it interesting in their match at the top spot, but were not able to come through and the 5th-ranked Cal doubles team of Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova took the 8-4 win and the doubles point for Cal heading into singles.
In singles, the Razorbacks got right to work needing four out of six wins for the team victory and seemingly were well on their way to doing that after Roy quickly got things going for the Hogs with a straight set, 6-0, 6-2 win over Anett Schutting. That win tied the team match up at one and Arkansas took the 2-1 lead after freshman Jade Frampton won by nearly the exact same score on court six, 6-1, 6-2 over Alice Duranteau.
In the next two matches, Cal would respond in a huge way, winning in straight set fashion on courts one and two and put themselves one point away from the overall victory. However, that is when things became very interesting. The remaining two matches on courts three and four were in their second sets and in jeopardy of going to a third set. On court three, Lukomskaya had won her first set with Tayler Davis, 6-4, but was taken to a tiebreaker second set, which Davis would eventually win, 7-6(5), to force the third set. Likewise on court four except Cal’s Annie Goransson was in the driver’s seat after winning the first set with sophomore Emily Carbone, 6-0. But, Carbone would storm back in the second set, 6-4, and the final two matches would be decided in third sets.
With fatigue setting in, Carbone and Lukomskaya labored through the third set, not wanting to be on the losing end of the deciding point. Unfortunately, court four would be the deciding court as Carbone fell just short of the 35th-ranked Goransson, 6-2, which gave California the 4-2 overall team win.
With the ITA national tournament in the books for the Razorbacks, the team will now head back to Fayetteville, where their next two matches await them with Colorado and Rice on Friday and Sunday. Both matches are slated for noon at the Billingsley Tennis Center. For all information regarding the Razorback women’s tennis team, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. ITA National Indoors Championship Day 3 (Consolation)No. 5 California 4No. 19 Arkansas 2Complete Doubles ResultsOrder of Finish: 3, 2, 1*No. 1 #5 Mari Andersson/Jana Juricova (CAL) def. #37 Anouk Tigu/Claudine Paulson (ARK) 8-4No. 2 Kate Lukomskaya/Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. Tayler Davis/Annie Goransson (CAL) 8-4No. 3 Marina Cossou/Anett Schutting (CAL) def. Jade Frampton/Valentina Starkova (ARK) 8-2Complete Singles ResultsOrder of Finish: 5, 6, 1, 2, 4*No. 1 #4 Jana Juricova (CAL) def. #16 Anouk Tigu (ARK) 6-2, 6-0No. 2 #70 Mari Andersson (CAL) def. Claudine Paulson (ARK) 6-2, 6-2No. 3 #51 Tayler Davis (CAL) led Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 4-6, 7-6(5), 5-4No. 4 #35 Annie Goransson (CAL) def. Emily Carbone (ARK) 6-0, 4-6, 6-2No. 5 Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. Anett Schutting (CAL) 6-0, 6-2No. 6 Jade Frampton (ARK) def. Alice Duranteau (CAL) 6-1, 6-2