FAYETTEVILLE- The 15th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks women’s tennis team opens SEC conference play Friday as the Razorbacks take on the No. 6 Florida and No. 58 South Carolina. With five SEC teams ranked in the Top 25 in the ITA rankings, is a strong indication of the level of competition that will present throughout the dual season.
The Hogs improved to a 10-2 overall dual record after a 6-1 decision over No. 35 Oklahoma Sunday in Fayetteville.
Arkansas won the doubles point and rode victories in all but one singles courts. No. 54 Anouk Tigu was named SEC player of the Week on Wednesday with her outstanding performance at the No. 1 singles position with a win over No. 96 Ana- Maria Constantinescu in straight sets. Tigu and partner freshman Claudine Paulson clinched the doubles point with a win over Constantinescu Teona Tsertvadze of Oklahoma, 9-7.
The weekend starts with a dual match with the No. 6 Florida Gators on Friday at 5 p.m. in Gainesville, Fla., where the Hogs will come up against the No. 6-ranked doubles team in the nation in freshman Allie Will and senior Marrit Boonstra. The pair is 9-1 heading into Friday’s match. Will is enjoying early success on the singles court, ranked No. 11 and holding a record 9-0. Florida is 9-2 and riding a two-match winning streak after sweeping No. 13 Florida State and No. 8 Duke by identical 7-0 scores last weekend in Gainesville, Fla.
Last year, the Hogs picked up their first victory in program history over Florida, 4-0, in Fayetteville. The Hogs won on all three doubles courts and taking the early lead with the doubles point win. The Razorbacks momentum rolled into singles play, as Emily Carbone wasted no time earning the Hogs first singles victory over Jessica Alexander, 6-3, 6-0. Kate Lukomskaya followed with a straight set victory over Allen, 6-1, 6-4. Arkansas continued to dominate as Tigu and Aurelija Miseviciute picked up wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions.
The Razorbacks then will travel to Columbia, S.C. for rematch against the No. 58 Gamecocks on Sunday, at 1 p.m. Last season in Fayetteville, Arkansas fell to South Carolina, 5-2. The Gamecocks took the doubles point behind wins on the No. 2 and No. 3 courts. South Carolina carried the momentum throughout the entire match and never dropped the advantage.
This year the Hogs are ready for matches against conference foes. Arkansas’ lineup is loaded with depth, headed by Tigu, ranked No. 54, is 7-2 in singles and Kate Lukomskaya is also having a strong season to her second dual season with the team, going 8-2 at the No.2 singles position. Super freshman Kelsey Sundaram continues to succeed boasting a 9-3 dual match record between the No. 4 and No. 5 singles position.
Doubles action proves strong throughout Arkansas’ lineup, as the top two positions have posted an impressive combined record of 20-4 this spring.
For complete coverage on Arkansas women’s tennis and this weekend’s matches visit ArakansasRazorbacks.com.