FAYETTEVILLE — The 24th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team got a solid 6-1 season opening victory over Louisville Friday at the Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, Ark. After the Hogs needed to win the final doubles match to clinch the early point, the team made sure to leave nothing to question as they went on to win four straight singles matches for the easy victory.
With the win, the Razorbacks move to 1-0 on the year and Louisville falls to 1-1. It is also head coach Michael Hegarty’s ninth straight season opening victory with Arkansas. Hegarty said he was pleased with his team’s performance and thought the match was good to have under their belt before the ITA Kickoff next weekend.
“It’s great to win the home opener,” Hegarty said. “In this match I thought we set the tone and the expectation level. I thought we got better as the match went on and we played at a very high level at a few spots today.”
Arkansas looked to be in control early during the doubles matches as the team of senior Kate Lukomskaya and freshman Catherine Parenteau scored an easy 8-2 win over Sarah Miller and Stefanie Villajuan. However, the Cardinals answered back at the top court with an 8-4 win from Amelia Harris and Manuela Velasquez.
The important doubles point would come down to the two spot where Emily Carbone and Stephanie Roy just couldn’t build any distance between them and their opponents. After consistently trading games, the Hog tandem finished the match with two straight game winners to take the win and give the doubles point to Arkansas.
From there, it seemed like the doubles win was all the momentum the Hogs needed to capture the overall team win. Junior Claudine Paulson got off to a fast start at court three and never looked back as she cruised to a straight set, 6-0, 6-1 win over Gabrielle Duncan. Following suit was Gingras, who also had an easy time with her match, a 6-2, 6-1 win over Miller.
Needing only one more singles win, Carbone was the next in line for a match win as she defeated Mandy Brown, 6-2, 6-3, to give the Razorbacks the overall team win. The win for the Kentucky native was her fifth of the season overall and 11th in singles and doubles combined.
Since it was a non-conference match, the remaining three matches were played out and Arkansas was able to score wins in two out of the three matches. Parenteau got her Razorback career off to a strong start with a straight set win, her fourth win of the year. Also, Roy won a long three-setter, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0(14) over Rebecca Shine to get her fifth win of the year as well.
The women’s tennis team will hit the road for its next match as they travel to Evanston, Ill., to participate in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. The kickoff is a predecessor to the ITA National Indoors Championship, which will be hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. The Razorbacks will be looking for their second straight trip to the indoors as they are a year removed from an upset victory of No. 4 Notre Dame that catapulted them to the championship.
The team’s first round opponent will be against Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 28 on the campus of Northwestern University. The winner of that match will be the winner of Northwestern and Dartmouth the following day. First serve for the match with Nebraska will go up at 3 p.m. CST.
No. 24 Arkansas 6
Jan. 20, 2012
Billingsley Tennis Center
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2*
No. 1 Amelia Harris/Manuela Velasquez (UL) def. Claudine Paulson/Laurie Gingras (ARK)
No. 2 Emily Carbone/Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. Mandy Brown/Rebecca Shine (UL)
No. 3 Kate Lukomskaya/Catherine Parenteau (ARK) def. Sarah Miller/Stefanie Villajuan (UL)
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 3, 5, 2*, 6, 1, 4
No. 1 Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. Rebecca Shine (UL)
4-6, 6-1, 1-0(14)
4-6, 6-1, 1-0(14)
No. 2 Emily Carbone (ARK) def. Mandy Brown (UL)
No. 3 Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Gabrielle Duncan (UL)
No. 4 Manuela Velasquez (UL) def. Kate Lukomskaya (ARK)
5-7, 6-4, 1-0(8)
5-7, 6-4, 1-0(8)
No. 5 Laurie Gingras (ARK) def. Sarah Miller (UL)
No. 6 Catherine Parenteau (ARK) def. Amelia Harris (UL)