ATHENS, GA. — The No. 25 Razorback women’s tennis team won their opening round matchup of the SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament against No. 55 Auburn on Thursday, 4-0. The Hogs got great all-around performances from their doubles teams throughout singles, including winning the first set in all six singles matches. With the win, the Razorbacks move on to play second-seeded Ole Miss on Friday at the Henry Field Courts on the Georgia campus.
“It was definitely an advantage in a tournament like this to not have the longest and tightest match,” said head coach Michael Hegarty. “To get out of this match 4-0 instead of 4-3 is good for us and we’ll try to put that to good use tomorrow.”
The Razorbacks got off to a quick start in doubles when the team of junior Anouk Tigu and freshman Valentina Starkova got an easy 8-2 victory over Fani Chifchieva and Jil Hastenrath at court two. However, Auburn was able to answer back at court one after the No. 88 team of Myrthe Molenveld and Paulina Schippers defeated freshman Kelsey Sundaram and sophomore Kate Lukomskaya in a tight match, 8-6.
The doubles point came down to court three between the two teams and Arkansas was able to jump on the opportunity, getting the win from sophomore Stephanie Roy and freshman Claudine Paulson, 9-7, over Caroline Thornton and Plamena Kurteva. The win at the number three spot gave the Hogs the doubles point to move ahead 1-0 in the match.
In singles play, Arkansas extended their lead to 2-0 after Starkova defeated Hastenrath at court five in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1, her eighth win this season. The team’s roll continued at the number two spot after Lukomskaya dropped Daniela Vukadinovic in straight sets as well, 7-5, 6-1, her eleventh victory this year.
The Razorbacks were now one point away from clinching the match, but Auburn was able to fight back in the second set of courts three and four, including taking the number six spot to a third set. It was then that Tigu stepped up at court one and defeated her ranked counterpart, Chifchieva, 7-6, 7-1, giving Arkansas the first-round victory.
The Razorbacks now move on to play the Ole Miss Rebels on Friday. In their previous match earlier in the season, the Hogs got a tough 5-2 victory after dropping all three doubles matches and battling back to win five of six singles matches. First serve is set for tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Henry Feild Courts at the University of Georgia. For complete results and live stats of the match, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.Complete ResultsDoublesOrder of Finish: 2, 1, 3*No. 1 #88 Myrthe Molenveld/Paulina Schippers (AU) def. Kate Lukomskaya/Kelsey Sundaram (ARK) 8-6No. 2 Anouk Tigu/Valentina Starkova (ARK) def. Fani Chifchieva/Jil Hastenrath (AU) 8-2No. 3 Stephanie Roy/Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Caroline Thornton/Plamena Kurteva (AU) 9-7SinglesOrder of Finish: 5, 2, 1*No. 1 #46 Anouk Tigu (ARK) def. #45 Fani Chifchieva (AU) 7-6 (3), 6-1No. 2 Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) def. Daniela Vukadinovic (AU) 7-5, 6-1No. 3 Emily Carbone (ARK) leading Myrthe Molenveld (AU) 6-4, 4-4 unf.No. 4 Kelsey Sundaram (ARK) leading Caroline Thornton (AU) 6-4, 6-5 unf. No. 5 Valentina Starkova (ARK) def. Jil Hastenrath (AU) 6-3, 6-1No. 6 Paulina Schippers (AU) leading Claudine Paulson (ARK) 1-6, 6-3, 3-2 unf.
Download: 2010 women’s tennis draw-1.pdf