FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 23 Razorback women’s tennis team is headed to South Bend, Ind. today to participate in the third annual ITA Kickoff Weekend, which is part of the first and second rounds of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Razorbacks, who are coming off a strong opening weekend against No. 60 North Texas and No. 36 Texas A&M are 2-0 on the season.
“It was good to get wins in both of those dual matches to open the season,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “Both of those teams were NCAA Tournament teams last season, so its good to get those early matches against some tough teams under our belt.”
This weekend, the Razorbacks are one of four teams that will be playing on the campus of Notre Dame for the tournament including: No. 41 Utah, No. 47 Yale, and the host school, No. 4 Notre Dame. The first match for the Hogs will take place on Saturday against Utah at 2 p.m.
All teams are guaranteed at least two matches this weekend as the winners of Arkansas-Utah and Yale-Notre Dame will face each other on Sunday, while the loser of those two matches will play just before the championship match. The winner of two straight matches will advance to the ITA National Indoor Championships to be played at Boar’s Head Sports Club, hosted by the University of Virginia.
“Utah gave us a great match when they played us here last year,” said Hegarty. “We saw them recently at the Virginia tournament we went to and I’m very impressed with their team and their coach. If we win, we would love to have an opportunity to play Notre Dame, who we played in this event two years ago and lost a tough 4-2 match, so we would love to get a chance to redeem ourselves in that aspect.”
Arkansas went nearly flawless last weekend when they opened their dual match season at the Dills Indoor Courts. The team went a perfect 7-0 against North Texas, winning all doubles and singles matches and then went 6-1 against Texas A&M, falling in just one singles match. Sophomore Claudine Paulson comes into this weekend on a five match win streak in singles and has definitely stepped up for the Razorbacks at the No. 3 position. Meanwhile, senior Anouk Tigu, who is ranked No. 26 in singles, has started the year off right which includes a win over 17th-ranked Nazari Urbina, her first ranked win of 2011.
Be sure to check back with ArkansasRazorbacks.com for any updates on the Razorbacks throughout the weekend including full recaps and results after each day’s play.