EVANSTON, Ill. — Fresh off its season-opening victory over Louisville last Friday, the 24th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team will travel to Evanston, Ill., this weekend to take part in the fourth annual ITA Kickoff. Arkansas looks to make its second straight trip to the ITA National Indoors Championship and needs two wins to do so. This weekend’s kickoff will count as the first two rounds of the championship and the winner will advance to the final rounds. Arkansas’ first round opponent will be No. 39 Nebraska starting at 3 p.m.
“It was great to have the first match of the season be successful,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “Everybody came out, played well and wanted to set a good standard for the home matches this year. It was good to get the season off on the right foot. The event this weekend is a really good event. The first two rounds are stiff competition. Our experience playing in the event the last two years is really going to help us.”
The Razorbacks probably got their biggest win in the history of the tournament last season, scoring a 4-3 win over then No. 4 Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. It was a win that vaulted the Hogs to the Indoors as one of the final 15 teams in the prestigious tournament and their second appearance in the last four years.
Along with the Razorbacks and Cornhuskers, No. 57 Dartmouth will face off with 12th-ranked and host school Northwestern. All teams are guaranteed at least two matches this weekend as the winners of Arkansas-Nebraska and Northwestern-Dartmouth 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.
“Nebraska is a very high quality tournament team,” Hegarty said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge of playing them. We’re a good road team overall. We travel well and have always played well on the road. We’re going to try to take a lot of that experience up to Northwestern and try to get two good victories.”
Arkansas comes into this weekend with a 1-0 record after topping Louisville last Friday by a 6-1 score. The team got wins in two out of three doubles matches and five singles wins. Sophomore Laurie Gingras and junior Claudine Paulson lead the team in overall singles wins this year at six each, while seniors Emily Carbone and Stephanie Roy follow with five. All four players received wins last week against Louisville.
In doubles, the senior team of Carbone and Roy have been the big winners so far this season, posting a 6-4 record, including last week’s win over Louisville’s Rebecca Shine and Mandy Brown. They will look to get their third win of their last four matches tomorrow.
Nebraska brings in three ranked singles players this weekend as junior Mary Weatherholt is No. 50 in the nation followed by No. 84 Janine Weinreich and No. 100 Stefanie Weinstein. The Huskers also hold one ranked doubles team consisting of Weinstein and Madeleine Geibert, who are the 53rd-ranked team according to ITA.
Live stats will be available for tomorrow’s match and a full recap with full results will be posted online following the match. For complete coverage of the Razorback women’s tennis team and University athletics, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.