COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 18 Arkansas fell 4-3 to Kansas in a hard-fought match Saturday on the second day of ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Ohio State University’s Varsity Tennis Center.
The Razorbacks (1-2) won the doubles point for the third straight match, but the Jayhawks (1-2) won four of six singles match to earn the overall match victory. Arkansas led 3-2 late in the match, before Kansas claimed the final two singles victories.
“We have played plenty of fantastic matches during ITA Kick-Off Weekend over the 10-year history of the event, and tonight’s ranks right up there among the best,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “The level from both teams was extremely high tonight, and the way our team competed was very special.”
Sophomore Giulia Pairone and senior Mia Jurasic struck first in doubles at No. 2, shutting out their opponents 6-0. The Jayhawks followed up with a 6-1 win at No. 3. With the top spot knotted at 5-all, Razorbacks junior Ana Oparenovic and freshman Tatum Rice won the next two games to seal the opening point.
In singles, Kansas picked up victories at No. 1 then No. 5 to take a 2-1 lead.
Pairone leveled the match with her third straight victory of the season, a 6-1, 7-5 defeat of No. 90 Janet Koch at No. 3.
Cepelyte scored a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 win at No. 6 against Tatiana Nikolaeva to reclaim the lead for Arkansas, but the Jayhawks won the remaining two matches at No. 2 and 4 to clinch the 4-3 victory.
Arkansas will return to action on Feb. 2 against Oklahoma in Norman. First serve is set for 5 p.m.
Kansas 4, No. 18 Arkansas 3
1. No. 1 Anastasia Rychagova (KU) def. Ana Oparenovic (UA) 6-2, 6-3
2. No. 94 Despoina Vogasari (KU) def. Mia Jurasic (UA) 7-6, 7-5
3. Giulia Pairone (UA) def. No. 90 Janet Koch (KU) 6-1, 7-5
4. No. 112 Nina Khmelnitckaia (KU) def. Natsuho Arakawa (UA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
5. Maria Toran Ribes (KU) def. Tatum Rice (UA) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
6. Agne Cepelyte (UA) def. Tatiana Nikolaeva (KU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
1. Ana Oparenovic/Tatum Rice (UA) def. Nina Khmelnitckaia/Tatiana Nikolaeva (KU) 7-5
2. Giulia Pairone/Mia Jurasic (UA) def. Janet Koch/Maria Toran Ribes (KU) 6-0
3. Despoina Vogasari/Anastasia Rychagova (KU) def. Agne Cepelyte/Natsuho Arakawa (UA) 6-1
Arkansas 1-2; National ranking #18
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,5,3,6,2,4)
Official: Jeri Banks T-2:52 A-112
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