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Lady’Backs begin Western Division play in Magnolia State

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs begin Western Division play in Magnolia State

FAYETTEVILLE—Coming off several close matches against a dangerous Southeastern Conference Eastern Division, the University of Arkansas women’s tennis team sets its sights on the western division beginning with a Friday match against Mississippi State University. The Lady Razorback enter Friday’s match 10-6 (0-6) after coming off a loss last Sunday against the third-ranked Kentucky Wildcats. In that match, junior transfer Karina Ledaja won her eighth SEC match this season over UK’s Joelle Schwenk, 6-23, 6-1. Although the Lady’Back netters are winless in conference play this season, individually the team has made great strides in preparing for a win. From Vlatka Jovanovic’s 6-2, 6-2 victory over eighth-ranked Audra Faulk of Vanderbilt to Ledaja’s 8-4 overall SEC record this year, Arkansas is on track to make waves in the West. In Friday’s match against Mississippi State, Jovanovic could face off against MSU’s Zsuzsanna Fodor on court one. Fodor is 10-2 in the 2005 spring season, with all wins coming at No. 1. If the two should meet on center court, it would mark Jovanovic’s fourth straight match against a top-25 singles opponent. In fact, all three of her last three matches have come against top ten opponents. This spring, MSU is 9-3 (3-3) and currently shares the top of the Western Division standings with cross-state rival Ole Miss. Last Sunday, the Bulldogs upset the 25th ranked Lady Vols of Tennessee, 4-2, in Starkville. All-time, Arkansas is 6-7 against Mississippi State. Last year, the Bulldogs escaped from Fayetteville with a 4-3 win. In the match played at the UA Varsity Courts, junior Melissa Cornett won a three-set marathon against MSU’s lone senior, Magdi Rekasi, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. “This match against Mississippi State will be a real testament as to how far we have grown as a squad this season,” said head coach Michael Hegarty. “The Western Division is an extremely tight race this year, and we want to jump out of the gates with a win.” After MSU, the Lady’Backs return home for a Sunday match against the Ole Miss Lady Rebels. Last fall at the SEC Coaches Classic, the Lady’Backs met the Lady Rebels four times in singles action, splitting 2-2. Sunday’s math is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. Friday’s match time is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Live scoring for the match is available at mstateathletics.com. For more information on Arkansas tennis or any other Lady Razorback sport, please visit www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Tennis (W)