FAYETTEVILLE- The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team got the 2007 season off on the right foot Saturday afternoon as they upset the 32nd ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack, 5-2, at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center.
The win gives the Lady Razorbacks their 25th all-time win in spring openers, and also serves as their 14th consecutive season opening win. The upset over the 32nd ranked Wolfpack marks the first time the Lady’Backs have ever opened the season against a ranked team with a win.
A doubles win put the Lady’Backs out in front early as sophomores Maryori Franco and Nanar Airapetian iced the advantage point in Arkansas’ direction with an 8-6 win over State’s Berkeley Brock and Kate Green. The other Lady’Back doubles win came on court one as junior Audrey Bordeleau and sophomore Ela Kaluder defeated Alejandra Guerra and Daria Petrovic, 8-4.
In singles, the Wolfpack took a brief match lead with two singles wins on courts four and six, but it was all Lady’Backs after that as Arkansas claimed victories on the remaining four courts. Kaluder, Franco and Airapetian swept the top-half of the singles lineup with straight-set victories. Bordeleau caught State’s Green after being down one set in a 12-point tiebreaker to give the match its final score.
“Obviously the doubles was huge for us today,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “I thought we competed extremely well considering our youth and how early in the season it is. You expect that element to only improve, which is a good sign for us.”
The win also marks the first time a Lady’Back team has beaten a top 35 team since 1999 when they beat No. 31 LSU in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Tomorrow, the Lady’Backs finish the weekend doubleheader against Tulsa. Match time is set for 1:00 p.m. and admission is free.
“We have a big challenge against Tulsa tomorrow,” Hegarty said. “Tulsa is a much improved team from last year.”
For more information on Arkansas tennis or any other lady Razorback sport, please visit LADYBACKS.com.
Arkansas 5- N.C. State 2
Match Time: 3 hrs, 50 min.
1. Ela Kaluder (UA) def. Daria Petrovic (NCS) 6-2, 6-4
2. Maryori Franco (UA) def. Berkeley Brock (NCS) 7-6(3), 6-3*
3. Nanar Airapetian (UA) def. Catherine Grotz (NCS) 6-3, 6-1
4. Alejandra Guerra (NCS) def. Rachel Wilhelm (UA) 6-0, 6-1
5. Audrey Bordeleau (UA) def. Kate Green (NCS) 6-7(1), 7-6(8), 1-0(6)
6. Julia Roach (NCS) def. Melissa Hoffmeister (UA) 6-4, 6-1
1. Ela Kaluder/Audrey Bordeleau (UA) def. Daria Petrovic/Alejandra Guerra (NCS) 8-4
2. Maryori Franco/Nanar Airapetian (UA) def. Berkeley Brock/Catherine Grotz (NCS) 8-6*
3. Kate Green/Julia Roach (NCS) def. Rachel Wilhelm/Melissa Hoffmeister (UA) 8-3
* Clinched doubles point/match
Order of finish: 4,5,3,1,6,2 2,3,1