STARKVILLE — Rallying from 3-0 deficit, the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks captured their first Southeastern Conference match of the season with a 4-3 victory over Mississippi State.
Trailing after the doubles point and dropping the first two singles matches, Arkansas, 7-8, had no margin of error in their final four singles matches. Audrey Bordeleau had the decisive victory of the afternoon with a three-set win on the fourth court.
"It was a great match," UA head coach Michael Hegarty said. "We haven’t been in a lot of 4-3’s recently, and it was a well earned win. Any one of our players could have won the match today"
After dropping doubles, Miss State’s DeAndra Saddler on court five and Valeriya Makarycheva on court six took singles wins over Rachel Wilhelm (6-2, 6-2) and Melissa Hoffmeister (6-0, 6-3).
The Lady’Backs, now 1-6 in SEC play, head on to face Ole Miss on Sunday.
Ela Kaluder got a straight set victory over Martina Banikova at No. 1, 6-3, 6-1, to begin the comeback.
Maryori Franco made quick work of Elna de Villiers, 6-4, 6-3, on the second court to bring Arkansas back to within two victories.
It set the stage for two dramatic contests on courts three and four. Daniela Juskova pushed Nanar Airapetian to a tiebreaker in the second set, but the Arkansas sophomore secured the straight set win, 6-3, 7-5.
But Bordeleau ruled the day with one of the most exciting matches of the entire season. Bordeleau dropped the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (5), to MSU’s Renee Joseph, but battled back in the second to win by the same score in the second, 7-6 (5).
"All the other matches ended by the end of the second set," Hegarty said. "Everyone’s attention turned to Audrey."
By the start of the decisive third set, Bordeleau gained control to blast Joseph, 6-1, for the win.
Arkansas 4, Mississippi State 3Starkville, Miss. – 03-30-07
1. Martina Banikova/Valeriya Makarycheva (MSU) def. Nanar Airapetian/Maryori Franco (UA) 8-4
2. Audrey Bordeleau/Ela Kaluder (UA) def. Elna de Villiers/DeAndra Saddler (MSU) 8-4
3. #55 Renee Joseph/Daniela Juskova (MSU) def. Melissa Hoffmeister/Rachel Wilhelm (UA) 8-4.
1. #25 Kaluder (UA) def. Banikova (MSU) 6-3, 6-1
2. Franco (UA) def. de Villiers (MSU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Airapetian (UA) def. Juskova (MSU) 6-3, 7-5
4. Bordeleau (UA) def. Joseph (MSU) 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-1
5. Saddler (MSU) def. Wilhelm (UA) 6-2, 6-2
6. Makarycheva (MSU) def. Hoffmeister (UA) 6-0, 6-3.