FAYETTEVILLE — An all-star performance led by Lady Razorback Aurelija Miseviciute, sprung the 26th-ranked University of Arkansas to a 7-0 shutout against Southeastern Conference opponent Alabama on Sunday.
“After the tough loss on Friday (to Auburn), the whole group responded real well supplying the shutout today,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty.
Arkansas (8-5, 1-1 in SEC) completely dominated the Tide (3-7, 0-2 in SEC) by winning all nine matches, and for the fifth-straight match grabbed the first point of the day with terrific efforts in doubles.
Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder, ranked No. 23 nationally in doubles, toppled Andrea Brenes and Paulina Bigos, 8-2, to begin the day in the right direction for Arkansas. The Lady’Backs took a 1-0 on the doubles-clincher by Audrey Bordeleau and Anouk Tigu over Tiffany Welcher and Meritt Emery, 8-3.
“Doubles once again provided us with a great spark,” Hegarty said. “That point will become even more important as we get deeper into our SEC season.”
Junior Nanar Airpetian gave her team a 2-0 advantage as she pummeled Bianca Svensson, 6-3, 6-2. The lead was extended to 3-0 after Maryori Franco simply stunned Emery, 6-1, 6-1.
Number 2 ranked Miseviciute captured her 10th win of the season in straight-set fashion, 6-3, 6-1, over Welcher to clinch the match for Arkansas.
With Arkansas’ first SEC win of the season captured, the Lady’Backs pioneered their way to the shutout with three-straight wins in singles.
Kaluder never gave Tunaru a chance on Court 3 in route to a, 6-2, 6-3, win. Audrey Bordeleau gathered her team-leading 11th win of the season, 6-4, 6-3, against Shelley Godwin. Tigu, a freshman from Holland, displayed her Lady’Back determination in a come-from-behind, super tiebreaker win over Paulina Bigos 6-7(3), 6-3, 10-8.
The shutout marked Arkansas’ first ever 7-0 win in SEC play since the seven-point format was adopted during the 2000-2001 season.
“We’re real excited with the progress we’re making, and our best tennis is for sure ahead of us,” Hegarty said.
The Lady’Backs will be back in action on March 7 at 2:00 in Nashville, Tenn. against Vanderbilt.
1. #2 Aurelija Miseviciute (Ark.) def. Tiffany Welcher (Bama), 6-3, 6-1.
2. #61 Anouk Tigu (Ark.) def. Pauline Bigos (Bama), 6-7(3), 6-3, (10-8)
3. Ela Kaluder (Ark.) def. Alice Tunaru (Bama), 6-2, 6-3.
4. Maryori Franco (Ark.) def. Meritt Emery (Bama), 6-1, 6-1.
5. Nanar Airapetian (Ark.) def. Bianca Svensson (Bama), 6-3, 6-2.
6. Audrey Bordeleau (Ark.) def. Shelley Godwin (Bama), 6-4, 6-3.
Match Notes: (Order of Finish: 5,4,1*,3,6,2)
1. #23 Aurelija Miseviciute/Ela Kaluder (Ark.) def. Andrea Brenes/Paulina Bigos (Bama), 8-2
2. #59 Maryori Franco/Nanar Airapetian (Ark.) def. Alice Tunaru/Bianca Svennson (Bama), 8-6.
3. Audrey Bordeleau/Anouk Tigu (Ark.) def. Tiffany Welcher/Merrit Emery (Bama), 8-3.
Match Notes: (Order of Finish (1,3*,2)