COLUMBIA, S.C. – Aurelija Miseviciute’s, 6-4, 7-5, toppling over No. 44 Gira Schofield clinching at least a share of the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division for the 13th-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks in a, 5-2, win at No. 34 South Carolina on Sunday.
“Today was a great all-around effort by the whole team,” said Lady’Back head tennis coach Michael Hegarty. “We needed to seize every point we could against tough team like USC (South Carolina).”
With the excellent overall-performance against South Carolina (11-6, 4-4 in SEC), the Lady’Backs (13-6, 6-2 in SEC) were able to snag at least a share of their first ever SEC West title. Arkansas will now return home on Friday at 3 p.m. in hopes of taking the SEC West outright against an Ole Miss team that is 1-7 in SEC action.
Arkansas’ sixth win in SEC play is the most under Hegarty, and most SEC victories in a season since 1998 as the Lady’Backs still have three matches left.
Arkansas began their stellar outing on Sunday by capturing the doubles point with a clean sweep. Maryori Franco and Nanar Airapetian took down Megan McGavock and Suzanna Mansour, 8-1. The Lady’Backs clinched the point when No. 32 Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder swung past No. 33 Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori, 8-6. Number 50 Audrey Bordeleau and Anouk Tigu finished off the sweep, 8-5, against Jelena Rajic and Natasa Vuckovic.
The one point Lady’Back lead was extended to two after Maryori Franco dominated Mansour, 6-1, 6-3, in straight sets. Kaluder, ranked No. 122 in singles, extended Arkansas’ lead to three when her opponent, No. 75 Zubori, retired in the second set with the score 2-6, 4-4.
While the Lady’Backs lucky thirteenth win, which gives them a three-game lead in the SEC West with three matches left, was already won, Airapetian continued stellar play by Arkansas, 6-2, 6-2, over McGavock.
Vuckovic defeated Tigu, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, in three sets and Rajic slipped past Bordeleau, 5-7, 6-4, 10-1, in the super tie-breaker with the match decided.
Be sure to make time in your schedule to visit the Billingsley Tennis Center Friday at3 p.m. as the Lady’Backs go after their first ever SEC West title against Ole Miss.
#34 South Carolina–2
Singles1. #1 Aurelija Miseviciute, UA, def. #44 Gira Schofield, USC, 6-4, 7-52. #122 Ela Kaluder, UA, def. #75 Ana Marija Zubori, USC, 2-6, 4-4 ret.3. Natasa Vuckovic, USC, def. Anouk Tigu, UA, 6-2, 3-6, 6-44. Maryori Franco, UA, def. Suzanna Mansour, USC, 6-1, 6-35. Nanar Airapetian, UA, def. Megan McGavock, USC, 6-2, 6-26. Jelena Rajic, USC, def. Audrey Bordeleau, UA, 5-7, 6-4, (10-1)
Order of Finish: 4, 2, 1*, 3, 5, 6
Doubles1. #32 Kaluder/Miseviciute, UA, def. #33 Schofield/Zubori, USC, 8-62. Airapetian/Franco, UA, def. McGavock/Mansour, USC, 8-13. #50 Bordeleau/Tigu, UA, def. Rajic/Vuckovic, USC, 8-5
Order of Finish: 2, 3*, 1