FAYETTEVILLE – Most of the University of Arkansas women’s tennis team hits the courts this weekend at a pair of tournaments starting on Friday, Sept. 15, Lady Razorback head coach Michael Hegarty announced.
Arkansas splits the squad with three players headed to Southeastern Conference Western Division rival Ole Miss for the Ole Miss Fall Tournament and four others flying to the East Coast to participate in the William & Mary Fall Invitational. Both events begin on Friday and continue to Sunday, Sept. 17.
Hegarty travels to W&M with Ela Kaluder, Audrey Bordeleau, Rachel Wilhelm and Stacia Cozirscaia while assistant coach Jon McLaughlin takes Maryori Franco, Melissa Hoffmeister and Carly Dixon to Oxford.
Arkansas opened the fall season last weekend with only three athletes, Wilhelm, Hoffmeister and Dixon, at the Billikan Fall Tournament in St. Louis.
“This week gives us a step up in quality, and a chance for several other players to make their fall debut,” Hegarty said. “Both events present us with an opportunity for some quality wins. Our athletes in the A flights at both will see ranked opponents.”
Freshmen Hoffmeister and Dixon come off strong showings at the Billikan. Hoffmeister won the C flight in St. Louis, and will try to repeat at Ole Miss. Dixon reached the semifinals of the D flight and is entered in the same this weekend. Junior Franco gets her 2006 opening matches in the A flight.
“We’ll see a lot of SEC competition in Oxford with Georgia, Ole Miss and Miss State,” Hegarty said. “It will be a good early test.”
Most of the contingent headed to Williamsburg, Va., opens their fall tennis. Sophomore Kaluder in the A and junior Bordeleau in the B flight are returning Lady’Backs entering their fall openers. Freshman Cozirscaia makes her Arkansas debut in the D flight, while Wilhelm competes in the C flight.
Among the teams expected for the W&M event are North Carolina, Purdue, Virginia and Maryland.
“This will be a strong field of teams mostly from the east coast,” Hegarty said.