TULSA, Okla. – Arkansas senior Yuliya Lysa defeated Tulsa’s No. 86 Saana Saarteinen 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the 2016 NCAA singles championship at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on Wednesday.
Lysa, the nation’s No. 21-ranked singles player, needed only one hour and 10 minutes to secure Arkansas’ first victory in the individual event since 2011 when Anouk Tigu defeated Kansas State’s Petra Niedemayerova 6-4, 6-4 in the opening round.
Saarteinen led 3-2 in the first set, but Lysa broke to level the match. Lysa took the next three games for a 6-3 set win.
Lysa then rode that momentum into the second set. With a 3-2 lead, she went on a three-game roll to capture the set and the match at 6-2.
Wednesday’s match marked the third meeting between Lysa and Saarteinen this year. Saarteinen won 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 in the quarterfinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Regional Championship in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Oct. 18. The two players most recently met in the first round of the NCAA team championship at the Oklahoma State Regional on May 13. The match went unfinished. However, Lysa led Saarteinen 7-6 (2), 4-2 when the No. 28-ranked Golden Hurricane (22-4) clinched the overall match over the No. 33-ranked Razorbacks (16-14).
“Any time you play someone three times in one season, there’s not many surprises out there. Both Yuliya and Saana had fantastic senior years, and I thought it was great to see the two best seniors in our region have one final matchup. Yuliya was extremely sharp today and handled the windy conditions particularly well.” – Head coach Michael Hegarty
Lysa will face California’s sixth-seeded Maegan Manasse in the round of 32 on Thursday. First serve is slated for 9 a.m. CDT. Manasse defeated Georgia’s Caroline Brinson 6-3, 6-2 in the first round Wednesday.
Fans can follow all the action during competition with live video and live scoring.
All-Session Tickets can be purchased online at TulsaHurricane.com. All-Session Tickets are $125 for adults and $75 for youth (college age w/ID and younger). Daily Tickets can be purchased each day on-site at the Main Ticket Tent/Spectator Entrance on the north side of the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. Daily tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for youth.