FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 14 Razorback women’s tennis team continues the SEC portion of their schedule this weekend as they dip down into Mississippi to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday and the No. 38 Ole Miss Rebels on Sunday.
Arkansas (11-4) is coming off their opening conference matches against South Carolina and Florida where they finished the weekend with a 1-1 record and a win against the Gamecocks. In that win, the Razorbacks were able to win the doubles point and use the momentum to win three singles matches for the team win. With that lone win, the Hogs were able to jump two spots in the ITA rankings to No. 14 in the nation.
“We had a good home weekend to start off conference play,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “We had a really good win over South Carolina, who has had an excellent year until now. I was really happy with our performance there and then we went out and had a tough match with Florida, our first outdoor match of the season and that’s always a challenge. I thought we played well, especially in singles. Doubles was a little spotty for us. I think another week to ten days and that’s a more competitive match than it already was.”
On Friday, the team will hit the town of Starkville, Miss., where they will meet the Bulldogs and look to extend their winning streak to six straight matches. The Hogs have not lost to Mississippi State since the 2005 season and that streak includes last year’s 7-0 victory. This season, the Lady Bulldogs have compiled a 2-6 record with wins over Southern Miss and Troy State. In the SEC, Mississippi State had their opening conference weekend against Vanderbilt and Kentucky and suffered losses in both matches.
The Hogs will then take their play to Oxford, Miss. on Sunday to face the Rebels, who are ranked No. 38 in the nation by ITA. This weekend holds Ole Miss‘ opening home conference matches and so far this season, they have built a 6-3 record and are 1-1 in the SEC. Last weekend, they split matches with Kentucky and Vanderbilt, garnering the 7-0 win against the Wildcats. This match is also a rematch of last year’s second round SEC Tournament match which saw the Rebels escape with a 4-2 victory.
“It’s a good experience for us to go down to Mississippi for this trip,” said Hegarty. “We’re expecting two excellent matches from both of those teams this weekend and hopefully we’ll be as sharp as we can be.”
The Hogs will look to exact that revenge and also build on their conference record as they will bring out senior Anouk Tigu, who continues to be ranked No. 23 in the nation in singles. Even with a recent tough conference weekend, Tigu still holds a solid 7-4 record in dual play and is 18-7 overall this season. Probably the most highlighted played on the team is freshman, Jade Frampton, who won the clinching point against the Gamecocks to give the Hogs their first conference victory of the season. Frampton, having not only won two SEC Freshman of the Week awards this year, but also boasts an 8-1 record in dual play and has won nine of her last 10 matches.
Friday’s match with the Bulldogs is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday’s match with the Rebels has first serve set for 1 p.m. Full recaps of both matches will be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. after each match is complete.