TULSA, Okla. – The 17th-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorback tennis team hopes the third match of the season against No. 2 Georgia will be the charm, in the Sweet 16 of the 2008 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships on Thursday.
“Every match is a chance to keep improving the quality of our program,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “We look to do that again on Thursday.”
With a victory, Arkansas could vault into the Elite 8 of the tournament for the first time in school history.
The Lady’Backs defeated Georgia, 22-4, on March 23 in Fayetteville, 4-3, thanks to a third-set victory from senior Maryori Franco to clinch the match. However, the Bulldogs broke even in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament, 4-3, in a third set win by Naoko Ueshima.
Arkansas, 17-9, punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 for the second time in school history thanks to quality wins over No. 46 Wake Forest, 4-0, and No. 14 North Carolina, 4-3, in Chapel Hill, N.C. last weekend.
Arkansas should have a strong fan-base on Thursday with Tulsa being a backyard to Fayetteville, but Hegarty believes his team is already well accustomed to the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa.
“This will be our fourth time playing in Tulsa this season, and we are very comfortable here,” Hegarty said.
Georgia hosted a regional in Athens as the No. 2 overall seed in the tournament and eased past Yale and South Carolina, 4-3, to claim their spot in the final sixteen.
Live stats along with post match recap and comments will be available on LADYBACKS.COM for tomorrow’s 3 p.m. first serve.