NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 14 Arkansas will have a chance to improve its latest top-15 national team ranking when it squares off with No. 12 Auburn in the second round of the 2017 Southeastern Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament on Thursday.
First serve between the seventh-seeded Razorbacks (17-8, 7-6 SEC) and 10th-seeded Tigers (21-9, 5-8 SEC) is scheduled for noon at Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University. The winner will take on No. 4 ranked and second-seeded Georgia at noon Friday in the quarterfinals.
Arkansas Enters Top 15
The Razorbacks cracked the top 15 of the Oracle/ITA’s national team rankings on Tuesday, following road wins at Alabama and then-No. 11 Auburn. Arkansas has defeated 10 teams in the current national team rankings, including No. 12 Auburn, No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 21 LSU, No. 23 Tennessee. Arkansas’ No. 14 ranking is its highest since No. 14 on March 8, 2011.
The Series vs. Auburn
Arkansas is 20-17 all-time against the Tigers. The win at Auburn on Sunday was the Razorbacks’ third straight against the Tigers, including two on the road, and its highest ranked win since beating No. 5 California in 2011 at the ITA National Indoor Championships.
Senior co-captain Shannon Hudson is tops on the team with a No. 43 ranking in singles, sophomore Ana Oparenovic rose to No. 70 and junior Léolia Jeanjean checked in at No. 114. In doubles, Hudson and freshman Giulia Pairone are No. 36, while Pairone and Jeanjean are No. 60.
SEC Freshman of the Week
On Wednesday, Pairone was named SEC Freshman of the Week after she swept her singles matches and split doubles with partner Jeanjean to help the Razorbacks beat the Crimson Tide 4-3 on Friday and top the Tigers 4-2 on Sunday. Pairone turned in the highest ranked doubles win of her career against Auburn, defeating No. 16 Alizee Michaud and Taylor Russo 6-1. Pairone owns a five match winning streak in singles and ranks second on the team with a 15-3 record this spring, including an astounding 9-3 mark in SEC action. Arkansas is joined by No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Vanderbilt as the only schools to earn multiple SEC Player of the Week awards and at least one SEC Freshman of the Week honor. Hudson was named SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 8 and March 15.
Double-Digit Singles Wins
Five Razorbacks have posted double-digit singles wins this spring, including Jeanjean (16), Pairone (15), freshman Natsuho Arakawa (13), junior Mia Jurasic (12) and Hudson (11).
• Arkansas enters Thursday’s showdown with a three-match winning streak.
• The Razorbacks are 9-5 in matches away from home this season.
• Jeanjean leads the team with a 16-2 (7-1 SEC) dual-match singles record, which is tied for fifth in the SEC.
• Pairone is tied for the SEC lead among freshmen in conference dual-match singles with nine.
• Arakawa is 14-4 (6-2 SEC) in doubles this spring, while Jeanjean is 15-8 (7-5 SEC).
Fans can follow all the action during the tournament with live scoring.
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