LIVE SCORING (Old Dominion & Oral Roberts)
LIVE SCORING (Oklahoma State)
Riding a five-match winning streak, the University of Arkansas women’s tennis team is set for three matches this weekend. On Friday, Jan. 30, the No. 41 Razorbacks (5-1) host Old Dominion (1-0) at 11 a.m. and Oral Roberts (1-2) at 5 p.m. with both matches being held at the Billingsley Tennis Center and admission is free. Arkansas will take to the road for the first time this season on Sunday, Feb. 1, traveling to Stillwater, Okla., to face No. 16 Oklahoma State at 1 p.m.
“We are excited to compete again at home this Friday,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “Old Dominion is coming off a big win over Penn State so we will be well tested.”
LAST POINT PLAYED
Arkansas concluded three home matches last weekend with a perfect 3-0 record, including a top-25 win. The Razorbacks defeated UC-Santa Barbara, 5-2, and Southern Illinois, 7-0, on Jan. 23 before knocking off No. 24 Oklahoma by a 4-3 margin on Jan. 25. Against Oklahoma, Arkansas lost the doubles point for only the second time all season but came back in singles to win four first sets. Still, the Razorbacks trailed 3-1 at one point in the match but showed their resiliency as they mounted a comeback. Sophomores Shannon Hudson and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva won their matches on courts two and five respectively and junior Yuliya Lysa claimed a victory on court four to tie the match at 3-all. The deciding match point would come down to junior Makenzie Craft on court three where she had already claimed the first set at 7-5. Craft was able to close out OU’s Morgan Chumney, 7-5, in the second set to complete Arkansas’ comeback.
NOTES FROM OU MATCH:
– The win over No. 24 Oklahoma was the first top-25 win for the Razorbacks since defeating No. 12 Tennessee on March 25, 2012.
– The Razorbacks improve to 1-1 this season against nationally ranked opponents (win vs. No. 24 OU, loss vs. No. 55 Wichita State). Arkansas has 15 ranked opponents remaining on its schedule, including four of those coming to non-conference opponents.
– Junior Yuliya Lysa remains undefeated this season, upping her singles record to 5-0. Five singles wins is tied with Shkorupeieva for most on the team. Lysa is also 3-0 in doubles when teaming with Hudson.
– Hudson improved to 4-0 in singles, including a 3-0 mark on court two, this season.
– As a team, Arkansas is a perfect 6-0 on courts three and four in singles.
IN THE POLLS
In the Jan. 28 ITA poll, the Razorbacks checked in at No. 41. Arkansas has been ranked in 117 consecutive weekly ITA polls dating back to 2008.
MAGNIFYING THE MONARCHS
Old Dominion enters Friday’s match 1-0 following a season-opening win over Penn State Jan. 24. Borislava Botusharova is ranked No. 68 in singles and is 1-0 so far this season. Dominic Manilla is in his fourth season as head coach of the Monarchs. Friday will be the first meeting between the two schools
GENERALIZING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles are 1-2 this season. ORU has been involved in a shutout in all three matches this season, losing 7-0 to Tulsa and Wyoming and winning 7-0 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Andrada Gordan has played two of the three matches on the top singles court, tallying a 1-1 mark. The Golden Eagles have used seven different doubles combinations thus far. Beverly Dawson is in her third season as head coach. Friday will be the 16th time the teams have met, with Arkansas owning a 12-3 all-time record. The teams last met March 23, 2014, in Fayetteville, with Arkansas coming out on top, 6-0. Yang Pang, Shannon Hudson, Oleksandra Shkorupeieva, and Flavia Araujo are among the current Razorbacks who earned a singles win in last year’s contest.
CATEGORIZING THE COWGIRLS
Oklahoma State will be the highest-ranked opponent Arkansas has faced so far this season, as the Cowgirls come in at No. 16 with a 3-0 record. The Cowgirls recently won their ITA Kickoff Weekend regional last weekend, defeating No. 29 Texas Tech and host-No. 18 Georgia Tech along the way. Two players are ranked on the singles side, as Viktoriya Lushkova is No. 10, while Katarina Adamovic is No. 53. On the doubles side, Lushkova and Kelsey Laurente are ranked No. 5. Chris Young is in his fourth season as head coach. Arkansas trails the all-time series with Oklahoma State 3-11. The teams last met Feb. 2, 2014, in Fayetteville with Oklahoma State winning 6-0.
The Razorbacks open the season with eight straight matches at the Billingsley Tennis Center and nine of their first 10 will be at home. Overall the Razorbacks will have a total of 14 home matches on 12 home dates. Under Coach Hegarty, the Razorbacks have defended their home alleys tough, with a record of 90-51 (.638) at home since the 2003-04 season.
TOUGH SLATE AHEAD
Coach Hegarty has certainly lined up a challenging schedule for his talented group of Razorbacks this season. Arkansas will face a total of 17 ranked opponents, including six of those coming in the non-conference. In fact, among SEC teams, the Razorbacks will face the second-most non-conference ranked opponents, trailing only Vanderbilt who has seven non-con ranked foes on its schedule.
HUDSON YEAR TWO
After a dynamic freshman season in which she lead the team in dual wins with 13, sophomore Shannon Hudson is back for more. The Virginia Beach, Va., native and fourth-generation Razorback competed primarily on court two in singles last season and has been near the top of the lineup again this spring. Hudson is undefeated so far this season, racking up a 4-0 singles record and a 3-0 doubles mark. Her four singles wins are tied for second-most on the team.
With junior Yuliya Lysa enrolling at Arkansas this spring semester, she joins sophomore Oleksandra Shkorupeieva as the second Ukrainian on the roster. Shkorupeieva was also a spring semester enrollee last season as she joined the team in January 2014. Both Lysa and Shkorupeieva have begun their 2015 season on high notes as the two are tied for the most singles wins on the team. Shkorupeieva boasts a 5-1 singles mark while Lysa betters that with an unblemished 5-0 record.
Following her freshman year, where she was second on the team in dual wins with 12, sophomore Oleksandra “Sasha” Shkorupeieva is continuing her solid play. During the 2014 fall schedule, Shkorupeieva racked up a 12-2 record, the most wins on the team. Her spring season has picked up where her fall season left off, as she is tied for the team lead in singles wins, posting an impressive 5-1 record.
After transferring in this season, junior Makenzie Craft has certainly made quite the splash in her first few months as a Razorback. Craft has brought a championship pedigree with her to Fayetteville as she helped Georgia win the SEC Championship in 2012-13 and Baylor win the Big 12 Championship in 2013-14. She continued her winning ways with Arkansas during the fall 2014 schedule. Craft produced an 8-7 overall singles mark, including a run to the round of 16 at the ITA Central Regional Championship and a runner-up finish in her flight at the Oklahoma Sooner Invite. Expected to be a key contributor to the lineup this spring, Craft owns a 3-1 singles mark thus far, including winning her match on court three against Oklahoma to complete the Razorbacks’ furious team comeback.
Fresh faces are abound in the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center this season. A total of seven newcomers come aboard for the Razorbacks this season. Here’s a breakdown of the newcomers. Junior Makenzie Craft (Frisco, Texas) transferred in after spending her freshman season with Georgia and her sophomore season with Baylor. Craft certainly brings with her a championship pedigree as she was a part of Georgia’s 2013 SEC Championship team and Baylor’s 2014 Big 12 Championship team. She compiled a 27-22 overall singles record during her first two collegiate years. Junior Nicole Breaux (Lafayette, La.) comes to Fayetteville after transferring from Louisiana-Lafayette. Breaux competed at the top of the singles and doubles lineup for the Ragin’ Cajuns, amassing a 28-34 singles record over two seasons. Junior Yuliya Lysa is in her first season and comes to Arkansas by way of Khmelnytsky, Ukraine. Sophomore Nastassia Rubel (Minsk, Belarus) is in her first season with the Razorbacks, bringing with her a world ranking of No. 188 on the ITF junior tour. Sophomore Elly Fryberger (Littleton, Colo.) is in her first season after transferring from Kansas. Freshmen Mia Jurasic (Ogulin, Croatia) and Peyton Jennings (Tulsa, Okla.) will both be competing in their first collegiate matches. Jurasic is the Croatian 16 and under national champion while Jennings claimed back-to-back Oklahoma state titles at No. 1 singles her junior and senior year.
The seventh newcomer is assistant coach Luc Godin. Godin joins Hegarty’s staff and the Razorbacks after previously serving as the men’s and women’s assistant at Louisiana-Lafayette in 2013-14. He is familiar with the SEC, however, as he was an assistant for the Auburn women’s team from 2011-13.
ARAUJO NAMED RED TIE HONOREE
Junior Flavia Araujo was named a 2014-15 Red Tie Honoree for the Spirit of the Razorback Award, as announced by the University of Arkansas Athletic Department and the Razorback Foundation on Dec. 31. Each year, the Razorbacks recognize student-athletes whose performance throughout his or her career serves to lift up their sport to new heights and whose character exemplifies the goals of the athletic department. The 18th annual Red Tie Dinner will be held Feb. 21, 2015, in Rogers, Ark. A steady contributor on the court, Araujo was also named the 2013-14 Lee Spencer Individual champion for her community service endeavors and overall commitment to the university.
Arkansas women’s tennis all-time winningest coach with a record of 152-130 (.539), Michael Hegarty (Auburn, ’94) is in his 12th season as head coach of the Razorbacks. He has led the Hogs to seven NCAA Tournament appearances in his first 11 years.
The Razorbacks finished the 2013-14 season with a 13-16 overall mark, including 2-11 in SEC play. Arkansas finished the season ranked No. 59 in the final ITA poll.
Arkansas brings back four players from last year’s squad. Returning are juniors Yang Pang and Flavia Araujo and sophomores Shannon Hudson and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva.
AT A GLANCE: 2014 FALL
The Razorbacks competed in six team tournaments throughout the fall schedule. Sophomore Oleksandra Shkorupeieva led the team in wins, posting a 12-2 record. Additionally, she won her flight championship at the Oklahoma Sooner Invitational and also won three straight matches at the ITA Central Regional Championships, advancing out of the qualifying bracket and into the main draw’s Round of 32. Sophomore Shannon Hudson was selected to compete in the singles qualifying draw at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships and finished the fall with an 8-6 singles record. Junior Makenzie Craft posted an 8-7 fall singles record and advanced all the way to the Round of 16 at the ITA Central Regional.
The ITA Shortened Format:
• No-ad scoring in singles and doubles.
• Three doubles matches played, each match one set to 6, with a tie-break at 6-all.
• Followed (after a brief intermission; time TBD) by six singles matches, each match 2 out of 3 sets, with tie-breaks at 6-all.
• No warm-up with opponents (in doubles and in singles)
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