FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — After competing against some of the top teams in the nation at the ITA National Indoors Championship last weekend, the newly 16th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team will welcome Colorado on Friday and No. 44 Rice on Sunday for their final non-conference matches before the beginning of SEC play. Both matches will take place at the Dills Indoor Tennis Stadium in the Billingsley Tennis Center.
The Razorbacks (8-3) are coming off nothing short of a successful weekend in Charlottesville, Va. at the ITA Indoors, getting one win out of three matches, all against top-20 opponents. The one win came against No. 18 Washington, scoring a 4-0 shutout style victory and allowed Arkansas to jump three spots in the new ITA rankings.
“We had a really competitive match against Stanford,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “Without Anouk (Tigu) in singles, everyone had to move up a spot and obviously had a tall task against the best team in the country, but we had some success at all six courts including leading at six before play stopped. Then, we came out the next day to face Washington and played a great doubles point to help us win 4-0. It was a great bounce back win for us against a Washington team that already has had some success early this season.”
Friday’s match for the Razorbacks will be against the Colorado Buffalos out of the Big 12 conference. The Lady Buffs began the season ranked 71st by ITA, but some early losses to Utah and Boise State dropped them from the rankings. This is also the first time Arkansas and Colorado have ever faced each other in their histories.
The weekend will conclude for the Hogs on Sunday against a very talented Rice Owls team that is ranked 44th in the nation by ITA. This will be a rematch from last year in Houston, Texas, when the Owls came away with a 4-3 upset. Overall, Arkansas leads the all-time series at 15-9 dating back to the 1980-81 season. This season, Rice has a 7-3 record with wins over Houston, Oklahoma State, and LSU out of the SEC. The three losses have come at the hands of Texas, Baylor, and Arizona.
“We’re expecting some good matches this weekend,” said Hegarty. “We haven’t seen Colorado at all since we left their region, so we’ll have to get up to date with them. Rice, on the other hand, has a very strong team with more nationally ranked players than we do. They’ve had a good start to the spring and these two matches should be a good way to finish our non-conference schedule and we should find some good results this weekend.”
For Arkansas, Roy leads the team with nine dual match wins and has 15 overall dating back to the fall. She has also been undefeated at the No. 5 position (7-0) and has won three of her last four matches. Junior Emily Carbone rounds out the tops on the team with seven dual match wins and also has 15 overall wins. Of course, the Razorbacks still have senior Anouk Tigu, who holds the overall match wins lead for the team (16). Tigu is the lone Razorback ranked in singles by ITA and has jumped 10 spots since the beginning of the spring season to No. 16.
Again, both matches this weekend will be played at the Billingsley Tennis Center with the Colorado match scheduled to start at noon on Friday and the Rice match set for 11 a.m. on Sunday. For a complete recap of both matches as well as live stats and the live blog will be active for both matches and can be found on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.