NASHVILLE, TENN. — Even after winning the doubles point, the 23rd-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team could not pull out the win in singles play against No. 31 Vanderbilt on Friday, falling 4-3 in SEC tennis action at the Currey Tennis Center in Nashville. After winning the doubles point fairly quickly, the Hogs could not seem to find their footing in singles as they lost the first three singles matches that went final and ended up dropping the overall match to fall to 4-5 in the SEC this spring.
"Once again, I think we played a very good match and did some excellent things on multiple courts," said head coach Michael Hegarty. "At the same time, Vanderbilt did them just a little bit better and definitely earned the victory."
Arkansas (14-8, 4-5) came into this match riding a two match winning streak as was looking to move over .500 in SEC play for the first time this season. The Hogs looked to be well on their way during doubles as they got a quick win at court two from the team of sophomore Kate Lukomskaya and freshman Kelsey Sundaram, who defeated their counterparts, Catherine Newman and Erica Robertson, 8-0. With the win, the duo earned their third straight win and fifteenth together this season.
Soon after that the Razorbacks clinched the doubles point at court three when freshmen Claudine Paulson and Valentina Starkova remained undefeated as a doubles team as they dropped Hannah Blatt and Rachael Dillion, 8-2, their fifth of the spring.
With the 1-0 lead going into singles play, the Hogs were looking to keep the victories coming, but got a very slow and uncharacteristic start. Starting at the number one spot, the match between both team’s top ranked players was finished in straight sets by Vanderbilt’s No. 23-ranked Newman, who dropped Arkansas’ No. 65-ranked Anouk Tigu, 6-1, 6-3. With the team score now tied at one, the Commodores looked to keep the momentum on their side and they did just that, winning the next two matches in straight sets at courts three and six to take a commanding 3-1 lead.
It didn’t take long before Vandy got the clincher at the number three spot when 82nd-ranked Chelsea Preeg defeated sophomore Emily Carbone in straight sets as well, 6-3, 6-2. With the win, Vanderbilt now moves to 10-8 on the year and 5-4 in the SEC.
With the match already decided, singles play did continue at courts four and five, as both matches went into third sets. Finishing first at No. 5, Sundaram continued her stellar play as she got the tough win over Dillion, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, giving Sundaram now 16 singles wins this season. Over on court four, sophomore Stephanie Roy matched Sundaram with a win of her own over Keilly Ulery, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5. The win now gives Roy 16 wins as well, tieing her with Sundaram for the team lead.
The Razorbacks remain on the road for their next match as they now travel to Lexington, Ky. to take on the Wildcats. The Hogs will look to get back to .500 in conference play with only two SEC matches remaining. For complete coverage of Sunday’s match along with complete results, be sure to log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.Complete ResultsNo. 31 Vanderbilt 4No. 23 Arkansas 3 DoublesOrder of Finish: 2, 3*, 1No. 1 #25 Chelsea Preeg/Jackie Wu (VU) def. Anouk Tigu/Stephanie Roy (ARK) 8-3No. 2 Kate Lukomskaya/Kelsey Sundaram (ARK) def. Catherine Newman/Erica Robertson (VU) 8-0No. 3 Claudine Paulson/Valentina Starkova (ARK) def. Hannah Blatt/Rachael Dillon (VU) 8-2Singles Order of Finish: 1, 6, 3, 2*, 5, 4No. 1 #23 Catherine Newman (VU) def. #65 Anouk Tigu (ARK) 6-1, 6-3No. 2 #27 Jackie Wu (VU) def. #115 Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 7-5, 6-3No. 3 #82 Chelsea Preeg (VU) def. Emily Carbone (ARK) 6-3, 6-2No. 4 Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. Keilly Ulery (VU) 6-1, 3-6, 7-5No. 5 Kelsey Sundaram (ARK) def. Rachaei Dillon (VU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1No. 6 Hannah Blatt (VU) def. Claudine Paulson (ARK) 7-5, 6-4