BATON ROUGE, La. – Junior Ela Kaluder came on strong for her 14th win of the spring season as the No. 15 University of Arkansas Lady Razorback tennis team was knocked off, 5-2, by No. 30 LSU on Saturday.
“I’m so proud of this team for playing very strong down the stretch after dropping the early doubles point,” said Lady’Back assistant coach Jeroen Joling. “We battled till the end on each court in singles action.”
Although the loss drops Arkansas to 14-8 on the season and 7-4 in Southeastern Conference action, the Lady’Backs will head to the SEC Tournament on Friday as the No. 3 seed and SEC West Champions. Arkansas will play the winner of Alabama and LSU on Friday at 10 a.m. in Auburn, Ala.
LSU (13-8, 6-5 in SEC) grabbed early momentum by capturing the doubles-point in a slugfest.
“The doubles point was very close, and obviously an important point in the match,” Joling said.
Number 29 Megan Falcon and Mykala Hedberg upended No. 24 Aurelija Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder, 8-3, to begin doubles. Maryori Franco and Nanar Airapetian evened doubles up with a win, 8-5, over Hannah Robinson and Tiffany Tucker. The deciding doubles match went to a tie-breaker as Nicole Kantor and Staten Spencer slid past Audrey Bordeleau and Anouk Tigu, 9-8(6).
The Tiger’s charged ahead 2-0 when No. 18 Falcon handed No. 1 Miseviciute only her fourth loss of the entire 2007-2008 season, 6-3, 6-1.
Airapetian put the Lady’Backs on the board in a, 6-2, 6-4, victory over Tucker. Robinson then put LSU one point away from clinching the match when she dropped Anouk Tigu, 7-5, 6-3.
LSU pulled the upset against Arkansas when Kantor won in come-back fashion over Franco, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Arkansas grabbed one more point when Kaluder took down Hedberg, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Even in a close loss, the Arkansas staff believes the intense road match will help the Lady’Backs being on the road in the postseason.
“This environment down here is very intense and tough to play in,” Joling said. “Give their fans credit for being into the match, but I feel like I have to give credit to our team for handling the situation in a calm manner. Hopefully it will help us on the road in the upcoming SEC Tournament.”
Stay tuned to LADYBACKS.COM for upcoming ITA ranking releases and this weeks match at the SEC Tournament.
1. #18 Megan Falcon (LSU) def. #1 Aurelija Miseviciute (UA), 6-3, 6-1.
2. #62 Ela Kaluder (UA) def. Mykala Hedberg (LSU), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
3. Hannah Robinson (LSU) def. Anouk Tigu (UA), 7-5, 6-3.
4. Nicole Kantor (LSU) def. Maryori Franco (UA), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
5. Nanar Airapetian (UA) def. Tiffany Tucker (LSU), 6-2, 6-4.
6. Staten Spencer (LSU) def. Audrey Bordeleau (UA), 7-5, 7-6(5)
Match Notes: (Order of Finish:1,5,3,4*,6,2)
1. #29 Megan Falcon/Mykala Hedberg (LSU) def. #24 Aurelija Miseviciute/Ela Kaluder (UA), 8-3.
2. Maryori Franco/Nanar Airapetian (UA) def. Hannah Robinson/Tiffany Tucker (LSU), 8-5.
3. Nicole Kantor/Staten Spencer (LSU) def. Audrey Bordeleau/Anouk Tigu (UA), 9-8 (6)
Match Notes: (Order of Finish:1,2,3*)