AUBURN, Ala. – If fans at the Southeastern Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament were looking for an all-out battle on Saturday, they received just that when the 16th-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks fell to No. 8 Georgia, 4-3.
With the match square at three points for each team, fans scurried to get a peak at the third-set on Court 4 between Nanar Airapetian and No. 109 Naoko Ueshima, which would ultimately decide the match. Airapetian took the first set, 6-4, while Ueshima grabbed the second, 6-1. After dropping the deciding set in Georgia’s, 4-3, regular-season loss against the Lady’Backs, Ueshima was determined to not let it happen again when she clinched the match for Georgia, 6-3.
“We played a very strong match today, but you have to hand it to Georgia,” said Lady’Back head coach Michael Hegarty. “They had a bit more energy at the end of the day.”
For the second consecutive match, Arkansas (15-9, 7-4 in SEC) grasped early momentum with the doubles point. Audrey Bordeleau and Anouk Tigu defeated Monica Dancevic and Adrienne Elsberry, 8-2, before No. 30 Aurelija Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder zoomed past No. 45 Yvette and Kelley Hyndman, 8-2.
Georgia (19-4, 9-2 in SEC) seized the next two points in singles to grab a 2-1 lead in the match. Cameron Ellis made quick work of Bordeleau, 6-0, 6-3, while No. 76 K. Hyndman overtook No. 69 Kaluder in straight-sets, 6-1, 6-4.
The next four points would be decided quickly in such a tight match. Freshman Delia Damaschin stepped in at singles to defeat Elsberry, 6-3, 7-6(5), to tie the match at 2-2. Second-ranked nationally in singles, Miseviciute, claimed a big victory over No. 42 Yvette Hyndman, 7-6(2), 6-3, giving the Lady’Backs a short 3-2 lead. Miseviciute’s 47th win of the season ties her with Marcus Hilpert for most ever in school history for both men’s and women’s programs.
Monica Dancevic, ranked No. 91 in singles, pressed Tigu in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, setting up the clincher by Ueshima.
The loss negated Arkansas its first ever birth into the finals of the SEC Tournament.
“Both teams showed tremendous heart out there,” Hegarty said. “This match will definitely help us in the NCAA Tournament.”
The Lady’Backs will now await the NCAA Women’s Tennis Selection Show on Apr. 29, to find out their place in the NCAA Tournament. For information on upcoming rankings, visit LADYBACKS.COM.
1. #2 Aurelija Miseviciute (UA) def. #42 Yvette Hyndman (UGA), 7-6(2), 6-3.
2. #76 Kelley Hyndman (UGA) def. #69 Ela Kaluder (UA), 6-1, 6-4.
3. #91 Monica Dancevic (UGA) def. Anouk Tigu (UA), 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
4. #109 Naoko Ueshima (UGA) def. Nanar Airapetian (UA), 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
5. Cameron Ellis (UGA) def. Audrey Bordeleau (UA), 6-0, 6-3.
6. Delia Damaschin (UA) def. Adrienne Elsberry (UGA), 6-3, 7-6(5)
Match Notes: (Order of Finish:5,2,6,1,3,4*)
1. #30 Aurelija Miseviciute/Ela Kaluder (UA) def #42 Yvette Hyndman/Kelley Hyndman (UGA), 8-2.
2. Maryori Franco/Nanar Airapetian (UA) led Cameron Ellis/Naoko Ueshima (UGA), 7-5.
3. Audrey Bordeleau/Anouk Tigu (UA) vs. Monica Dancevic/Adrienne Elsberry (UGA), 8-2.
Match Notes: (Order of Finish:3,1*)