FAYETTEVILLE— Facing its second straight nationally-ranked opponent in three days, the No. 33 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team (5-5, 0-1 SEC) looks to get back on track and travels to Lexington, Ky., to square off against No. 31 Kentucky on Sunday.
Despite Yang Pang earning her first win over a ranked opponent this season, the Razorbacks suffered their fourth straight loss in a 6-1 defeat at the hands of No. 8 Vanderbilt on Friday. The sophomore from Nanjing, China, upset No. 60 Georgina Sellyn in straight sets (6-3, 6-1), but it was the only team point earned for UA in the dual match.
The Wildcats (11-2, 1-0 SEC) enter having earned a 4-1 victory over LSU on Friday, as they look to complete the home weekend sweep with the Razorbacks in town Sunday. Yet to face defeat on its home court, UK is 9-0 at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex this season.
No. 33 Arkansas and No. 31 Kentucky are scheduled to begin 10 a.m. Sunday.
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its first computerized rankings of the season on Tuesday. Based on a computer point-per-match formula, the Razorbacks rose 10 spots to No. 33 after being ranked No. 43 in the country in last week’s ITA National Team Rankings. It marks the highest national ranking for Arkansas since it finished the 2011-12 season at No. 33 and appeared in the NCAA Tournament for a fifth straight season.
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH…
The Razorbacks hope their competitive non-conference schedule has prepared them for the testing journey through SEC play. Six of the eight non-conference opponents that Arkansas faced in its non-conference schedule are currently ranked in the ITA National Team Rankings. The stretch was highlighted by two wins in a doubleheader sweep of current No. 49 Wichita State, as well as victories over No. 69 North Texas and then-No. 55 Kansas State.
LIFE IN THE SEC
The SEC ranks second among conferences with six teams in the top 25 of the ITA National Team Rankings, trailing only the ACC and its seven representatives. Next Up No. 33 Arkansas begins SEC play this weekend at No. 8 Vanderbilt. The dual match is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. in Nashville, Tenn., on Friday.
No. 33 Arkansas returns home for its first SEC home dual match against No. 23 Auburn on Friday, March 7. Action is set to begin at noon.
For more information on Arkansas women’s tennis, follow@RazorbackWTENon Twitter.