FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 16th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team finished off their non-conference season on Sunday afternoon with a 5-2 victory over No. 44 Rice at the Billingsley Tennis Center. This win for the Razorbacks is their 10th of season and continues a great start for a team that has a lot of momentum heading into conference play.
Arkansas (10-3), who lost to Rice (8-4) a year before, had no trouble securing the doubles point against the Owls and then went on to secure three out of the first four singles matches to go final and earn the victory.
“We’re definitely please with this strong performance heading into conference play,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “I liked our spirit and our energy right from the very start as we continue to play better and better.”
Starting the morning off in doubles, the Razorbacks definitely were not getting the same type of match they had against Colorado two days ago as the Owls hung with the Hogs throughout. Arkansas did get the first doubles victory at court one from the 37th-ranked team of senior Anouk Tigu and sophomore Claudine Paulson over Rebekka Hanle and Ana Guzman, 8-3. That win for Tigu and Paulson was their 16th win overall this year and ninth in dual match play.
The remaining two doubles matches were not as easy. Both courts remained close with Arkansas out in front on court three and Rice out in front on court two, but eventually the Hogs would win on court three to get the doubles point. Freshman Jade Frampton and sophomore Valentina Starkova won their fifth match of the dual season against Daniella Trigo and Jessica Jackson, 8-5, and giving Arkansas their second straight doubles point in as many matches.
Moving into singles, the Owls struck first on court two and tie things up at one point a piece after their lone ranked player, No. 110 Dominique Harmath defeated junior Kate Lukomskaya in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. But the Hogs were not about to let the score stay tied for long after junior Emily Carbone won her own straight set match against Trigo on court five, 6-2, 6-3, pushing the Hogs back out in front, 2-1.
It was all Arkansas from there as the Razorbacks won two consecutive matches on courts four and six and earn the easy victory. Paulson ended up being the clinching point winner on court four after bouncing back from a 3-6 first set loss to Guzman to win the final two sets, 6-2, 6-1. The win for Paulson was her 15th overall and her 8th in dual play, good for third on the team. The final two matches were played out because it was a non-conference matchup and both Arkansas and Rice split the final two.
With their non-conference season now in the books for 2011, the Razorbacks now set their sights on SEC play and their first opponents will come in the form of South Carolina on Friday, Mar. 4th. That match will be followed on Sunday against Florida. Both matches will be played at the Billingsley Tennis Center and start times are set for noon on both days. For all information regarding the Razorback women’s tennis team, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. No. 44 Rice 2No. 16 Arkansas 5Complete Doubles ResultsOrder of Finish: 1, 3*, 2No. 1 #37 Anouk Tigu/Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Rebekka Hanle/Ana Guzman (RICE) 8-3No. 2 Dominique Harmath/Alex Rasch (RICE) def. Kate Lukomskaya/Stephanie Roy (ARK) 8-5No. 3 Jade Frampton/Valentina Starkova (ARK) def. Daniella Trigo/Jessica Jackson (RICE) 8-5Complete Singles Results Order of Finish: 2, 5, 6, 4*, 3, 1No. 1 #16 Anouk Tigu (ARK) def. Rebekka Hanle (RICE) 6-4, 7-6(2)No. 2 #110 Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 6-1, 6-2No. 3 Jessica Jackson (RICE) def. Stephanie Roy (ARK) 4-6, 7-5, 1-0(10)No. 4 Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Ana Guzman (RICE) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1No. 5 Emily Carbone (ARK) def. Daniella Trigo (RICE) 6-2, 6-3No. 6 Jade Frampton (ARK) def. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) 6-2, 7-5