FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Opening the 2016 campaign in style, the No. 36 Arkansas women’s tennis team cruised past No. 38 Houston, 6-1, on Saturday. With the win, the Razorbacks are now 34-3 all time in season-opening matches, including a perfect 13-0 under head coach Michael Hegarty.
“It’s always interesting when you play a high-quality opponent to start your season because you don’t have a lot of margin for error,” Hegarty said. “We’re very happy with the way things went today. It was our best season opener in a long time. Everyone stood out. From start to finish, this was a complete performance.”
The Razorbacks started off the 6-1 victory with a strong showing in doubles. Arkansas’ team of Mia Jurasic and Ana Oparenovic downed Houston’s Rocio Martin and Maria Cardenas 6-0 to start off play. The clinching victory came on court two as Shannon Hudson and newcomer Agne Cepelyte teamed up for the first time to defeat the Cougar duo of Mina Markovic and Angela Lorenzo 6-2.
Arkansas continued to roll in singles action and wasted little time in claiming victory. Jurasic blanked Houston’s Martin for a straight-sets victory. Cepelyte and Craft also picked up strong wins, defeating their opponents 6-2, 6-4 and 6-3, 6-2 respectively. Oparenovic followed suit and clinched the match with a 6-2, 7-5 triumph over Houston’s Rupert.
Singles play wrapped up with sophomore Sasha Shkorupeieva picking up a 7-6, 6-3 win over Houston’s Lorenzo and Hudson coming up just short in a three-set affair versus Despoina Vogasari 6-4, 2-6, 10-7.
The Razorbacks will travel to Los Angeles for the ITA Division I Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 22-23, which takes place at 15 campus sites. Arkansas will compete against Fresno State and either UC-Irvine or host UCLA. The 15 schools that win both of their matches at these events will be invited to play in the 2016 ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship hosted by the University of Wisconsin from Feb. 5-8.
1. Despoina Vogasari (UH) def. Shannon Hudson (ARK) 6-4, 2-6, 10-7
2. Ana Oparenovic (ARK) def. Tina Rupert (UH) 6-2, 7-5
3. Makenzie Craft (ARK) def. Mina Markovic (UH) 6-3, 6-2
4. Mia Jurasic (ARK) def. Rocio Martin (UH) 6-1, 6-1
5. Sasha Shkorupeieva (ARK) def. Angela Lorenzo (UH) 7-6, 6-3
6. Agne Cepelyte (ARK) def. Maria Cardenas (UH) 6-2, 6-4
1. Despoina Vogasari/Tina Rupert (UH) def. Makenzie Craft/Flavia Araujo (ARK) 6-4
2. Shannon Hudson/Agne Cepelyte (ARK) def. Mina Markovic/Angela Lorenzo (UH) 6-2
3. Mia Jurasic/Ana Oparenovic (ARK) def. Rocio Martin/Maria Cardenas (UH) 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,6,3,2,5,1)