GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Arkansas women’s tennis team fell 7-0 in its Southeastern Conference opener at No. 15 Florida at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex Thursday.
With the setback, the Razorbacks move to 6-5 (0-1) on the season. The Gators improve to 6-2 (1-0) and have now won 152 straight dual matches at home, dating back to the 2005 season. It is the longest active home-win streak among Division I programs.
“We ran into a bit of a buzz saw tonight,” Arkansas women’s tennis head coach Michael Hegarty said. “I felt like we were right with them in doubles. Credit to Florida for its singles play. They showed why they are a solid favorite for the NCAA title. We had some good moments in singles and will use tonight to help us as we move forward.”
The Razorbacks put up a spirited fight in doubles as all three courts were tied 3-3 early. But the Gators eventually pulled away, winning 6-2 on court one and 6-3 on court two to claim the competitive doubles point. The Razorback duo of freshman Ana Oparenovic and sophomore Mia Jurasic led 5-4 and were one game away from victory at the clinch.
With a 1-0 advantage, Florida kept up its momentum by winning five of six opening sets in singles. Arkansas tried to battle back in its second frames, but the Gators held strong, picking up two wins to extend their lead to 3-0. Florida’s No. 12 Brooke Austin defeated Oparenovic 6-0, 6-3 on court one and No. 67 Anna Danilina beat junior Sasha Shkorupeieva 6-4, 6-0 on court five.
The Razorbacks needed to win the remaining four matches, but the Gators captured the last team point it needed when Spencer Liang defeated Jurasic 6-2, 6-1 to earn the overall match victory.
The Gators went on to win on the remaining three courts. However, junior Shannon Hudson did not make it easy for Florida’s No. 6 Belinda Woolcock. Hudson split the first two sets before ultimately being held off in the 10-point tiebreaker. Despite a valiant effort, Hudson fell 7-5, 6-7, 0-1 (8) in the three-set affair that lasted two hours and 42 minutes.
The Razorbacks next play No. 12 South Carolina Saturday at the Carolina Tennis Center. First serve is slated for noon CT.
Arkansas vs. Florida
March 3, 2016 at Gainesville, Fla.
(Ring Tennis Complex)
#15 Florida 7, #35 Arkansas 0
1. #12 Brooke Austin (FLA) def. Ana Oparenovic (ARK) 6-0, 6-3
2. #6 Belinda Woolcock (FLA) def. Shannon Hudson (ARK) 5-7, 7-6, 1-0 (10-8)
3. #30 Kourtney Keegan (FLA) def. Yuliya Lysa (ARK) 6-2, 7-5
4. #88 Brianna Morgan (FLA) def. Makenzie Craft (ARK) 6-1, 6-3
5. #67 Anna Danilina (FLA) def. Sasha Shkorupeieva (ARK) 6-4, 6-0
6. Spencer Liang (FLA) def. Mia Jurasic (ARK) 6-2, 6-1
1. #7 Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan (FLA) def. Makenzie Craft/Flavia Araujo (ARK) 6-2
2. Anna Danilina/Brianna Morgan (FLA) def. Yuliya Lysa/Shannon Hudson (ARK) 6-3
3. Mia Jurasic/Ana Oparenovic (ARK) def. Spencer Liang/Peggy Porter (FLA) 5-4
Arkansas 6-5; National ranking #35
Florida Gators (W) 6-2; National ranking #15
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,5,6,4,3,2)