FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Despite valiant efforts from top to bottom, the Arkansas women’s tennis team fell 6-1 to Tulsa on Friday at Dills Indoor Courts.
“Congrats to Tulsa for their performance tonight,” Arkansas women’s tennis head coach Michael Hegarty said. “Both teams really left it all out there on the court, and I’m certain both teams will be awfully hard to play against in the postseason. We have great respect for their program and wish them luck moving forward.”
In doubles, the pairing of Shannon Hudson and Agne Cepelyte got off to a fast start, winning 6-1 on court two to kick off play. Attention then shifted to the remaining courts where play would be pushed to a tiebreaker in both matches. However, the Golden Hurricane came away with the tight doubles point, picking up a 7-6 (7-3) win on court one followed by the 7-6 (7-4) clinching victory on court three.
With a 1-0 advantage entering singles play, the Golden Hurricane picked up back-to-back wins on courts four and five to build their lead to 3-0.
However, Arkansas did not back down and began to roar back. The Razorbacks grabbed the first set on three of the remaining courts while Tulsa pulled out a 7-5 first-set win on court two. All four courts were pushed to three-set affairs with the Razorbacks in strong position to win on three of them. After being set back in the first set, Ana Oparenovic responded by claiming the second set. However, Tulsa’s Ksenia Laskutova held on to win 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to clinch the overall match. At the clinch, Hudson led 2-6, 6-4, 3-2 on court one, Mia Jurasic led 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 2-0 on court six and Makenzie Craft was up 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 4-3 on court three.
Play on the remaining courts continued after the clinch. Tulsa went on to win on courts one and three, while Jurasic earned a hard-fought 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 7-6 (7-3) victory on court six.
With the loss, the Razorbacks are now 4-3 on the season.
The Razorbacks next play No. 10 Oklahoma State on Friday, Feb. 12 at 5.p.m. at Dills Indoor Courts.
1. Saana Saarteinen (TU) def. Shannon Hudson (ARK) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
2. #95 Ksenia Laskutova (TU) def. Ana Oparenovic (ARK) 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
3. Rongrong Leenabancho (TU) def. Makenzie Craft (ARK) 6-7 (2-7), 6-2, 7-5
4. Marcelina Cichon (TU) def. Sasha Shkorupeieva (ARK) 6-0, 6-1
5. Yelena Nemchen (TU) def. Flavia Araujo (ARK) 6-1, 6-1
6. Mia Jurasic (ARK) def. Renata Kuricova (TU) 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 7-6 (7-3)
1. Ksenia Laskutova/Renata Kuricova (TU) def. Makenzie Craft/Flavia Araujo (ARK) 7-6 (7-3)
2. Agne Cepelyte/Shannon Hudson (ARK) def. #46 Rongrong Leenabancho/Martha Matoula (TU) 6-1
3. Mahitha Dadireddy/Marcelina Cichon (TU) def. Ana Oparenovic/Mia Jurasic (ARK) 7-6 (7-4)
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,5,2,3,1,6)