FAYETTEVILLE – The three Razorbacks playing in the qualifying round of the USTA/ITA Central Regional Championship being hosted this week by Arkansas combined for four victories on Thursday’s first day of the tournament.
Valentina Starkova posted a 6-1, 6-2 win over Anastacia Simons of Southern Illinois and a 6-2, 7-6 (5) win over Jenny Nalepa of Saint Louis.
Jade Frampton beat DePaul’s Earlynn Lauer, 6-2, 6-0, and Claudine Paulson knocked off Caitlin McKenna of Saint Louis, 6-1, 6-2.
"Obviously we had a lot of great starts to matches today, which gave us the advantage to go four-up and none down for the day," head coach Michael Hegarty said. "That will be the key again Friday as the opposition gets stronger."
Starkova, Frampton and Paulson will be joined by several Razorbacks seeded into Friday’s main draw.
Senior Anouk Tigu is No. 1 overall and junior Kate Lukomskaya is No. 7. Junior Emily Carbone is in the alphabetical 9-16 listing of seeds.
Eight Razorbacks are participating in the main draw of the singles tournament, which is the most in program history.
In doubles, Tigu and Paulson are seeded No. 2 overall, and Lukomskaya and Kelsey Sundaram are in the alphabetical 9-16 listing.
Play begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. at the Dills Indoor Stadium and the Billingsley Center.
The tournament runs through Monday.
The singles and doubles winner automatically qualify for the national tournament next month in New York.
USTA/ITA Central Region ChampionshipFayetteville
Arkansas’ Results from Thursday:
Valentina Starkova (Ark) def. Anastacia Simons (SIU), 6-1, 6-2Valentina Starkova (Ark) def. Jenny Nalepa (SLU), 6-2, 7-6 (5)Jade Frampton (Ark) def. Earlynn Lauer (Dep) 6-2, 6-0Claudine Paulson (Ark) def. Caitlin McKenna (SLU) 6-1, 6-2