FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 16th-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team had a valiant effort against the top-ranked Florida Gators, but could not seem to stop a very good team in Florida during singles or doubles and dropped their first SEC match of the season on Sunday afternoon, 7-0, at the Billingsley Tennis Center. This loss to the Gators breaks a three-match winning streak for the Razorbacks that they had coming off the ITA National Indoors Championship.
With the loss Arkansas is now 11-4 overall on the season and 1-1 in SEC play. Florida, on the other hand, is now on a three-match winning streak and is 12-1 on the year with two wins to open conference play.
“We’re pretty encouraged by our play in our first outdoor match,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “We had some real bright spots at four positions in singles, but obviously the weather conditions played in their favor today, but we really improved in a difficult match.”
The day’s doubles matches didn’t go much different than what the Razorbacks saw last year in Gainesville as the Hogs dropped all three matches, which forced them to play from behind as they went into singles. However, the 34th-ranked doubles team of senior Anouk Tigu and sophomore Claudine Paulson certainly had the best match out of any Razorback doubles team as they actually held the lead midway through their match with Allie Will and Alex Cercone, but were not able to close it out in the end and the Gator team took the victory, 8-5.
Moving over into singles, the Hogs seemed to have shown much new life as they were able to get first set wins from juniors Emily Carbone and Stephanie Roy on courts five and three, respectively. At the same time after Paulson and Tigu had lost their first sets to Cercone and Will, both players either were tied or had leads in their second sets, setting the Hogs up nicely with the possibility of getting four singles wins.
Unfortunately, Florida proved in the end why the are the top-ranked team in ITA as they were able to take control of their matches on courts two, four, and six to earn the easy victory. The Gators got the clincher at the six spot when Caroline Hitimana defeated freshman Jade Frampton, 6-3, 6-0. The loss by Frampton breaks a string of eight straight matches won by the Utah native dating back to the Virginia Winter Invite in January.
Arkansas hits the road for their next slate of conference matches as they now head to Starkville and Oxford, Miss. to take on Mississippi State on Friday and Ole Miss on Sunday. The match against the Bulldogs is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m and the match against the Rebels will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday. For complete coverage and information regarding the Razorback women’s tennis team, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. No. 1 Florida 7No. 16 Arkansas 0Complete Doubles ResultsOrder of Finish: 3, 2*, 1No. 1 Allie Will/Alex Cercone (UF) def. #34 Claudine Paulson/Anouk Tigu (ARK) 8-5No. 2 Lauren Embree/Caroline Hitimana (UF) def. Stephanie Roy/Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 8-4No. 3 Sofie Oyen/Olivia Janowicz (UF) def. Jade Frampton/Emily Carbone (ARK) 8-1Complete Singles ResultsOrder of Finish: 2, 6, 4*, 1, 3, 5No. 1 #7 Allie Will (UF) def. #23 Anouk Tigu (ARK) 6-2, 6-2No. 2 #26 Lauren Embree (UF) def. Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 6-1, 6-1No. 3 #21 Joanna Mather (UF) def. Stephanie Roy (ARK) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1No. 4 #35 Alex Cercone (UF) def. Claudine Paulson (ARK) 6-4, 6-4No. 5 #34 Olivia Janowicz (UF) def. Emily Carbone (ARK) 6-7(5), 6-2, 1-0(5)No. 6 #125 Carolina Hitimana (UF) def. Jade Frampton (ARK) 6-3, 6-0