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Razorbacks fall victim to Longhorns

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks fall victim to Longhorns

NORMAN, OKLA. — The No. 24 Razorback women’s tennis were defeated by No. 16 Texas on Saturday, 4-0, in second round play of the 2010 NCAA Women’s Tennis Tournament. With the loss, the Hogs fall just short of reaching the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year and finish the season with a record of 18-10 and 6-5 in the Southeastern Conference, good for second in the Western Division.

“Obviously, we are extremely disappointed with the result today,” said head coach Michael Hegarty. “We had the doubles point in our hands and having that slip away hurt us a bunch.”

The Razorbacks handily defeated Oklahoma the day before, but got a much tougher opponent in Texas, who made it to the second round after dropping Wichita State, 4-0 on Friday.

Starting off in doubles play, the Longhorns were the ones to gain the first victory as the team of Amanda Craddock and Krista Damico defeated junior Anouk Tigu and freshman Valentina Starkova, 8-5, at court two. However, the Hogs were able to even the doubles victories at one a piece after freshman Claudine Paulson and sophomore Stephanie Roy dropped Sarah Lancaster and Caroline Larsson, 8-6.

The first team point of the match came down to court one, where the tandem of sophomore Kate Lukomskaya and freshman Kelsey Sundaram were once again involved in a close match with the highly-ranked doubles team of Vanja Corovic and Aeriel Ellis. After being tied up at seven, the No. 49 team pulled out the victory, 9-7, to give UT the doubles point heading into singles.

Texas took that momentum into singles play and didn’t let up as they got the first singles victory of the day at court two. Damico scored a straight set victory over Lukomskaya, 6-2, 6-3, giving the Longhorns a quick 2-0 lead.

UT extended that lead even more at the number six spot after Larsson dropped Starkova in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. The clinching point came at court three when Corovic defeated sophomore Emily Carbone, 6-0, 6-3.

“The team battled back well in singles,” said Hegarty. “That was no surprise as we did that all year long. This NCAA experience was invaluable to such a young squad and there is no question that the best is still to come for them.”

As the winners of this second round match, Texas will now face the number one overall seed, Baylor Bears, in the Sweet 16 to be played at the University of Georgia.

With the team portion of the season now complete for the Razorbacks, they now turn their sights to individual competition as their number one player, Anouk Tigu, will begin her competition in the NCAA Singles Championships. This is the first trip for Tigu to the tournament as she will compete against the top players in the nation. Tournament competition will begin on May 26th and run through May 31st at the Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga.

For continuing coverage of Tigu’s run through the NCAA Singles Tournament, be sure to log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.comNo. 16 Texas 4No. 24 Arkansas 0Doubles ResultsOrder of Finish: 2, 3, 1*No. 1 #49 Vanja Corovic/Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. Kate Lukomskaya/Kelsey Sundaram (ARK) 9-7No. 2 Amanda Craddock/Krista Damico (UT) def. Anouk Tigu/Valentina Starkova (ARK) 8-5No. 3 Claudine Paulson/Stephanie Roy (UT) def. Sarah Lancaster/Caroline Larsson (ARK) 8-6Singles ResultsOrder of Finish: 2, 6, 3*No. 1 #24 Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. #29 Anouk Tigu (ARK) 6-3, 5-6, susp.No. 2 #63 Krista Damico (UT) def. #125 Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) 6-2, 6-3No. 3 #75 Vanja Corovic (UT) def. Emily Carbone (ARK) 6-0, 6-3No. 4 Kelsey Sundaram (ARK) vs. Maggie Mello (UT) 4-6, 6-2, 2-2, susp.No. 5 Sarah Lancaster (UT) vs. Stephanie Roy (ARK) 7-5, 3-1, susp.No. 6 Caroline Larsson (UT) def. Valentina Starkova (ARK) 6-4, 6-1



Sports Category : Tennis (W)