FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team rounded out its season-opening tripleheader on Saturday at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center with a 2-1 record. The No. 54-ranked Razorbacks dropped their first match of the season, falling in a tightly contested battle to No. 55 Wichita State, 4-3. Arkansas then swept Mercer in back-to-back matches, 4-0, 4-0, to give the Razorbacks their first two victories on the season.
“Today was a really good first day of competition for us,” 12th-year head coach Michael Hegarty said. “We played a lot of tennis. We played against a fantastic team in Wichita State and got beat in a very tight match and then came out strong and took a doubleheader from Mercer.
Hegarty also noted he liked his team’s enthusiasm on the first day of the season.
“This team knows it has a lot of room for growth and a lot of ability. We have the long gain in mind with this group and they’re working very, very hard and today was just a very good start.”
The Razorbacks opened their season playing against a ranked opponent for the fourth time in Hegarty’s 12 years as coach. Wichita State edged Arkansas in doubles, winning matches on courts two and three. Sophomore Shannon Hudson and junior Yuliya Lysa claimed a 6-2 win on court one over Rebecca Pedrazzi and Lucia Kovalova.
In singles, Hudson defeated Gabriela Porubin in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4. Sophomore Oleksandra Shkorupeieva gave Arkansas its second singles point of the match, cruising to a 6-2, 6-3 win. Wichita State won matches on courts six and two, giving the Shockers a 3-2 lead. Arkansas would need wins from both Makenzie Craft on court one and Lysa on court four, who both were down a set, to pull off the comeback. In a match that could have gone either way, WSU’s Julia Schiller edged out Craft, 7-6(5), 7-5 to clinch the match and give the Shockers the win.
Lysa completed the comeback in her own match, coming back to win in three tough sets, 6-7(7), 7-5, 7-6(7).
Arkansas ended up playing Mercer in a doubleheader to conclude the day. The Razorbacks won by the same margin in both matches, 4-0, 4-0 and the second match was competed as singles only.
Shkorupeieva won both matches against Mercer, improving her dual play record to 3-0. She double-bageled both of her Mercer foes, beating Roxy Bartz 6-0, 6-0, and Haley Powell 6-0, 6-0.
Junior Nicole Breaux and freshman Mia Jurasic each started their season off to a 2-0 record following a pair of singles wins in the doubleheader.
Lysa finished the day 2-0 in singles after dismantling Mercer’s Laura Kelly, 6-0, 6-0. Lysa, a Khmelnnytsky, Ukraine, native, is a spring semester enrollee for the Razorbacks who joined the team this month. She sparkled in her Razorback and collegiate debut, amassing a 3-0 mark in singles and doubles combined.
“Yuliya looked great today,” Hegarty said. “We have high expectations for her coming in. She certainly delivered on the first day really well. The whole group looked really strong as a matter of fact.
Up next, Arkansas will host a doubleheader on Friday, Jan. 23, playing UC-Santa Barbara at 11 a.m. and Southern Illinois at 5 p.m., before facing No. 24 Oklahoma on Sunday, Jan. 25, at 12 p.m. All matches will be held at the Billingsley Tennis Center and admission is free.
RESULTS – NO. 55 WICHITA STATE 4, NO. 54 ARKANSAS 3
1) Hudson/Lysa (UA) def. Pedrazzi/Kovalova (WSU) 6-2
2) Porubin/Schiller (WSU) def. Craft/Rubel (UA) 6-4
3) Trifunovic/Pump (WSU) def. Pang/Shkorupeieva (UA) 6-3
1) Julia Schiller (WSU) def. Makenzie Craft (UA) 7-6(5), 7-5
2) Rebecca Pedrazzi (WSU) def. Yang Pang (UA) 6-0, 6-4
3) Shannon Hudson (UA) def. Gabriela Porubin (WSU) 6-1, 6-4
4) Yuliya Lysa (UA) def. Abby Stevens (WSU) 6-7(7), 7-5, 7-6(7)
5) Sasha Shkorupeieva (UA) def. Lucia Kovalova (WSU) 6-2, 6-3
6) Aleks Trifunovic (WSU) def. Nastassia Rubel (UA) 6-3, 6-1
RESULTS (FIRST MATCH) – NO. 54 ARKANSAS 4, MERCER 0
1)Shkorupeieva/Rubel (UA) def. Fougner/Korta (MER) 6-0
2) Breaux/Araujo (UA) def. Bartz/Powell (MER) 6-0
3) Jennings/Jurasic (UA) vs. Klyachkin/Kelly (MER) 5-2, unf.
1) Shannon Hudson (UA) vs. Grace Korta (MER) 6-3, 4-0, unf.
2) Yang Pang (UA) vs. Xandra Fougner (MER) 5-5, unf.
3) Sasha Shkorupeieva (UA) def. Roxy Bartz (MER) 6-0, 6-0
4) Mia Jurasic (UA) def. Laura Kelly (MER) 6-2, 6-2
5) Flavia Araujo (UA) def. Haley Powell (MER) 6-4, 2-2, unf.
6) Nicole Breaux (UA) def. Liza Klyachkin (MER) 6-1, 6-2
RESULTS (SECOND MATCH) – NO. 54 ARKANSAS 4, MERCER 0
1) Shannon Hudson (UA) vs. Grace Korta (MER) 6-0, 3-0, unf.
2) Makenzie Craft (UA) vs. Xandra Foughner (MER) 6-4, 2-0, unf.
3) Yuliya Lysa (UA) def. Laura Kelly (MER) 6-0, 6-0
4) Sasha Shkorupeieva (UA) def. Haley Powell (MER) 6-0, 6-0
5) Mia Jurasic (UA) def. Roxy Bartz (MER) 6-0, 6-1
6) Nicole Breaux (UA) vs. Liza Klyachkin (MER) 6-1, 6-1
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