FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 38 Arkansas women’s tennis team (12-7, 2-3 SEC) hits the road this weekend to battle a pair of nationally-ranked Southeastern Conference opponents. The Razorbacks will battle No. 20 Kentucky on Friday night before taking on No. 12 Vanderbilt on Sunday.
|No. 38 Arkansas (12-7, 2-3 SEC) vs. No. 20 Kentucky (11-1, 3-0 SEC)|
DATE | TIME
|March 20, 2015 | 5 p.m. CT|
|Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex | Lexington, Ky.|
|No. 38 Arkansas (12-7, 2-3 SEC) vs. No. 12 Vanderbilt (12-6, 3-2 SEC)|
DATE | TIME
|March 22, 2015 | 1 p.m. CT|
|Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center | Nashville, Tenn.|
LAST TIME OUT (at No. 36 South Carolina)
The No. 44 Arkansas women’s tennis team picked up their 12th home victory and second conference win of the season as they upset No. 36 South Carolina, 4-3, at the Billingsley Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.
Arkansas got on the board first in doubles. The Gamecocks’ No. 45-ranked duo of Brigit Folland and Meghan Blevins defeated Makenzie Craft and Mia Jurasic 8-4 at No. 2, but the Razorback tandem of Shannon Hudson and Yuliya Lysa responded by knocking off the No. 53 ranked doubles team of Caroline Dailey and Hadley Berg 8-6 and putting the deciding match on court three.
At No. 3 doubles, Flavia Araujo and Sasha Shkorupeieva led 7-6 over Megen Cochran and Elixane Lechemia, but the Gamecocks managed to get the match into a tiebreaker. The Razorbacks prevailed in the breaker by an 8-6 score to secure the doubles point heading into singles play.
In singles, courts three and four finished first, with each team taking a match. On No. 3 Craft defeated Folland in straight sets 7-5, 6-2. Blevins scored the Gamecocks’ first point of the match with a 6-2, 6-3 decision over Shkorupeieva at No. 4 singles.
The Razorbacks moved their advantage to 3-1 after Araujo held on for a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Cochran at No. 6, but Lechemia pulled the Gamecocks within one point of the lead with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Lysa at No. 1 singles.
Down a set and in a second set tiebreaker on court two, Dailey tried to keep SC’s hopes alive but Hudson closed the door on the comeback attempt and picked up the 6-2, 7-6(3) win to clinch the match for the home team. Hudson is now 6-5 at No. 2 and 7-6 in dual action this season.
The final match of the afternoon saw Siles Luna defeat Jurasic 6-3, 6-4 at five.
– The Razorbacks are 0-4 on the road this season.
– Yuliya Lysa leads the team in singles wins (13).
– Arkansas is 2-7 against ranked opponents this season.
IN THE POLLS
In the March 17 ITA poll, the Razorbacks checked in at No. 38. Arkansas has been ranked in 123 consecutive weekly ITA polls dating back to 2008.
ARAUJO NAMED RED TIE HONOREE
Junior Flavia Araujo was named the 2015 Red Tie Honoree for the Female Spirit of the Razorback Award, as announced by the University of Arkansas Athletic Department and the Razorback Foundation on Dec. 31. Each year, the Razorbacks recognize student-athletes whose performance throughout his or her career serves to lift up their sport to new heights and whose character exemplifies the goals of the athletic department. The 18th annual Red Tie Dinner was held Feb. 21, 2015, in Rogers, Ark. A steady contributor on the court, Araujo was also named the 2013-14 Lee Spencer Individual champion for her community service endeavors and overall commitment to the university.
Arkansas women’s tennis all-time winningest coach with a record of 159-136, Michael Hegarty (Auburn, ’94) is in his 12th season as head coach of the Razorbacks. He has led the Hogs to seven NCAA Tournament appearances in his first 11 years.
Fresh faces are abound in the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center this season. A total of eight newcomers come aboard for the Razorbacks this season. Here’s a breakdown of the newcomers. Junior Makenzie Craft (Frisco, Texas) transferred in after spending her freshman season with Georgia and her sophomore season with Baylor. Craft certainly brings with her a championship pedigree as she was a part of Georgia’s 2013 SEC Championship team and Baylor’s 2014 Big 12 Championship team. She compiled a 27-22 overall singles record during her first two collegiate years. Junior Nicole Breaux (Lafayette, La.) comes to Fayetteville after transferring from Louisiana-Lafayette. Breaux competed at the top of the singles and doubles lineup for the Ragin’ Cajuns, amassing a 28-34 singles record over two seasons. Junior Yuliya Lysa is in her first season and comes to Arkansas by way of Khmelnytsky, Ukraine. Sophomore Nastassia Rubel (Minsk, Belarus) is in her first season with the Razorbacks, bringing with her a world ranking of No. 188 on the ITF junior tour. Sophomore Elly Fryberger (Littleton, Colo.) is in her first season after transferring from Kansas. Freshmen Mia Jurasic (Ogulin, Croatia) and Peyton Jennings (Tulsa, Okla.) will both be competing in their first collegiate matches. Jurasic is the Croatian 16 and under national champion while Jennings claimed back-to-back Oklahoma state titles at No. 1 singles her junior and senior year.
The eighth newcomer is assistant coach Luc Godin. Godin joins Hegarty’s staff and the Razorbacks after previously serving as the men’s and women’s assistant at Louisiana-Lafayette in 2013-14. He is familiar with the SEC, however, as he was an assistant for the Auburn women’s team from 2011-13.
The Razorbacks finished the 2013-14 season with a 13-16 overall mark, including 2-11 in SEC play. Arkansas finished the season ranked No. 59 in the final ITA poll.
Arkansas brings back three players from last year’s squad. Returning are junior Flavia Araujo and sophomores Shannon Hudson and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva.
AT A GLANCE: 2014 FALL
The Razorbacks competed in six team tournaments throughout the fall schedule. Sophomore Oleksandra Shkorupeieva led the team in wins, posting a 12-2 record. Additionally, she won her flight championship at the Oklahoma Sooner Invitational and also won three straight matches at the ITA Central Regional Championships, advancing out of the qualifying bracket and into the main draw’s Round of 32. Sophomore Shannon Hudson was selected to compete in the singles qualifying draw at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships and finished the fall with an 8-6 singles record. Junior Makenzie Craft posted an 8-7 fall singles record and advanced all the way to the Round of 16 at the ITA Central Regional.
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