FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 44 Arkansas women’s tennis team (11-6, 1-2 SEC) returns home this weekend to host a pair of nationally-ranked Southeastern Conference opponents. The Razorbacks will battle No. 3 Florida on Friday afternoon before hosting No. 36 South Carolina on Sunday.
|No. 44 Arkansas (11-6, 1-2 SEC) vs. No. 3 Florida (11-1, 3-0 SEC)|
DATE | TIME
|March 13, 2015 | 12 p.m. CT|
|Billingsley Tennis Center | Fayetteville, Ark.|
|No. 44 Arkansas (11-6, 1-2 SEC) vs. No. 36 South Carolina (8-5, 1-3 SEC)|
DATE | TIME
|March 15, 2015 | 11 a.m. CT|
|Billingsley Tennis Center | Fayetteville, Ark.|
|Razorback Tennis visors to the first 50 fans in attendance|
LAST TIME OUT (AT MISSISSIPPI STATE)
After a couple rain delays and a move indoors the No. 44 Arkansas women’s tennis team dropped a 4-1 decision at No. 59 Mississippi State on Sunday (March 8) afternoon at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
MSU got on the board first in doubles, as the duo of Jasmine Lee and Georgiana Patrasc blanked the Arkansas tandem of Makenzie Craft and Mia Jurasic, 8-0, on court two. The loss gave the Razorback duo their first SEC defeat of the season. MSU clinched the doubles clinch point at No. 3, as the duo of Timea Guibe and Louise Ronaldson defeated Nicole Breaux and Sasha Shkorupeieva 8-3.
Doubles play was then suspended following the clinch, with Shannon Hudson and Yuliya Lysa locked in a 6-6 tie on court one against Martina Frantova and Naomi Tran.
In singles action, Mississippi State won matches at No. 3 and No. 2 to take a 3-0 lead in the match. Craft fell to Martina Frantova (No. 3) 6-3, 6-3, while Hudson lost to Jasmine Lee 6-1, 6-1. The Razorbacks picked up their first point of the match (3-1) when Lysa defeated 75th-ranked Georgiana Patrasc at No. 1 (6-3, 6-2).
Following two rain delays that lasted over an hour and half combined, the match was moved indoors to McCarthy Gym. There, Jennifer Brown sealed the win for the Bulldogs on No. 5, as she picked up a 7-5, 6-3 win against Mia Jurasic.
Singles play was suspended with Sasha Shkorupeieva leading Louise Ronaldson 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 at No. 4 and Flavia Araujo trailing Timea Guibe 6-3, 0-2 on court 6.
- The Razorbacks are 11-1 at home this season.
- Yuliya Lysa leads the team in singles wins (13).
- Arkansas is 1-6 against ranked opponents this season.
- The Razorbacks are one of nine SEC programs with double digit wins this season and are the lone SEC school to have double digit home victories this year.
IN THE POLLS
In the March 10 ITA poll, the Razorbacks checked in at No. 44. Arkansas has been ranked in 122 consecutive weekly ITA polls dating back to 2008.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT | FLORIDA:
- Junior Brianna Morgan has clinched a team-leading five matches for the Gators.
- Sophomore Belinda Woolcock has clinched three matches for the Gators this season, including the 4-1 win over Alabama. Woolcock boasts the best dual match singles record on the team (8-1) and is 6-1 in dual match doubles with Spencer Liang at No. 3.
- The Gators are 8-0 in dual matches when winning the doubles point this season. The No. 1 Florida tandem, No. 5-ranked Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan, and No. 3 pairing Spencer Liang and Belinda Woolcock have each dropped just one doubles match in dual matches this season.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT | SOUTH CAROLINA
- South Carolina (8-5, 1-3 SEC) suffered a pair of defeats on the road at Texas A&M and then-No. 46 LSU both by 5-2 scores last week.
- Against the Aggies, South Carolina dropped a close doubles point with the deciding match coming on court two in a tiebreaker. The Gamecocks snagged a couple of victories in singles with Elixane Lechemia upsetting then-No. 54 Saska Gavrilovska at the top position and Hadley Berg grabbing an upset of her own versus then-No. 113 Stefania Hristov at No. 5 singles.
- Carolina took the doubles point from LSU with wins at one and two but only mustered one victory in singles against the Tigers. Ximena Siles Luna registered the lone win at No. 6 singles with a third set super tiebreak win. Lechemia and Meghan Blevins lost their matches in three sets to the Tigers.
- Lechemia’s win against Gavrilovska helped propel her 47 spots in the latest singles rankings to No. 74. Blevins and Brigit Folland reentered the doubles rankings with a No. 45 billing. The duo is a stellar 21-4 this season and has spent most of the spring playing No. 2 doubles. Berg and Caroline Dailey also stayed in the rankings, moving up five spots to No. 53.
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 158-135, 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.
For more information on Arkansas women’s tennis, follow @RazorbackWTEN on Twitter.