FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas women’s tennis team (10-4) opens Southeastern Conference play when it hosts Missouri at the Dills Indoor Stadium at noon on Sunday, March 1.
Admission is free and open to the public. The match will take place on the indoor courts at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center, located at 1503 Nettleship Street, Fayetteville, AR 72701.
|Arkansas (10-4, 0-0 SEC) vs. Missouri (8-4, 0-0 SEC)|
DATE | TIME
|March 1, 2015 | 12 p.m. CT|
|Billingsley Tennis Center | Fayetteville, Ark.|
LAST TIME OUT (VS. PURDUE | FEB. 21)
The Razorbacks dropped their second match in a row Saturday afternoon, losing 4-3 on a neutral court at the Schwartz Tennis Center against No. 54 Memphis. It was the second consecutive match in which Arkansas was defeated by a 4-3 margin.
Saturday also marked the fifth time in 14 matches this season the U of A has been involved in a match with a final score of 4-3, holding a 2-3 record in those contests. It is also the fourth time in the last five years the Razorbacks have played at least five matches decided by a single point through the season’s first 14 matches.
For the sixth time this season, Arkansas lost the doubles point and fell behind 1-0 early against the Tigers. The doubles point was tightly contested as the two losses for the Razorbacks both came in tiebreakers. Sophomore Oleksandra Shkorupeieva and junior Flavia Araujo made quick work of Morga and McElroy on court three, 6-1. Junior Makenzie Craft and freshman Mia Jurasic suffered a narrow defeat on court two, falling 7-6(3) to Tymchenko and Hughes. In the deciding match that could have gone either way on court one, sophomore Shannon Hudson and junior Yuliya Lysa were outlasted in a lengthy tiebreaker, 7-6(10).
Arkansas rebounded in singles to win four first sets, but would only be able to close out three of those matches. Freshman Mia Jurasic put Arkansas on the board first, collecting her ninth win of the spring and beating Tara McElroy on court six, 6-0, 6-2. Shkorupeieva also earned her ninth win by taking down Alyssa Hibberd on court five, 6-2, 6-2.
Arkansas took a 3-2 lead in the match following Lysa’s 6-1, 6-2 win over Liza Tymchenko on court two. Lysa has won her last five matches in a row and leads the team in singles wins, boasting an 11-1 record.
Memphis was able to battle back and claim the match winning on court one and in the deciding match on court three.
– The Razorbacks have won 10 of their last 13 matches heading into Sunday’s action.
– Yuliya Lysa has won five consecutive matches and leads the team in singles wins (11).
– Arkansas is 10-1 at home this season, with the lone loss coming to Wichita State on Jan. 17.
– Mizzou is 4-4 in road matches this season.
– Arkansas is 4-2 all-time against the Tigers.
– The Razorbacks are one of three SEC programs with double digits wins this season and are the lone SEC school to have double digit home victories this year.
Arkansas opened the season with eight straight matches at the Billingsley Tennis Center. The Razorbacks also played 11 of their first 12 were at home. Overall the U of A will have a total of 18 home matches on 12 home dates. Under Coach Hegarty, the Razorbacks own a record of 95-51 (.651) at home since the 2003-04 season.
IN THE POLLS
In the Feb. 24 ITA poll, the Razorbacks checked in at No. 50. Arkansas has been ranked in 120 consecutive weekly ITA polls dating back to 2008.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT | MISSOURI (8-4):
– Mizzou finished their 2014-15 spring non-conference schedule with an 8-4 record. Among their eight wins, five of those came by convincing shutout fashion. Last time out on Sunday, Feb. 22, the Tigers captured an exciting 4-3 victory at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
– Currently, two Mizzou doubles teams sit with perfect 4-0 records, as juniors Kelli Hine and Madison Rhyner and sophomores Bea Machado Santos and Brittany Lashway have tallied perfect marks.
– Mizzou’s roster of eight players delivered impressive overall numbers during the non-conference season, finishing with a 46-24 record in singles matches and 18-8 doubles record.
– The Tigers rounded out their 2014-15 spring non-conference schedule on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. One day after dropping a close contest at Houston, Mizzou bounced back nicely with a 4-3 victory in Corpus Christi, Texas. Kelli Hine and sophomore Cassidy Spearman each got back on track with singles wins, keying the Tigers’ exciting team victory. The overall match winner came down to the No. 2 singles matchup, and Spearman’s three set victory was the deciding factor.
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 157-133 (.541), 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.