FAYETTEVILLE — The 43rd-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team concludes its regular season Saturday when it travels to Baton Rouge, La. to take on the 37th-ranked LSU Tigers. Saturday’s match will be the final regular season match for the team this spring with the Southeastern Conference Tournament taking place next week and then the NCAA Tournament two weeks after.
The Razorbacks come into the match with the Tigers with a 10-12 record and are 2-8 in the conference. Even with a sub .500 record, the team has continued to fight for a berth in the NCAA Tournament and has a good chance to solidify that berth with Saturday’s match against a ranked LSU team.
“We want to play our best tennis at this very critical point in the season,” Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. “I think this last match is very important for us because LSU is ranked right near us. Both teams are fighting for postseason positioning. I think we all are going to play with a high degree of intensity. At this time of the year, you don’t want to be a team on the outside because of poor results down the stretch. I expect us to play our best tennis of the season and if we do that I think we’ll be in good shape.”
The women are coming off a tough 7-0 shutout to 26th-ranked Tulsa on Wednesday, but have seen some bright spots over the past few weeks, especially in doubles. Sophomore Laurie Gingras and junior Claudine Paulson have been the de facto No. 1 doubles team for the Razorbacks since dual play began as they have won seven matches at the top spot, three of which have been against ranked teams. The duo was even ranked themselves at one point during the season, receiving a No. 75 ranking prior to the Georgia and Tennessee matches.
“They’re playing some good doubles together,” Hegarty said. “They’re obviously a new team this year and are going to return intact next season. For them to be having good success at number one doubles right now is a positive thing for us.”
Also, seniors Emily Carbone and Stephanie Roy are 15-14 on the year in doubles and scored their first ranked win of the year against Tennessee by defeating 12th-ranked Brynn Boren and Sarah Toti. The Hog duo is 10-11 in dual matches and has nine wins at the No. 2 position for the Razorbacks.
LSU comes into Saturday’s match with an 11-10 record and are currently 4-6 in league play. Olivia Howlett and Keri Frankenberger are tied for the team lead with 11 dual match singles victories on the season, and Yvette Vlaar is right behind them with 10 solo triumphs to her name. Wolf and Frankenberger have 10 doubles wins together this spring also, while Howlett and Vlaar have nine as a pair.
Saturday’s match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. in Baton Rouge, La. Live stats will be available and a full match recap with complete results will be posted online following the day’s play.
For complete coverage of the Razorback women’s tennis team or University athletics, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.