TULSA, Okla. – Arguably the best season in program history by the 17th-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorback tennis team came to an end on Saturday at the hands of No. 7 UCLA, 4-0, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
“I am real proud of all the accomplishments this team achieved this season,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “We have had great senior leadership, fantastic play by our freshmen, and the heart and soul of our team is the junior class, combining for a great mix.”
The Lady’Backs (18-10) dropped the early doubles point in two close matches and could not seem to recover from the hump. Number 56 Stephanie Wetmore and Elizabeth Lumpkin dropped Maryori Franco, 8-3, while No. 1 Riza Zalameda and Tracy Lin slipped past No. 23 Aurelija Miseviciute and Ea Kaluder, 8-4.
“The biggest difference today was we lost the doubles point,” Hegarty said. “It has been such a boost for us all season and it really knocked us back a bit today.”
Arkansas needed some early energy in singles as they looked to crack into the program’s first ever Final Four appearance. However, the Bruins (22-5) would not let up as they used three straight-set victories to clinch their spot in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Tracy Lin, ranked No. 30 overall in singles, overtook a batting Kaluder, 6-2, 6-2, giving UCLA a 2-0 lead. Next, No. 42 Yasmin Schnack got past Anouk Tigu, 6-2, 6-1, setting up for No. 54 Andrea Remynse’s, 6-2, 6-2, match-cincher over Airapetian.
Although the final score displayed a shutout, the Lady’Backs gave valiant efforts on many courts, including those unfinished. Miseviciute, ranked No.1 in the nation, zoomed past No. 8 Zalameda in the first set, 6-3. Freshman Delia Damaschin went to a tie-breaker in the first set against No. 124 Alex McGoodwin, while Audrey Bordeleau was up, 2-0, in the third set against No. 105 Lumpkin.
“We almost swayed the momentum in our favor early in singles, but just could not cut that corner to give us the upper hand,” Hegarty said.
The Lady’Back team season may be over, but Miseviciute and Kaluder will play more tennis beginning on Wednesday, May 21, at the NCAA Singles and Doubles
Championships. Miseviciute will be competing in singles, while she and Kaluder will look to make a run in doubles action. Be sure to visit LADYBACKS.COM to find out how the two junior fair in next weeks’ championships.
1. #1 Aurelija Miseviciute (UA) led. #8 Riza Zalameda (UCLA), 6-3, 3-6.
2. #30 Tracy Lin (UCLA) def. #73 Ela Kaluder (UA), 6-2, 6-2.
3. #42 Yasmin Schnack (UCLA) def. Anouk Tigu (UA), 6-2, 6-1.
4. #54 Andrea Remynse (UCLA) def. Nanar Airapetian (UA), 6-2, 6-2.
5. Audrey Bordeleau (UA) led. 105 Elizabeth Lumpkin (UCLA), 6-4, 1-6, 2-0.
6. #124 Alex McGoodwin (UCLA) led Delia Damaschin (UA), 7-6(3), 5-0.
Match Notes: (Order of Finish: 2,3,4*)
1. #1 Riza Zalameda/Tracy Lin (UCLA) def. #29 Aurelija Miseviciute/Ela Kaluder (UA), 8-4.
2. #56 Stephanie Wetmore/Elizabeth Lumpkin (UCLA) def. Maryori Franco/Nanar Airapetian (UA), 8-3.
3. Audrey Bordeleau/Anouk Tigu led. Yasmin Schnack/Alex McGoodwin (UCLA), 7-5.
Match Notes: (Order of Finish: 2,1*)