FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Age was just another number for the University of Arkansas women’s tennis team, who as a young and eager group of Razorbacks made great strides and put together a number of highlights during the 2013-14 season.
Take a look back at some of the memorable moments and performances from this past season.
@RazorbackWTEN Begins Spring With Pair Of Home WinsThe University of Arkansas women’s tennis team (2-0) got its spring season off to the right start with a doubleheader sweep of Wichita State at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, Ark., on Sunday.
Led by No. 115 Shannon Hudson and Kimberley – Ann Surin each going 3-0 individually on the day, the Razorbacks began with a 4-2 dual-match win and then locked up the sweep with a 4-3 win over the Shockers.
It marked the second straight season in which Arkansas has opened 2-0, as the Razorbacks went match-for-match against a formidable foe in Wichita State that has won five straight Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament championships.
“It was a total team effort out there today,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “I know the team is excited about the growth that we are already seeing in our team. It is also definitely a confidence builder to get two good wins today. Wichita State is even better than we already knew and they will be in the NCAA Tournament.”
Echoing the words of Coach Hegarty, every Razorback got into the win column at least once against the Shockers, including freshmen Hudson and Shkorupeieva earning their first career spring-season wins at Arkansas.
Four Razorbacks opened the day with singles wins to clinch the first dual-match win, after both coaches decided to lead the first match with singles and have doubles play be determinate upon a potential 3-all situation. No. 71 Yang Pang, Hudson, Surin and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva each opened their year with wins, combining for a 4-2 Arkansas victory.
Hudson teamed up with Sarah McLean in the second dual match and defeated the ITA Central Region No. 7 doubles pairing of Schiller/Stevens, 6-4.
In the second dual match, Surin and Hudson kept their runs going by earning doubles wins and helping Arkansas take an early 1-0 lead. Surin and Hudson struck again for their second singles wins of the day, closing out what was an undefeated (3-0) individual day of competition for the pair. Up 3-1, Brittany Huxley provided the dual-match point for the Razorbacks with a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) victory over Satjaporn Mahajaroenkul.
Hudson Earns SEC Freshman of the Week HonorHelping the No. 51 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team (2-0) to a sweep in its season-opening doubleheader on Sunday, Shannon Hudson was named SEC Freshman of the Week by the league office on Wednesday.
The Virginia Beach, Va., native went 3-0 individually in the team’s pair of dual matches against Wichita State, earning a pair wins at No. 2 singles and also teaming with Sarah McLean for an upset of the ITA Central Region No. 7 doubles team of Schiller/Stevens.
Ranked No. 115 for singles in the ITA National Rankings and No. 13 in the ITA Central Region Rankings, Hudson’s perfect day helped lift the Razorbacks to 4-2 and 4-3 dual-match wins over WSU and got the team off to a 2-0 start for the second straight season.
“Shannon had a very nice opener individually speaking, but more importantly she showed herself to be an elite team player so early in her career,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “It’s exciting as her coach to see all the different ways in which she helps our team be successful.”
Hudson became the first Razorback to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors since current teammate Yang Pang was recognized last season for the week of March 6, 2013.
Hudson had shown signs of her readiness to make an immediate impact during the team’s 2013 fall season, earning a 7-2 overall record in singles play. A blue-chip recruit out of Colonial High School, Hudson was ranked No. 18 in the tennis recruiting class of 2013.
@RazorbackWTEN Tops No. 55 Kansas State, 4-2The No. 51 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team (3-0) remained unbeaten and earned a 4-2 victory over No. 55 Kansas State (0-1) in the first round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kickoff Weekend at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts in Athens, Ga., on Friday.
Opening with the doubles point and a win at number two singles, the Razorbacks jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, but the Wildcats fought back and made things interesting by trimming the lead to 3-2. Arkansas ultimately ended the comeback bid, clinching the 4-2 win with a straight-set victory at number six singles.
“It was the tale of two matches out there today,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “For the first 2.5 hours, we were fantastic across the board. We had very sharp doubles play and some quality singles work. The last hour was not quite as impressive, so hopefully we can be more complete as a group for the whole match tomorrow.”
Arkansas started the dual match with an early 2-0 advantage, taking both the doubles point and a win at number two singles courtesy Hudson. Having been named SEC Freshman of the Week on Wednesday, Hudson played a large role in the quick start, continuing her strong freshman-season debut by improving to 3-0 in singles play and 2-0 in doubles.
No. 42 Petra Niedermayerova helped the Wildcats trim the lead to 2-1 with her 6-1, 2-6, 1-0 (10-5) win at number one singles over No. 71 Yang Pang, in what was a battle of ITA-ranked foes.
Sarah McLean gave the Razorbacks a 3-1 lead with her win at number three singles, but Iva Bago bested Kimberley – Ann Surin in a grueling match at number four singles, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-1), 1-0 (10-6), which allowed the Wildcats to pull back within one at 3-2.
Freshman Oleksandra Shkorupeieva clinched the victory for the Razorbacks, locking up a straight-set victory at number six singles (6-3, 7-5) that closed out the 4-2 Arkansas win.
@RazorbackWTEN Sweeps No. 63 North Texas, 7-0The No. 49 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team (4-1) wasted no time earning its second win over a ranked opponent this season, cruising to a 7-0 victory over No. 63 North Texas at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday.
The Razorbacks jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead by taking the doubles point with wins from Yang Pang and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva, as well as Sarah McLean and Shannon Hudson.
Showing no signs of letting up, Arkansas then went on to a 6-0 sweep in singles play with each Razorback earning a win on the night.
“I was particularly pleased with how we came out in doubles and clearly took a step forward from last weekend to the point where we looked strong in doubles,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “Today, I was also impressed with how we kept the foot on the gas pedal all the way to the end against an extremely well coached team.”
The Mean Green have won three Sun Belt Conference championships the last four years under the direction of head coach Sujay Lama, including back-to-back crowns in 2012 and 2013. North Texas also entered coming off a trip to the NCAA tournament last season.
Postseason aspirations of their own, Surin rolled to a 6-1, 6-1, win over Alexis Thoma at the four spot, followed by Pang defeating Anastasia Shestakova, 6-0, 6-2, on court one to give Arkansas a 3-0 lead. Shkorupeieva clinched the match point at No. 6, defeating Dane Joubert 6-3, 6-3.
#NeverYield: @RazorbackWTEN Rallies, Stuns MissouriTrailing 3-0 on the road at Missouri, the freshmen and sophomore quartet of Shannon Hudson, Yang Pang, Oleksandra Shkorupeieva and Flavia Araujo never wavered, dug in and began their fight willing the No. 39 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team to a 4-3 victory in Columbia, Mo., on Sunday.
After the Tigers (5-12, 0-6 SEC) won the doubles point and quickly claimed two straight singles matches for a 3-0 lead, the young group of Razorbacks (8-9, 1-5 SEC) began their march back and helped UA secure its first conference win of the season.
Freshman Hudson set the tone and established early momentum, claiming a 6-3, 6-4, win over Kelli Hine at No. 2 singles and gave UA its first team point of the dual match.
Pang kept the momentum growing, grinding out a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, win over Cierra Gaytan-Leach at No. 1 singles. The sophomore from Nanjing, China, won her second straight SEC singles match and also avenged two prior losses she suffered to Gaytan-Leach last season.
Shkorupeieva answered the call next, as the freshman stepped up and took care of Cassidy Spearman at No. 5 singles with a win in straight sets (6-3, 6-3) to tie the dual match at 3-3 with just one court remaining.
Tied 6-6 in the first set, Araujo pulled out a tight first set victory and went on to finish off Tracy Dong, 7-6 (8-6), 7-5, at No. 6 singles and clinched the dual match victory for the Razorbacks.
“This was a total team effort out here in difficult conditions today,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “We have been very close to big wins like this and I give full credit to our players for only getting stronger the more we build further into this season.
“We have many more matches of this intensity ahead of us and I know we are excited for that challenge.”
Doubles Upset Sparks @RazorbackWTEN To Win Over Mississippi StateAn early doubles upset from Yang Pang and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva sparked the No. 46 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team to a 4-1 win over No. 69 Mississippi State at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, Ark., on Sunday.
The Razorbacks (10-10, 2-6 SEC) earned their second conference win of the season over the Bulldogs (9-9, 1-7 SEC) and fifth over an RPI opponent this season, improving to 6-5 at home this season. It was also the fourth win for UA this season over an opponent at the time or currently ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
“We’re definitely encouraged by the hunger and energy we came out with in the doubles today,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “We also carried that hunger and energy over better into the singles than we did on Friday. Mississippi State plays very hard and this win was well earned.”
DUAL MATCH RECAP:- Arkansas 1-0: Surin/Araujo ran past Dion/Guibe in convincing fashion at No. 2 doubles with an 8-1 victory and gave the Razorbacks an early edge in the doubles point. Pang/Shkorupeieva then upset No. 40 Perper/Tran at No. 1 doubles in convincing fashion, 8-1, and clinched the doubles point for Arkansas. The win marked the first over a ranked doubles team for Pang/Shkorupeieva this season and gave the pair a team-leading third SEC doubles win. Shkorupeieva leads all Razorbacks with a team-high nine individual doubles wins. – Arkansas 2-0: Kimberley – Ann Surin put away Naomi Tran at No. 5 singles with an ace on match point. The sophomore from Montreal, Canada, earned her first SEC win in singles play this season and snapped a three game losing streak in the process. – Arkansas 2-1: No. 65 Georgiana Patrasc defeated Yang Pang at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-3, to help pull the Bulldogs back within just a point in the dual match. – Arkansas 3-1: Merely minutes later, Sarah McLean had the response at No. 3 singles, defeating Timea Guibe 6-4, 6-3, and helping UA extend its dual match lead back to 3-1. It marked the second SEC win for McLean in singles this season and helped her snap a three game losing streak. – Arkansas 4-1: Shannon Hudson put the nail in the coffin of the Bulldogs, clinching not only her match at No. 2 singles but the dual match as well with a 6-3, 6-4, victory. The freshman picked up her fourth straight win in singles and improved to 9-5 overall and 3-2 in the SEC this season.
@RazorbackWTEN Wins Pair Of Matches In JacksonvilleThe No. 45 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team opened a four-game road trip with a pair of dual match victories, defeating North Florida 5-2 and Bethune-Cookman 6-1 competing in Jacksonville, Fla., on Tuesday.
The Razorbacks (12-10, 2-6 SEC) have now won four straight dual matches and seven of their last nine. UA has added RPI wins over No. 75 Mississippi State, Missouri and North Florida during the stretch.
Individually, Shannon Hudson picked up two more wins and improved to 12-5 in singles play this season. The freshman from Virginia Beach, Va., now boasts a seven-game winning streak. She is 2-0 this season when playing at No. 1 singles, while playing all other matches exclusively at No. 2 singles.
Fellow freshman Oleksandra Shkorupeieva won her third straight and improved to 11-6 in singles this season, while Sarah McLean won her fourth straight and earned her seventh win at No. 3 singles this season to bump her overall season record to 9-10.
Kimberley – Ann Surin reached .500 at 10-10 this season with a pair of wins on Tuesday, which extended her winning streak to four straight singles victories.