FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Freshman Valentina Starkova won her first collegiate final on Sunday as she defeated Auburn’s Heather Bybee 6-3, 6-4 in the championship match of her flight at the SEC Fall Coaches Classic in Nashville, Tenn.
Starkova advanced to the final after picking up wins over Kentucky’s Chane Hines 7-6, 6-4 to open her Arkansas career on Friday, followed by a coming from behind to defeat LSU’s Keri Frankenberger 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 on Saturday.
Sophomore Emily Carbone and freshman Kelsey Sundaram competed in third-place matches on Sunday. Carbone fell to Georgia’s Cameron Ellis 6-3, 6-3 while Sundaram lost to Gabby Rangel of Ole Miss by the same score, 6-3, 6-3.
“It was a great event to play so early in the season,” coach Michael Hegarty said. “We saw a lot of positive things and can come home and really gain from the experience.”
The Arkansas women’s tennis team returns to action Sept. 18-20 at the Wichita State Invitational in Wichita, Kan.