KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The 21st-ranked Razorback women’s tennis team won their fifth straight doubles point in as many matches on Thursday afternoon against Auburn. That doubles win ended up being the catalyst for the Hogs 4-0 victory over the Tigers and they will now move on to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament and face 9th-ranked Georgia.
After Arkansas won the doubles point at the top two courts, singles play went fairly easy even though some matches were headed to third sets when the match went final. Courts five and six as well as senior Anouk Tigu, who had the clincher at the number one spot, were the winners today to give Arkansas the victory.
“The best part about today was that we limited the advantage of Georgia’s bye,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “We worked pretty hard out here today, but not any harder than we had to. When we played Auburn last time, we won 6-1, but it was a battle on almost every court and we kind of expected that today, but we’re thrilled that it only took three straight setters to win the match.”
Going into doubles, the Hogs were riding the huge momentum of winning their previous four doubles points going into the match with Auburn and it didn’t take long before the team made it five in a row. The No. 2 position was the first to produce a winner as junior Kate Lukomskaya and Stephanie Roy defeated Caroline Thornton and Paulina Schippers, 8-4, for their 13th win of the season. Soon after, Tigu and sophomore Claudine Paulson, who are the No. 19 doubles team in the nation, continued their huge second half of the season and scored their 25th win of the year with a, 8-3 win over Plamena Kurteva and Jacqueline Kasler. That win by the top Hog tandem gave them the early 1-0 lead heading into singles.
Singles play started out a little bit tougher for the Razorbacks as the top four courts seemed to be even all throughout the first set. The only runaway first set came from junior Emily Carbone, who won her first set 6-0 over Maria Arechavaleta. Carbone would go on to win her match in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4 for her 23rd victory of the year. However, Carbone’s match win gave Arkansas a 3-0, just earlier, Frampton was a winner at court six, also in straight sets over Taylor Schreimann, 7-6, 6-0. With those wins at the bottom two courts, Arkansas needed just one more singles win to earn the victory.
Tigu, winner of five straight coming into the tournament was in perfect position to win the clincher after taking the first set with Thornton, 6-4. After a few close points, Tigu cruised to her team-leading 24th win, 6-4, 6-2 over Thornton.
Arkansas will now move on to play in the second day of the SEC Tournament and have a date set with No. 9 Georgia on Friday afternoon. First serve for the match is scheduled for 2 p.m. CST. Live stats and the live blog will be available for the match. For complete coverage of the Razorbacks run in the conference tournament, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. No. 21 Arkansas 4Auburn 0Complete Doubles ResultsOrder of Finish: 2, 1*No. 1 #19 Anouk Tigu/Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Plamena Kurteva/Jacqueline Kasler (AU) 8-3No. 2 Stephanie Roy/Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) def. Caroline Thornton/Paulina Schippers (AU) 8-4No. 3 Valentina Starkova/Jade Frampton (ARK) vs. Maria Arechavaleta/Taylor Schreimann (AU) 6-6Complete Singles ResultsOrder of Finish: 5, 6, 1*No. 1 #29 Anouk Tigu (ARK) def. Caroline Thornton (AU) 6-4, 6-2No. 2 Stephanie Roy (ARK) vs. Paulina Schippers (AU) 2-6, 6-1, 2-0, unf.No. 3 Claudine Paulson (ARK) vs. Plamena Kurteva (AU) 3-6, 6-1, 2-3, unf.No. 4 Kate Lukomskaya (ARK) vs. Jacqueline Kasler (AU) 6-4, 1-6, 0-0, unf.No. 5 Emily Carbone (ARK) def. Maria Arechavaleta (AU) 6-0, 6-4No. 6 Jade Frampton (ARK) def. Taylor Schreimann (AU) 7-6 (3), 6-0