FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Behind several strong showings, the No. 36 Arkansas women’s tennis team swept a pair of matches in a Sunday doubleheader at Dills Indoor Courts.
The Razorbacks used a 4-3 victory against No. 45 Purdue and a 5-2 win over Saint Louis to earn the Sunday sweep and improve to 4-2 on the season.
Arkansas grabbed the doubles point in both matches. And it was the senior duo of Makenzie Craft and Flavia Araujo that delivered the clinch each time to help set the tone.
“We feel really good about today’s performance overall,” Arkansas women’s tennis head coach Michael Hegarty said. “The turning point was definitely Flavia and Makenzie closing out the doubles point in the first match and giving us a lift. That carried over into the rest of the match and paid big dividends.”
In the day’s first match, the Razorbacks opened with a 6-3 doubles win from freshman Ana Oparenovic and sophomore Mia Jurasic on court three. Purdue answered back with a 6-4 victory on court two. But Craft and Araujo held on to down Purdue’s Deborah Suarez and Krisztina Kapitany, 6-4, on court one, giving the Razorbacks a 1-0 advantage heading into singles play.
Purdue’s Natalia Davila defeated Arkansas junior Sasha Shkorupeieva 6-2, 6-0 on court four to open singles competition. Arkansas’ Oparenovic then answered with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kapitany on court three. Craft followed suit, defeating the Boilermakers’ Deborah Suarez 6-4, 6-1 on court two. On court one, junior Shannon Hudson emerged victorious over Purdue’s Andjela Djokovic, 6-4, 6-4 to capture the overall victory for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas returned to the court to face Saint Louis. The Razorbacks kicked off play by taking the doubles point for the early lead, but they would need their top squad to pull out the win. After the Saint Louis duo of Aspen Cervin and Madison Cook defeated Hudson and freshman Agne Cepelyte 6-2, the Razorbacks responded with a win on court three. Oparenovic and Jurasic were victorious there, taking down the Billikens’ Ally McKenzie and Natalia Yacaman 6-2. The doubles point would come down to court one, where Craft and Araujo shut the door for the second time on the day, defeating the Billikens’ Eleonore and Verginie Tchakarova 6-2 to give the Razorbacks the early lead.
The Razorbacks built their lead to 2-0 with a straight-sets 6-2, 6-1 win from junior Sasha Shkorupeieva on court three. Saint Louis responded with a straight-sets victory of its own on court four. On court two, Oparenovic dispatched her opponent 7-5, 6-1 to extend the Razorbacks’ lead to 3-1. Focus then shifted to courts one and five. The Billikens would answer again, picking up a 6-0, 6-4 victory on court one. But Cepelyte was able to hold off her opponent 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 on court five to clinch the overall match.
The Razorbacks will remain home to host Tulsa on Friday, Feb. 5 at 5 p.m.