FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A fresh set of women’s college tennis rankings came out earlier this week and the Razorbacks find themselves ranked No. 19 in the nation, a key move as the team heads into the ITA National Indoors Tournament later this week in Charlottesville, Va. The Hogs have consistently been in the top-25 all season and saw their highest ranking of No. 14 after their upset over No. 4 Notre Dame. The team did slightly slip two weeks ago after their only loss to Oklahoma, but have recovered well and are back in the top-20 for this important tournament week.
“We’re up for a really big challenge this week,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “We know everyone is going to have a really great team in this tournament and they have each had great seasons so far, much like we have. I think everyone is going into this thing with similar feelings. That they know they’re doing well this year and that they are strong, so you hope that can mean some good things for you’re team. This is just another great step forward for this team and gives us another opportunity to get stronger throughout the season.”
The team, itself, was not the only thing to see a rise in the rankings heading into this weekend, but senior Anouk Tigu also jumped ten spots in the singles rankings up to No. 16 in the nation. Tigu began the season ranked No. 26 and played extremely well during the first six dual matches to earn a 5-1 record, all at the top spot for the Razorbacks.
Tigu is also part of the doubles team with sophomore Claudine Paulson that saw their first rankings of the season as well. Now holding down the No. 37 spot, Tigu and Paulson have played phenomenal doubles tennis to start the spring and are undefeated at 6-0. Four of those matches have come at the top spot and two have come from the No. 2 spot. Dating back to the fall, the tandem has won nine of their last ten matches. This is not, however, the first time the two players have seen the doubles rankings. Last year, the team was consistently ranked throughout the entire year and finished the 2010 spring season at No. 64.
All these moves in the rankings came at a perfect time for the team as the draw for the ITA National Indoors Tournament was also released yesterday. For their first match, the Razorbacks are slated to play the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The Cardinal are undefeated at 3-0 to start the season and have held the top spot in the rankings all year. Even with as tall of an order this match is, the Razorbacks are the only team in the nation to upset a top-five team this season.
For coverage of the Hogs run through the national tournament, including pre- and post-match coverage, be sure to log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.