TULSA, Okla. – After being two of the main components for the 17th-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks’ remarkable season, it’s now time for juniors Aurelija Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder to take their game to a more individual level.
Miseviciute will compete in the NCAA Women’s Singles Championships, while she and Kaluder will take part in the Doubles Championships.
Ranked No. 1 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Miseviciute begins action Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. against No. 80 Jenni Heinser from the University of San Francisco.
After beginning the fall ranked No. 119, Miseviciute has taken a long road to become the No. 1 overall seed in the singles championships. Along the way she has set records for most singles wins in a season by a Lady’Back (48), as well as most in a season by a men’s or women’s tennis athlete.
“Getting here was tough, but I just concentrated on my game as coach told us to keep improving throughout the season in order to play our best in May,” said Miseviciute.
What really soared Miseviciute in the rankings was when she claimed the ITA National Indoor title during November. Looking back on that prestigious tournament, she hopes to go into the NCAA Singles Championships with the same mind-set, and won’t get wrapped up in her top-seed.
“At the National Indoor Championships I went out, played hard, and focused on my opponent rather than thinking about advancing to the next round,” Miseviciute said. “I’m going to use the same philosophy of taking it one match at a time, because at this point in the season all the players here are talented and the rankings mean nothing.”
Heinser, a freshman from Miami, Fla., earned West Coast Conference Freshman and Player of the Year this season. She finished the year with a record of 21-3.
On Thursday, No. 29 Miseviciute and Kaluder will look to begin their run in the doubles portion of the championships against No. 36 Julia Koulbitskaya and Kate Kosminskaya of Pennsylvania, with a set time to be announced.
In their only match this season, Koulbitskaya and Kosminskaya downed Miseviciute and Kaluder, 8-3, at the William & Mary Tribe Classic in September of 2007
The dangerous Lady’Back duo has completed a 29-13 record in doubles so far this season, mostly at the Court 1 position. In their career as a doubles pair they rank second all-time in wins at Arkansas with 57, while their 29 this season is the fifth most wins in a singles season.
“We are happy to have made it this far as a doubles team, but our goal is to go out, execute, and win the whole thing,” said Kaluder.
The duo from Penn put together a 20-4 record this season.
Visit LADYBACKS.COM for post-match information regarding the NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships.