Razorbacks Bounce Back to Get Win
With a loss to No. 14 Northwestern behind them, the UA women’s tennis team came back to defeat Washington State 5-2 in the ITA Kickoff Weekend Saturday.
The win over Washington State also improved head coach Michael Hegarty’s record to 125 wins, the most of any women’s tennis coach in UA history.
Arkansas’ first match of the weekend featured Claudine Paulson and Segou Jonker in doubles, who tied at 7-7 with Northwestern’s Linda Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton before Arkansas dropped their two other doubles matches, ending Paulson’s and Jonker’s game unfinished.
Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez and Paulson earned Arkansas’ two three-set victories. The Wildcats had upped their score to 5-0 before the Razorback wins. A win over Yang Pang sealed the victory for Northwestern as they defeated UA 5-2 and dropped Arkansas’ record to 3-1.
“Full credit to Northwestern for the victory,” Hegarty said. “I thought we showed a good amount of toughness out there today and more than enough ability.”
Northwestern showcased more experience in the matches, though, but the UA team is still taking positives from their loss, Hegarty said.
The Razorbacks used the lessons they learned in Friday’s loss the next day against the Washington State Cougars.
Arkansas clinched the doubles point as Paulson and Jonker, as well as Pang and Brittany Huxley, opened the match with wins.
The Razorbacks earned four wins in their six singles matches.
Sarah McLean won the first singles match over Elizaveta Luzina 6-0, 6-2. Belmar Hernandez took the next match 6-0, 7-5, followed by Paulson and Pang, who won 7-5, 7-6, and 6-4, 6-3, respectively.
The only two losses for Arkansas Saturday came from Kimberley-Ann Surin, who also played an unfinished doubles match with Belmar Hernandez, and Huxley.
“First of all, congratulations to our young squad for a very impressive performance today against a quality opponent,” Hegarty said. “This victory, I hope, will propel our group forward in a very positive way as we gain experience against one of the nation’s toughest schedules.”
Hegarty was very grateful for the Razorbacks’ record-breaking coaching win.
“I would be remiss on this occasion if I did not thank Bev Lewis, who gave me this opportunity 10 years ago, and also Jeff Long and his entire staff that make it possible for us to compete at an elite level,” Hegarty said.
The Razorbacks will be on the road again to face Yale Sunday at 12:00 p.m.