Hogs Split Against 2 SEC Foes
The Razorback women’s tennis team opened Southeastern Conference play at the Billingsley Tennis Center this weekend and split with a win against Kentucky and a loss to No. 12 Vanderbilt.
The Hogs had a fast start against the Wildcats and jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Arkansas swept the doubles matches to win the first point of the match. Claudine Paulson and Segou Jonker won a tough 9-8 tiebreaker over Caitlin McGraw and Nadia Ravita while Yang Pang and Brittany Huxley cruised through their match to earn the victory 8-4.
Claudine Paulson and Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez picked up singles wins to pull the Hogs’ lead to 3-0.
The Wildcats attempted a small rally, as McGraw and Stephanie Fox got wins over Kimberley-Ann Surin and Huxley to pull within a point.
With the Hogs within one point to victory, they relied on Pang and Sarah McLean to get the win.
“I was very happy to have Pang and Sarah out there in that situation at the end,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “I knew at least one would pull through.”
Pang was the one to come through in her match, beating No. 51 Ravita in a come-from-behind, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 win.
The win moved the Hogs up to 6-5 on the season while Kentucky dropped to a record of 8-3.
The Commodores proved to be a much tougher foe, beating the Hogs in yet another close match.
Vanderbilt won the doubles point as the combination of Paulson and Jonker was the only duo to win for Arkansas.
That point proved to be the difference as the teams split the six singles matches, with all the matches ending in straight sets.
“On a day like today, you have to get the doubles point. Credit to Vanderbilt for executing better when it counted in doubles,” Hegarty said.
This match, the Hogs were the ones in the 3-0 hole after Flavia Araujo and Hernandez dropped their matches to Ashleigh Antal and Frances Altick.
In their final four games of the match, Arkansas finished 3-1, but that one point was enough for a Commodores victory.
Pang topped Lauren Mira 6-3, 6-3, while Paulson defeated Marie Casares 6-4, 6-2.
Paulson’s win gives her a team-leading 10th win on the season. Belmar Hernandez is second on the team with nine.
Sarah McLean earned the Hogs’ last point when she beat Courtney Colton 6-3, 6-3.
Next up for the Hogs is a pair of road matches against two top-20 teams.
The Hogs will play No. 6 Alabama Friday, then will head to Auburn to face the No. 17 Tigers Sunday.