Arkansas’ women’s and men’s tennis teams are finishing up their conference schedules as they gear up for the Southeastern Conference Championships on April 20. The women’s team took on No. 21 Kentucky and No. 5 Vanderbilt in Fayetteville while the men’s team traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to compete against Vanderbilt’s men’s squad.
Head coach Michael Hegarty’s squad finished the weekend against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The team lost both the Friday and Sunday matchups with final scores of 4-3.
“What a great college tennis match we were all part of here today,” Hegarty said in a press release. “I give the utmost credit to the players of both teams equally as they all laid it on the line. It added to a thrilling spectacle. Vanderbilt is the defending national champion for good reason, and we feel emboldened in battling so successfully with them. For sure our best moments this year are ahead of us.”
The Hogs now sit at a 16-10 overall record including a 5-6 record against SEC opponents.
Arkansas won the first and third-slotted doubles matchups against the Commodores to notch the first point of the day. Senior Makenzie Craft and freshman Agne Cepelyte came together to play as doubles for the first time and beat their Commodore counterparts to give the Hogs the point.
The Commodores eventually fought back with a win in the No. 6 singles slot to tie the Hogs in points. The teams were tied 3-3 going into the last singles match. Commodore Fernanda Contreras beat out Craft to take the overall match for Vanderbilt.
Earlier in the weekend, the Hogs took on No. 21 Kentucky. The Hogs lost the matchup 4-3. The Wildcats struck first by notching a point in a competitive doubles match. Senior Yuliya Lysa tied it up for the Hogs with a singles win over Kentucky’s Justina Mikulskyte, but the Wildcats went on to score three straight points, clinching the overall match at 4-1. Kentucky retired the other two matches it was participating in which produced a final score of 4-3.
“This one certainly stings because we played so well at home, and we had our chances to get the win,” Hegarty said in the release.
The two consecutive home losses dropped the Hogs to a 7-5 record in Fayetteville at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center.
The Hogs will host No. 42 Ole Miss on Thursday for the team’s second to last conference match before the SEC Championships on April 20.
Head coach Andy Jackson and his team traveled to Vanderbilt’s campus for the team’s final road matchup of the season. Friday’s match ended in an Arkansas victory.
“Again we competed and played very well,” Jackson said in a press release. “Although we were close to winning the doubles, we handled and responded to the loss very well. The team was composed and sharp in singles, and Juan was clutch for us today.”
Arkansas is now 16-3 in their last 19 games including a four-game winning streak on the road.
Giammarco Micolani won his individual match, extending his unbeaten singles streak that started March 6 to nine consecutive matches, according to Razorback Athletics.
The win brought the No. 16 Hogs’ overall record to 19-5, including a 7-3 SEC record.
Next up for the Hogs are home contests against the Georgia Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks. They will be the last games before the SEC Championships in Columbia, South Carolina.