Arkasnas slated for weekend matches against Big 12 Rivals

FAYETTEVILLE – Coming off a 3-0 weekend last week, the University of Arkansas women’s tennis team is back on the court Friday to take on cross-state rival Oklahoma at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center at 1:00 p.m.

The Lady Razorbacks (4-1), who came within one match of three shutout victories last weekend, did pick up two shutout victories at home against Sam Houston State and Saint Louis University on Sunday, Feb. 4.

Arkansas has already picked up one win against the Big 12 Conference this year. Last Saturday, the Lady’Backs pounded the Missouri Tigers in Columbia.

Moving to this weekend, a particularly young Sooner Squad fell out of the national rankings in April of 2006 after spending four and a half years among the 75-best tennis teams in the country. The Sooners peaked two years ago with a national ranking of 24, but a slow spiral ensued that eventually left them unranked midway through the 2006 season.

In dual meets against Arkansas, Oklahoma has the edge with 11 wins compared to the Lady’Backs 10, however the two teams have not met since the year after the Lady’Backs moved to the Southeastern Conference. That match in 1995 is one many Arkansas fans have tried to erase from their memories as OU blanked Arkansas 6-0.

“Were excited to host a Big 12 school,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “Oklahoma is a great regional rival. They’ve got a great combination of experience and some new players at semester that should really make them tougher than we thought.”

Following the match with Oklahoma on Friday, the Lady’Backs head to Lawrence, Kansas for a Sunday match against another Big 12 foe; the University of Kansas. Lady’Backs fans might remember what happened the last time these two teams met in Fayetteville last season.

Arkansas rallied back after losing their first doubles point of the season with singles wins by current players Maryori Franco and Audrey Bordeleau.

“Kansas always seems to be a great match when we play them, evidenced by the 4-3 win last year,” Hegarty said. “At their place it should be just as tough.”

It’s been tough going for the Jayhawks so far this season, however, as they are currently 1-5 overall this season and 0-1 in Big 12 Conference play.

Match time on Friday is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on Arkansas tennis or any other Lady Razorback sport, please visit LADYBACKS.COM.