Elite Eight Match: Lady'Backs seek revenge against No. 7 UCLA.
TULSA, Okla. – Friday may be known as a casual day of the week for most people, but for the 17th-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorback tennis team it was used preparing for their opponent in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal match – 7th-ranked UCLA Bruins.The Lady’Backs (18-9) are riding a three-match win-streak after arguably the largest upset in NCAA Tournament history, 4-2, over No. 2 Georgia on Thursday. The victory captured the program’s first ever birth into the Elite Eight of the tournament setting the table for Saturday’s 4 p.m. match.Arkansas dropped the only match against UCLA in program history, 4-3, at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Team Indoor Championships this season.“We definitely expect a great match against UCLA, because we saw how tough they are when we faced off in February,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “Like our team, they have had a very successful conference season and I believe we have come far enough to meet their challenge.”The Bruins (21-5) are currently sporting a six-match win-streak after an impressive performance over No. 10 Southern California, 4-0, in the round of 16. UCLA boasts the nation’s No. 1 ranked doubles pair with Riza Zalameda and Tracy Lin as well as the No. 56 duo in Stephanie Wetmore and Elizabeth Lumpkin. Adding to great doubles play is their singles action as each athlete in ranked in the nation’s Top 125 in singles. Zalameda (8), Lin (30), Yasmin Schnack (42), Andrea Remynse (54), Lumpkin (105), and Alex McGoodwin (124), round out the probable singles lineup for the Pac-10 Champions.The key to the Lady’Backs success so far in the tournament has indeed been their strong play in doubles to capture early momentum.“We have gotten a lot of key doubles points this season, and they have really made a huge difference in a lot of our biggest matches,” Hegarty said.In their match against UCLA earlier in the season, the Lady’Backs swept all three courts in doubles. Against Georgia on Thursday, Audrey Bordeleau and Anouk Tigu won Court 3 in doubles, 8-6, while Maryori Franco and Nanar Airapetian clinched the point on Court 2 by the same score. The doubles point was crucial is pushing Arkansas to the first ever upset over a No. 2 seed in NCAA Tournament history since seeding began in 1999.Be sure and catch highlights from Thursday’s thrilling upset over Georgia, live stats, and video feed from Saturday’s match against UCLA on LADYBACKS.COM.