Freshmen Propel Hogs To Victory
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Keeping its momentum rolling, the No. 42 Arkansas women’s tennis team defeated No. 31 Wichita State 4-3 at Dills Indoor Courts Monday.
Much like they have all season, freshmen Ana Oparenovic and Agne Cepelyte proved to be difference makers. Oparenovic teamed up with sophomore Mia Jurasic to pick up a crucial 6-2 victory on the doubles court and later added a straight-sets singles victory. With the Razorbacks leading 3-2, Cepelyte emerged victorious over WSU’s Luca Pump, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to capture the overall victory for the Razorbacks.
With the win, the Razorbacks improved their record to 6-4 on the season.
“It was a total team effort today, much like Friday,” Arkansas women’s tennis head coach Michael Hegarty said. “It was great to see the freshmen put us over the top.”
The Razorbacks clinched the doubles point to start out play, moving them to 4-0 on the year when grabbing the opening point.
The Shockers struck first in tandem play, getting a 6-4 win on court three. WSU’s Giulia Guidetti and Luca Pump downed junior Shannon Hudson and Cepelyte, but that wouldn’t stop the Razorbacks.
Oparenovic and Jurasic evened the playing field with a 6-2 victory over WSU’s Rebecca Pedrazzi and Aleksandra Trifunovi on court two.
All eyes would then be on court one. Down 2-5, the senior duo of Makenzie Craft and Flavia Araujo roared back to push the match to a tiebreaker. Facing adversity again, the Razorback tandem captured three straight points to win the match 7-5(5) and seal the 1-0 advantage for the Razorbacks.
Singles play would prove to be a tight affair as well.
The Shockers jumped out quickly, grabbing straight-sets victories on courts four and five. Oparenovic was first to finish for the Razorbacks, easing past her opponent 6-3, 6-4 on court two. Senior Yuliya Lysa followed with a straight-sets triumph of her own on court three, defeating her opponent 7-5, 6-2 and setting up for Cepelyte’s clinching victory.
Play continued on court one after the clinch. WSU’s No. 72 Gabriela Porubin defeated Hudson 7-5, 6-3.
Arkansas will return to the court on March 3 for the beginning of SEC play. The Razorbacks will travel to Gainesville, Florida to face the No. 3 Florida Gators at Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex, with first serve slated for 4 p.m. CT.
• The Razorbacks hold a 19-1 advantage in the all-time series against Wichita State.
• The Razorbacks captured the doubles point to start out play, moving them to 4-0 on the year when grabbing the opening point.
• The victory ended Wichita State’s six-match winning streak.
• With their 6-2 win on court two, Oparenovic and Jurasic improved to a team-best 7-3 in dual matches and 11-5 overall.
• With her 6-3, 6-4 win on court two, Oparenovic improved to a team-best 7-3 in dual matches and 13-6 overall.
• Lysa’s 7-5, 6-2 win on court three marked her 30th career victory.
• It is the second time this season Cepelyte has earned a match-clinching victory.
1. #72 Gabriela Porubin (WSU) def. Shannon Hudson (ARK) 7-5, 6-3
2. Ana Oparenovic (ARK) def. Rebecca Pedrazzi (WSU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Yuliya Lysa (ARK) def. Aleksandra Trifunovi (WSU) 7-5, 6-2
4. Giulia Guidetti (WSU) def. Makenzie Craft (ARK) 6-3, 6-3
5. Abby Stevens (WSU) def. Mia Jurasic (ARK) 6-4, 6-2
6. Agne Cepelyte (ARK) def. Luca Pump (WSU) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
1. Makenzie Craft/Flavia Araujo (ARK) def. Gabriela Porubin/Julia Schiller (WSU) 7-6 (7-5)
2. Ana Oparenovic/Mia Jurasic (ARK) def. Rebecca Pedrazzi/Aleksandra Trifunovi (WSU) 6-2
3. Giulia Guidetti/Luca Pump (WSU) def. Shannon Hudson/Agne Cepelyte (ARK) 6-4
Wichita State 10-3; National ranking #31
Arkansas 6-4; National ranking #42
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,5,2,3,6,1)