Freshmen Shine at SEC Coaches Classic

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Freshmen Kelsey Sundaram and Valentina Starkova each picked up singles victories in their collegiate debuts and sophomore Emily Carbone added another win in singles action as the Arkansas women’s tennis team opened the fall season Friday at the Southeastern Conference Fall Coaches Classic in Nashville, Tenn.

“There were some very encouraging signs from today,” coach Michael Hegarty said. “We are looking forward to correcting some things as we move forward tomorrow. It was great to see such strong singles play for the most part.”

The pair of newcomers each posted straight-set victories as Sundaram defeated Brittany Borsanyi of Florida, 7-6, 6-3 while Starkova beat Kentucky’s Chane Hines 7-6,6-4. Carbone picked up a come-from-behind victory over another Wildcat Lauren Meier, 4-6,6-4,6-4.

Vanderbilt’s Chelsea Preeg jumped out to claim a 6-1, 6-0 victory over sophomore Kate Lukomskaya.

After a strong morning of singles, the afternoon’s doubles matches were not as kind to the Razorbacks.

In the opening round of doubles, the team of Lukomskaya and Sundaram fell to Alabama’s Alexas Guarachi and Courtney McLane 2-8 and Carbone and Starkova suffered a 4-8 defeat to Hannah Blatt and Keilly Ulery of Vanderbilt.

Tough luck continued in the consolation bracket as Carbone and Starkova lost a close match to Kentucky’s Christine Johnston and Minnette Pienaar 6-8 while Lukomskaya and Sundaram fell to the Georgia duo of Cameron Ellis and Yvette Hyndman 1-8.

Action continues Saturday at the Currey Tennis Center where one round of doubles play is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Central Time followed by a round of singles.

For live stats and immediate results following Saturday’s action, stay posted to