Hogs fall just short to Rebels in tight match 4-3

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Playing without one of their top athletes, the effort by the second-seeded University of Arkansas Razorback women’s tennis team fell just short, 4-3, against seventh-seed Ole Miss during the quarterfinals of the SEC Women’s Tennis Championships on Friday in Fayetteville.Sophomore Anouk Tigu was unable to play for the SEC Western Division Champions due to an illness.“We thought maybe she could go coming into today, but we realized this morning we were going to be short-handed,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty.Already with a court advantage in doubles, Ole Miss only needed one match to claim the point. Ranked No. 25 overall, Kristi Boxx and Karen Nijssen dropped No. 54 Aurelija Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder, 8-4, to claim the early lead.Freshman Emily Carbone put 14th-ranked Arkansas on the board, 6-3, 6-3, over Ole Miss’ Abigail Guthrie as the Hogs (13-7) trailed 2-1 after defaulting Court 6.Although at a handicap to begin the match, the Razorbacks would not relinquish as they buckled down and charged back into contention.“When you have a great team like we do, it’s not one or two people that help or hurt your chances,” Hegarty said. “It’s everyone, and I am fairly confident in whatever team we put on the court.”Senior Nanar Airapetian dropped Court 3 opponent, Laura van de Stroet, 6-1, 6-3, to knot the match at 2-2.With things back all square in the Dills Indoor Tennis Center, SEC Player of the Year Miseviciute came through to give the Hogs their first lead of the night, 3-2, after defeating No. 33 Kristi Boxx, 6-3, 6-4. The win was Miseviciute 25th of the season against a nationally-ranked opponent.Ole Miss fought back to knot things back up, 3-3, after 69th-ranked Nijssen dropped Kaluder in a tight match on Court 2, 7-5, 7-6(4).With things once against at a stand-still, the focus of the crowd turned to Court 5 where a gritty-dual between Arkansas’ Kate Lukomskaya and Ole Miss’ Gabriel Rangel. Rangel snatched the first-set, 6-4, before Lukomskaya came back to earn the second, 7-5. Rangel was able to gain a 3-0 advantage before clinching the match with a 6-3 third-set victory.Ole Miss improved 14-8 on the season and take on the winner of Tennessee and South Carolina Saturday at 1 p.m.Visit ARKANSASRAZORBACKS.COM for information on Razorbacks athletics.Singles1. #2 Aurelija Miseviciute (Ark) def. #33 Kristi Boxx (UM), 6-3, 6-4.2. #69 Karen Nijssen (UM) def. Ela Kaluder (Ark), 7-5, 7-6(4).3. Nanar Airapetian (Ark) def. Laura van de Stroet (UM), 6-1, 6-3.4. Emily Carbone (Ark) def. Abigail Guthrie (UM), 6-3, 6-3.5. Gabriela Rangel (UM) def. Kate Lukomskaya (Ark), 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.6. Mimi Renaudin (UM) vs. No Player (Ark), default.Order of Finish: (6,4,3,1,2,5*)Doubles1. #25 Kristi Boxx/Karen Nijssen (UM) def. #54 Aurelija Miseviciute/Ela Kaluder (Ark), 8-4.2. Abigail Guthrie/Gabriela Rangel (UM) led. Nanar Airapetian/Kate Lukomskaya (Ark), 5-4 (DNF).3. Laura van de Stroet/Mimi Renaudin (UM) vs. No Player (Ark), default.Order of Finish: (3,1*)