Lady'Backs down Mississippi State at home 6-1

Bentonville, AR – The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team began its first Southeastern Conference winning streak since 2000 Friday afternoon with a6-1 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs at the Wal-Mart Life and Fitness Center.

With the win, the Lady Razorbacks (6-9, 2-5) draw at least a tie for second place in the Western Division with Ole Miss. Also, the win gives Arkansas more SEC victories this season than in the last four seasons combined. In fact, Mississippi State (3-11, 1-6) sparked Arkansas last SEC winning streak in the 2000 season in Fayetteville.

In doubles, senior Melissa Cornett and freshman Ela Kaluder teamed up for the first time all season on court three. The newly formed Lady’Back pair was first off the court as they defeated MSU’s Renee Joseph and Daniela Juskova, 8-3.

Mississippi State gathered a win on court two, leaving the doubles point up to senior Karina Ledaja and sophomore Maryori Franco on court one. Ledaja and Franco jumped out to a 6-1 lead, but MSU battled back to nearly tie the match at 6-5. Arkansas came back from being down 40-15 in the final game to ice the doubles point.

“The doubles continues to be a real bright spot for us today as it has been most of the year,” said head coach Michael Hegarty.

In singles play, freshman Aurelija Miseviciute wasted little time on court one against MSU’s Anastasia Kugakolova. Miseviciute’s 6-1, 6-1 win is her six win in her last eight matches, and also is her fourth SEC win of the year.

Also notching a win for the Lady’Backs on the singles court was Franco on court four. The Barranquilla, Colombia, native won her second straight SEC match over MSU’s Polina Kokoulina, 6-2, 6-1.

“This is a much needed performance today and it keeps us in the hunt for the division title, which was our first and foremost goal all year.” Hegarty said.

The Lady’Backs now have a chance to make the run a three-match winning streak on Sunday at Ole Miss. Arkansas has not won three SEC matches in a row since the 1999 season.

The longest conference winning streak since Arkansas joined the conference in 1992 came during the 1998 season where the Lady’Backs went on a seven conference match winning streak that stretched into the SEC Tournament. That year, Arkansas went 10-5 in the SEC and finished fifth overall.

Match time at Ole Miss is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. For more information, please visit LADYBACKS.COM.Tennis Match ResultsFriday, March 31, 2006Bentonville, ARWal-Mart Life and Fitness CenterArkansas 7, Mississippi State 0Singles Competition:1. Aurelija Miseviciute (UA) def. Anastasia Kugakolova (MSU) 6-1, 6-12. Ela Kaluder (UA) def. Renne Joseph (MSU) 6-2, 6-13. Vlatka Jovanovic (UA) def. Martina Banikova (MSU) 6-1, 6-24. Maryori Franco (UA) def. Polina Kokoulina (MSU) 6-2, 6-15. Karina Ledaja (UA) def. Daniela Juskova 7-6(4), ret.6. Elna de Villiers (MSU) def. Melissa Cornett (UA) 7-6(5), 3-0, ret.Doubles Competition1. Karina Ledaja/Maryori Franco (UA) def. Polina Kokoulina/Anastasia Kugakolova (MSU) 8-62. Banikova/ Elna de Villiers (MSU) def. Aurelija Miseviciute/Audrey Bordeleau (UA) def. 8-43. Melissa Cornett/Ela Kaluder (UA) def. Renee Joseph/Daniela Juskova (MSU) 8-3