Lady'Backs keep momentum advance several players to flight title matches

FAYETTEVILLE—The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team is in prime position to sweep the Lady Razorback Fall Invitational by advancing players to all six flight title matches tomorrow at the UA Varsity Courts on Saturday. “We are excited at the prospect of playing in the finals tomorrow,” said head coach Michael Hegarty. “It’s just where we wanted to be.” Earning spots in the six title matches was no easy task, however. The Lady Razorbacks endured 95-degree on-court heat and several tough opponents to win 13 of 16 singles matches and three of three doubles matches on Saturday. Four Lady’Backs remain undefeated in the tournament and have the opportunity represent Arkansas in the flight title matches on Sunday Morning. The four unbeaten Lady Razorbacks include Karina Ledaja, Vlatka Jovanovic, Yawna Allen, and Maryori Franco. Ledaja was awarded a spot in the Australian Open flight title match after defeating Oklahoma State’s Sandra Blajer 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday morning and Southwest Missouri State’ Elizabeth Garza 6-2, 6-3 that afternoon. Ledaja faces OSU’s Iryna Tkachenko in the title match tomorrow morning. Jovanovic has been very impressive in her first two days as a Lady Razorback. In this tournament, she has only lost two games in three matches, giving her a games won-lost ratio of 18:1. Jovanovic cruised to victory over OSU’s Lilian Boukheir 6-0, 6-1 and blanked SMS’s Carolina Ardila in her second match, 6-0, 6-0. Jovanovic challenges OSU’s Zana Masnic for the Wimbledon Flight Champion tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Allen advanced to the U.S Open Flight Title Match on Saturday after defeating OSU’s Jennifer Poskitt 6-4, 6-1. The freshman from Phoenix, AZ played nearly flawlessly in her second match against Wichita State’s Marisa Simmons, winning 6-1, 6-0. Allen competes for the U.S. Open flight title tomorrow against OSU’s Lauren Simmons. The final top finisher of Saturday for the Lady’Backs was Maryori Franco. The freshman had little trouble in her first match, handling Sam Houston State’s Emma McDougal in a 6-1, 6-1 victory. Franco punished WSU’s Jackie Richey in her second match of the day, disposing of Richey in 45 minutes in a 6-0, 6-1 effort. The Lady Razorbacks had several other key victories on Saturday. In fact, every other Lady’Back had a least one singles win on the second day of the tournament. The most astonishing victory of the day came from Arkansas freshman Allison Linden. Linden lost the first set of her three-hour marathon against WSU’s Genevieve Spink 6-4 and was down 4-3 in the second when she changed the complete momentum of the match. Linden went on a 4-1 run to win the second set 7-5. In the third set of the high-intensity bout, Linden found herself down again 4-5 before mounting an offensive to once again take the set and the match, 7-5. The victory marks Linden’s first victory as a Lady’Back. “There were times today when we reached an excellent competitive level. Allison’s come from behind victory typified that aspect,” Hegarty said. Freshman Audrey Bordeleau also notched her first win as a Lady Razorback. Bordeleau cruised to victory over WSU’s Jackie Richey, 6-4, 6-1. Melissa Cornett went 1-1 on Saturday. She fell to OSU’s Masnic in her morning match 6-1, 6-4, but rallied back in her afternoon match to win big over WSU’s Anna Exeni, 6-1, 6-4. Whitney Morton also spilt sets on her second day of action. She lost her first match to OSU’s Tkachenko 6-0, 6-1, but cam back in amazing fashion in her afternoon bout, easily disposing of OSU’s Sandra Blajer, 6-0, 6-2. Senior Iliana Pacheco earned a victory against SHSU’s Mounia Hassib, winning 6-3, 6-2. Pacheco lost her first match of the day to OSU’s Lauren Simmons, 6-1, 6-4. The Lady’Backs were perfect in three doubles matches on Saturday. The Lady Razorback tandem of Cornett and Jovanovic set the tone in doubles by quickly winning their match over WSU’s Exeni and Webser, 8-5. With the victory, the 2-0 Arkansas pair advances to the Canadian Open Flight title match tomorrow against OSU’s Simmons and Poskitt. Also competing in the Italian Open flight title match is junior-freshman pair Ledaja and Franco. The team uses a combination of power and finesse that should make an exciting title match against OSU’s Tkachenko and Masnic. The freshman team of Bordeleau and Allen followed shortly behind in an 8-2 victory over OSU’s Kubicikova and Blajer. Senior team Pacheco and Morton were the last Lady’Backs off the court on Saturday, but they did not leave without success. The Lady Razorback team defeated the SHSU-OSU team of McDougal and Boukheir, 8-5. Action continues through tomorrow as four Lady’Backs compete in the four singles title matches and two Arkansas doubles teams compete in the two doubles title matches. Action begins tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. For more information, please visit -LADY RAZORBACKS- Lady Razorback Invitational Results for Saturday, September 18, 2004SinglesRound OneTkachenko (OSU) def. Morton (Ark) 6-0, 6-1Ledaja (Ark) def. Blajer (OSU) 6-4, 6-1Garza (SMS) def. Webster (WSU) 6-7 (13), 6-0, 6-4Manzur (SMS) def. Spink (WSU) 7-5, 6-4Franco (Ark) def. McDougall (SHSU) 6-1, 6-1Stanojevic (SMS) def. Kubicikova (OSU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3Bordeleau (Ark) def. Richey (WSU) 6-0, 6-3Allen (Ark) def. Poskitt (OSU) 6-4, 6-2L. Simmons (OSU) def. Pacheco (Ark) 6-0, 6-2M. Simmons (WSU) def. Hassib (SHSU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3Jovanovic (Ark) def. Boukheir (OSU) 6-0, 6-1Masnic (OSU) def. Cornett (Ark) 6-1, 6-4Assudani (SHSU) def. Gakovic (SMS) 6-2, 6-0Exeni (WSU) def. Ardila (SMS) 6-1, 6-4Round TwoMorton (Ark) def. Blajer (OSU) 6-0, 6-2Ledaja (Ark) def. Garza (SMS) 6-2, 6-3Tkachenko (OSU) def. Webster (WSU) 6-0, 6-1Linden (Ark) def. Spink (WSU) 4-6, 7-5, 7-5Franco (Ark) def. Richey (WSU) 6-0, 6-1Kubicikova (OSU) def. McDougal (SHSU) 6-1, 6-3Manzur (SMS) def. Poskitt (OSU) 6-4, 6-1Pacheco (Ark) def. Hassib (SHSU) 6-3, 6-2Allen (Ark) def. M. Simmons (WSU) 6-1, 6-0L. Simmons (OSU) def. Stanojevic (SMS) 6-2, 6-1Cornett (Ark) def. Exeni (WSU) 6-1, 6-4Masnic (OSU) def. Gakovic (SMS) 6-0, 6-1Assoudani (SHSU) def. Boukheir (OSU) 6-0, 6-3Jovanovic (Ark) def. Ardila (SMS) 6-0, 6-0DoublesJovanovic/Cornett (Ark) def. Exeni/Webster (WSU) 8-5Tkechenko/Masnic (OSU) def. Garza/Manzur (SMS) 8-5L. Simmons/Poskitt (OSU) def. Richey/M. Simmons (WSU) 8-4Morton/Pacheco (Ark) def. McDougal/Boukheir (SHSU/OSU) 8-4Allen/ Bordeleau (Ark) def. Kubicikova/Blajer (OSU) 8-2