Lady'Backs to compete on highest level in Empire State

FAYETTEVILLE—The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team travels today to compete in the U.S. Tennis Association Collegiate Classic in Flushing, New York on Oct. 9-11. 2004 marks the second year for USTA Collegiate Classic. In 2003, the tournament was set up in order to spotlight collegiate tennis in the same atmosphere as professional tennis. In September of this year, Flushing, New York played host to the U.S. Open. The Collegiate Classic marks the Lady Razorbacks third fall tournament of the 2004-05 campaign. The Lady’Backs are 57-28 overall in all 2004 fall contests, with a most recent 22-19 effort at the UK Fall Classic in Lexington Kentucky on Oct. 1-3. A star-studded lineup highlights this year’s Collegiate Classic, with six conferences being representing the 2004 field of competitors. Arkansas, along with 2004 Sweet 16 teams Tennessee and Kentucky are representing the Southeastern Conference. 2004 Big 12 champion Texas A&M, the Ivy League’s #25 Harvard, the Big East’s Georgetown and Big Ten’s Penn State are also competing at the Classic. Other teams competing from around the northeast include, Cornell, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Yale, Dartmouth, Penn and Boston University. The tournament features five singles flights and two doubles flights. "Undoubtedly some of the players competing this weekend will one day play on the very same courts in the US Open, so there couldn’t be a better motivation for great tennis." Said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. Eight of the nine Lady’Backs are expected to compete in singles and doubles at the three-day tournament. Four of those athletes currently hold a career winning percentage .750 or higher when Arkansas uniforms with Junior Vlatka Jovanovic leading the team with a fall singles record of 7-1. In doubles, freshmen Yawna Allen and Maryori Franco lead the team with a 5-1 record. Allen and Franco competed for the first time together last weekend in Lexington, Ken. where they notched two more victories for Arkansas without suffering a loss. "This event is another opportunity for us to test ourselves against a number of quality opponents including numerous teams that are coming off great seasons last year." Hegarty said. "We’re excited to continue the progress that we made in Kentucky last week, and these few weeks right now are critical part of this seasons developmental period." Action begins tomorrow morning and continues through Monday. For more information, please visit