Misevicute rockets into Elite Eight of NCAA Singles Championships; Doubles falls

TULSA, Okla. – A wet surface at the Michael D. Case Center may have delayed Friday’s NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships’ matches one hour, but there was no delaying Arkansas’ Aurelija Miseviciute.

Miseviciute, 51-5 in singles this season, jump ahead 5-4 in the first set before seizing it, 7-5, against Laura Vallverdu from the University of Miami (FL).

“Waiting around for the match to start along with some tough condition I really lost focus in the first set,” said Miseviciute. “She (Vallverdu) played very well and every point was back-and-forth. It could have gone either way.”

In the second set, the Southeastern Conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was not relinquishing her lead as she soared ahead 4-1 and claimed the match in a fashionable, 6-1, second set victory.

“The key to the second set was I adjusted to the wind and tried to move her around more to force difficult shots,” Miseviciute said. “I looked past some distractions and capitalized on her forehand to win the match.”

Adding to Miseviciute’s star-studded influence this season on the Lady Razorback tennis program, Friday’s win placed her as only the second Lady’Back to make it to the fourth round of the singles championships. The only other to do so was Maria Pavlidou in 1999.

She will faceUCLA’s Riza Zalameda at noon on Saturday, the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Singles Championships. Miseviciute has faced Zalameda twice this season with one of those matches unfinished in last week’s NCAA Team Championships. She defeated Zalameda, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, in February. Last week’s unfinished match was tied at 6-3, 3-6, before the team match was ended.

Arkansas’ first pair in the NCAA Doubles Championships since 1994 saw their season come to an end on Friday. Miseviciute and Ela Kaluder fell to the No. 2 seed, 6-3, 7-6(2), Fresno State’s Melanie Gloria and Tinesta Rowe. The Lady’Back duo fell in the round of 16, ending their season with a 30-14 record.

Be sure to come back to LADYBACKS.COM at 12 p.m. to view live stats for Miseviciute’s Elite Eight match.