Tennis opens season with weekend trifecta
FAYETTEVILLE— The University of Arkansas women’s tennis team opens the 2005 spring season with a weekend triple-header beginning with Oral Roberts University on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center. After months of practice and fall tournaments, the Lady Razorbacks are excited to begin the New Year with a slew of fresh talent. The 2005 roster includes three veteran Lady’Backs, two junior transfers who have already proven themselves on the collegiate level and four true freshmen who made a splash around the nation during competitions. “We are extremely excited to begin our team’s season,” said head coach Michael Hegarty. “We feel we have come a long way since August, and it is time for us to begin gelling as a unit.” The season kicks off Saturday against an Oral Roberts team has already stumbled to an early 0-2 in 2005. The Golden Eagles’ most recent loss came at the hands of future Arkansas opponent St. Louis. The Show-me-state Billikens defeated ORU in Tulsa, 4-0. Arkansas and ORU’s most recent match came last year in Fayetteville where the Lady’Backs blanked the Golden Eagles, 6-0. All-time, the Lady Razorbacks are 6-3 against the regional rival. After the opener, the Lady’Backs return to the Dills Indoor Tennis Center on Sunday for a doubleheader against Wichita State and Saint Louis. Arkansas takes on Wichita State at 10:00 a.m. for a January rematch of last September’s 2004 Lady Razorback Fall Invitational. At the fall tournament, the Lady’Backs were a perfect 10-0 against the Shockers in singles and 2-0 on the doubles court. The last time Arkansas met Wichita State in a dual match came in the 1990-91 season. All-time, Arkansas is a perfect 14-0 against the Shockers. The Lady Razorbacks conclude their opening weekend of the 2005 spring season with a 2:00 match against the Saint Louis Billikens. Arkansas last met Saint Louis in the 2004 opening match in which the Lady’Backs blanked the Billikens, 7-0. 2005 marks the third year in a row the two teams have met. The Lady’Backs are a perfect 14-0 in match play against Saint Louis. “Clearly depth is one of our biggest strengths this year,” Hegarty said. “There are still plenty of unknowns at this stage, and these matches will enable us to learn a lot.” Admission is free to all three matches. For more information regarding Arkansas women’s tennis or any other Lady Razorback sport, please visit www.ladybacks.com.