(Photo Courtesy: Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) The University of Arkansas women's tennis team (2-0) got its spring season off to the right start with a doubleheader sweep of Wichita State at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, Ark., on Sunday.
Led by No. 115 Shannon Hudson and Kimberley-Ann Surin each going 3-0 individually on the day, the Razorbacks began with a 4-2 dual-match win and then locked up the sweep with a 4-3 win over the Shockers.
It marked the second straight season in which Arkansas has opened 2-0, as the Razorbacks went match-for-match against a formidable foe in Wichita State that has won five straight Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament championships.
"It was a total team effort out there today," head coach Michael Hegarty said. "I know the team is excited about the growth that we are already seeing in our team. It is also definitely a confidence builder to get two good wins today. Wichita State is even better than we already knew and they will be in the NCAA Tournament."
Four Razorbacks opened the day with singles wins to clinch the first dual-match win, as both coaches decided to lead the first match with singles and have doubles play be determinate upon a potential 3-all situation. No. 71 Yang Pang, Hudson, Surin and Oleksandra Shkorupeieva each opened their year with wins, combining for a 4-2 Arkansas victory. Freshmen Hudson and Shkorupeieva earned their first career spring wins as Razorbacks.
Hudson teamed up with Sarah McLean in the second dual match and defeated the ITA Central Region No. 7 doubles pairing of Schiller/Stevens, 6-4.
In the second dual match, Surin and Hudson kept their runs going by earning doubles wins and helping Arkansas take an early 1-0 lead. Surin and Hudson struck again for their second singles wins of the day, closing out what was an undefeated (3-0) individual day of competition for the pair. Up 3-1, Brittany Huxley provided the dual-match point for the Razorbacks with a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) victory over Satjaporn Mahajaroenkul.
Its home opener a success, Arkansas prepares next for ITA Kickoff Weekend in Athens, Ga., where the Razorbacks will first face off against No. 55 Kansas State on Friday, Jan. 24.