Feb. 6, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma women’s tennis team topped No. 14 Arkansas Sunday, 4-3, in Norman.
The Sooners, ranked No. 31 in the country, improved to 3-1 after the upset victory.
“It’s early in the season,” said OU head coach David Mullins. “We know we’re good, we just don’t know how good. We have a much better idea now after four matches. We’re a very good team, we’re going to be tough to beat. We have a tough schedule. We’re 3-1 and we’ve done it the hard way.”
The Sooners won the doubles point to take the early 1-0 lead. OU has won the doubles point in all four of its matches this season.
Senior Tara Eckel and junior Marie-Pier Huet clinched the doubles win for the Sooners, after edging out Arkansas’ Jade Frampton and Valentina Starkova at the No. 3 spot, 9-7. The match was tied at 7-7, before the OU pair won two games in a row to secure the victory.
OU’s Maria Kalashnikova and Whitney Ritchie won at the No. 2 spot to start doubles, the Sooners topped Stephanie Roy and Kate Lukomskaya of Arkansas, 8-5.
Ana-Maria Constantinescu and Alice Radu, ranked No. 31 in the country in doubles, lost their first doubles match of the year to Arkansas’ Anouk Tigu and Claudine Paulson at the No. 1 position, 8-6.
“Doubles, again, got us through this match,” said Mullins. “That’s four straight matches now that we’ve won the doubles point with different people each day, which shows that we’re strong in all three spots. It gives us a big boost of confidence going into singles.”
OU kept its momentum with a win at the No. 2 position by Ritchie, who led Lukomskaya, 6-0, 2-1, before the Lady Razorback retired.
Arkansas scored its first point of the day with a victory by Stephanie Roy over Kalashnikova at the No. 5 position, 6-3, 6-3.
Freshman Mia Lancaster began her match trailing 3-0 to Kelsey Sundaram, but bounced back to take the No. 6 position point, 6-4, 6-1.
Arkansas’ Emily Carbone defeated Huet at the No. 3 position, 6-4, 6-4, to give the Razorbacks their second point.
Radu sealed the victory for the Sooners by besting Claudine Paulson, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, at the No. 3 position. Radu was the third OU freshman to win her singles match against the Hogs.
“I’m so proud of Alice and the way she competed and closed that match out today,” said Mullins.
Constantinescu fell in a third-set tiebreaker to No. 26 Anouk Tigu, 4-6, 6-0, 7-6 (4).
The Sooners take the court next Feb. 11 at Minnesota.
1. Tigu/Paulson (Ark) def. No. 31 Constantinescu/Radu (OU), 8-6
2. Ritchie/Kalashnikova (OU) def. Roy/Lukomskaya (Ark), 8-5
3. Eckel/Huet (OU) def. Frampton/Starkova (Ark), 9-7
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. No. 26 Anouk Tigu (ARK) def. Ana-Maria Constantinescu (OU), 4-6, 6-0, 7-6 (4)
2. Whitney Ritchie (OU) def. Kate Lukomskaya (ARK), 6-0, 2-1, ret.
3. Alice Radu (OU) def. Claudine Paulson (ARK), 6-3, 5-7, 6-3
4. Emily Carbone (ARK) def. Marie-Pier Huet (OU), 6-4, 6-4
5. Stephanie Roy (ARK) def. Maria Kalashnikova (OU), 6-3, 6-3
6. Mia Lancaster (OU) def. Kelsey Sundaram (ARK), 6-4, 6-1
Order of Finish: 2, 5, 6, 4, 3, 1