FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The No. 50 University of Arkansas women's tennis team is on the road this weekend for their final two away matches of SEC play. The Razorbacks (10-12, 3-7 SEC) will face No. 28 on Tennessee on Friday at 4 p.m., and then match up against No. 3 Georgia on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Last weekend, Arkansas dropped two home matches, falling to No. 31 South Carolina and No. 2 Florida. The losses snapped a four game winning streak for the Razorbacks. The team will try and rebound with two big matches on the road next.
"We're certainly excited to get back out there on the road," Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty said. "Our focus is still very, very high. It's a critical part in the season, and I think we're ready for it."
The Razorbacks have been led by senior Claudine Paulson, who leads the team with a 16-4 overall singles record, in addition to tying for the team high with seven doubles victories. Freshman Yang Pang has recorded nine singles wins at the No. 1 singles spot, including six against ranked opponents. Pang is ranked No. 47 in the nation, while Paulson is No. 97. Paulson and freshman Segou Jonker, who play at No. 1 doubles, are ranked No. 74. The Razorback freshman class, comprising of seven first-year players, has over 65 percent of the team's singles wins.
Tennessee is 8-8 on the season, and 5-4 in the SEC. They are ranked No. 28 in the ITA rankings, but are coming off a pair of road losses last weekend, at Texas A&M and Missouri. Last season, the Razorbacks defeated UT 4-3 in Knoxville when the Volunteers were ranked No. 12, the highest ranked win of the season for Arkansas. Arkansas is 5-20 all-time against Tennessee.
Georgia enters the weekend at 15-2, 8-1 in the SEC, and will face LSU on Friday before matching up with the Razorbacks. The No. 3 Bulldogs are 8-0 at home this season, and both of their losses came against top - 10 opponents. UGA fell to then No. 2 UCLA, as well as current No. 2 Florida. Georgia has won five straight matches, and is coming off a road victory last weekend over No. 4 Texas A&M. Arkansas is 3-23 all-time against the Bulldogs.
"Both Tennessee and Georgia are having good seasons," Hegarty said. "They are two traditional SEC powers. We had a good trip to Tennessee last year and beat them on the road. We feel comfortable with the trip, we're excited about it, and it's definitely a match where we are looking to improve."
First serve on Friday at the Barksdale Tennis Center is at 4 p.m. against the Volunteers. Sunday's match against UGA is at 1 p.m.