STILLWATER, Okla. – No. 9 overall seed Oklahoma State eliminated the No. 19 Arkansas women’s tennis team from the NCAA Championship on Sunday when the host Cowgirls defeated the Razorbacks 4-0 in a second-round match at the Stillwater Regional.
Arkansas (18-10) closed out the team portion of its season, which featured victories against 11 teams in the current national rankings and a top-20 ranking in each of the last 10 weeks, while Oklahoma State (24-5) advanced to the round of 16 in Athens, Georgia.
“I’m extremely proud of our players and the fantastic season they put together,” head coach Michael Hegarty said. “We took some big steps forward, but today Oklahoma State deserved the victory. They earned the home regional and had some critical moments that paid off for them.”
The Razorbacks made their 15th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championship, including their third straight for the first time since 2010-12. They beat Wichita State 4-2 on Saturday in the first round for the program’s first win in the NCAA Championship since 2011.
Oklahoma State won the doubles point and earned three consecutive wins at the No. 4, No. 5 and No. 1 singles positions to secure the team victory. The Cowgirls took the opening point with victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. The score at No. 1 was tied 5-5 before play was stopped.
In singles, sophomore No. 64 Ana Oparenovic led 7-5, 4-1 at No. 2, freshman Natsuho Arakawa was up 6-2, 4-6, 2-1 at No. 6, and junior No. 111 Léolia Jeanjean trailed 7-5, 5-3 at No. 3 at the clinch.
Arkansas will turn its attention to the NCAA singles and doubles championships May 24-29 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia, after the conclusion of the team championship.
Senior co-captain Shannon Hudson earned a bid to the singles championship, marking the program’s 15th selection all-time, while Oparenovic earned the first alternate spot. In addition, Hudson and freshman Giulia Pairone were selected as the first alternate for the doubles championship.