Down 5-2 in the second set, freshman Fani Chifchieva won three straight games en route to victory, clinching the match over Arkansas, 4-1.With the win, the 30th ranked Tigers move to 13-8 overall, while Arkansas dropped to 10-11.
"Today was a total team win," head coach Tim Gray said."Kelly (Adams) played amazing tennis today, and I can't say enough about the job Fani did to come back in that match."
The match began on the doubles side, as the Tigers' 20th ranked duo of Alex Haney and Melissa Koning made short work of Maryori and Airpetian, 8-3 on court one.Just a few minutes later, Auburn clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 victory by Kelly Adams and Jil Hastenrath over Bordeleau and Wilhelm at the No. 3 spot.
The Tigers headed into singles play with a 1-0 cushion, and bumped it up to 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-1 win by Adams at the No. 6 spot.
Arkansas battled back, however, and pulled within one after the Lady'Backs' AurelijaMiseviciute defeated Haney, 6-3, 7-5.The loss was just Haney's third in her 21 matches this season.
Auburn answered as Koning blew past Maryori Franco, 7-5, 6-0 to pull the Tigers to within one of the win.
With Auburn behind a set on courts four and five, Chifchieva found herself down in the second set, 5-2.The Plovdiv, Bulgaria native came roaring back to tie the set at five and forced a tiebreak.With the momentum on her side, Chifchieva took the tiebreak, 7-2, winning the match and clinching the win for Auburn.
The Tigers defeated Arkansas for the second time this season.They defeated the Lady'Backs on April 6, 5-2.
Auburn will face top seeded Georgia in the quarterfinal round on Friday at The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs, 4-3 earlier this season when UGA was ranked No. 1 in the country, handing them their first and only loss of the year.
#30 Auburn 4, #51 Arkansas 1
Singles competition 1. #22 Fani Chifchieva (AU) def. #36 Ela Kaluder (ARK), 7-5, 7-6(2) 2. Aurelija Miseviciute (ARK) def. Alex Haney (AU) 6-3, 7-5 3. Melissa Koning (AU) def. Maryori Franco (ARK) 7-5, 6-0 4. Whitney Chappell (AU) vs. Nanar Airapetian (ARK) 6-7, 0-5, suspended 5. Jil Hastenrath (AU) vs. Audrey Bordeleau (ARK), 6-7, 3-4, suspended 6. Kelly Adams (AU) def. Rachel Wilhelm(ARK), 6-2, 6-1