March 31, 2010
AUBURN- The No. 50 Auburn women's tennis team (8-6, 2-4) will take on the No. 29 Arkansas Razorbacks (12-7, 2-4) Friday, April 2 in Fayetteville in a battle for sole possession of second-place in the SEC West that is followed by a trip to Baton Rouge to play LSU (6-12, 1-5) on Sunday. Each match is slated for a Noon start.
Auburn is coming off a weekend split, after defeating Kentucky 5-2 on March 26 and being shut out by No. 20 Vanderbilt, 7-0 on March 28. Auburn holds a singles record as a team of 42-36 and are 25-17 in doubles action. The freshman tandem of Paulina Schippers and Plamena Kurteva are 10-3 in doubles play, while the senior pairing of Fani Chifchieva and Jil Hastenrath are 9-3. Hastenrath and Chifchieva picked up the lone victory of the day for the Tigers in the shutout against Vanderbilt, winning 8-2 at No. 2 doubles over Catherine Newman and Rachael Dillon. Chifchieva is Auburn's top singles player, as she has a record of 9-4 on the season, and is 7-4 in first flight singles. She is also ranked No. 54 in the latest ITA singles rankings.
Auburn holds a 17-12 all-time advantage over the Razorbacks, having last defeated Arkansas in 2008 in Fayetteville in a 4-3 victory on Feb. 29. Last season the Hogs defeated the Tigers 6-1 in Auburn on March 8. Arkansas sits tied with Auburn in second-place in the Western Division with a 12-7 overall mark, and are 2-4 in SEC play.
The then 22nd-ranked Razorbacks went 0-2, with a 5-2 loss to No. 14 Georgia on March 26 and a 4-3 defeat against No. 15 Tennessee 4-3 on March 28. Against Georgia, Arkansas fell behind early after losing the doubles point. Freshman Kelsey Sundaram won her 13th match of the spring, this time at No. 4, to tie the match at 2-2, but Georgia won the final three matches for a 5-2 victory. Against Tennessee, the Razorbacks lost the doubles point, but responded well in singles. Sophomore Stephanie Roy got the surge started at court four by defeating Zsofia Zubor, 6-3, 6-1. The Hogs won two more for a 3-2 lead, but Tennessee rallied at five and six for a 4-3 victory.
Arkansas' top-ranked singles play is Anouk Tigu, who is 65th in singles play and partners up with Claudine Paulson to form the 39th-ranked doubles team in the country. Kate Lukomskava is Arkansas' other ranked player, as she is 115th.
On Sunday, Auburn will face LSU for the second-time this season, having defeated them 4-0 on Jan. 29 in the first round of the ITA Kickoff. Auburn's doubles teams have been in tact throughout the season, as Chifchieva and Hastenrath defeated Kaitlin Burns and Nicole Kantor, 8-4. Kurteva and Schippers also managed to knock off Hannah Robinson and Ebie Wilson 8-5 to secure the doubles point. The Tigers also won all-three singles matchups, as Chifchieva defeated Whitney Wolf, who was ranked 120th at the time, 6-4, 6-2. In No. 5 singles, Robinson gave Schippers a run for her money after winning the first set, but Schippers who the final two sets, 6-1, 6-2. Auburn senior Myrthe Molenveld clinched the team victory for the Tigers, defeating Nicole Kantor 6-3, 6-4.
LSU sits at the bottom of the SEC West standings with a 6-12 overall mark and 1-5 record in SEC action. LSU leads the all-time series against Auburn, 33-10. Last season, Auburn defeated LSU, 5-2,in their only meeting on March 6 in Baton Rouge.Most recently on March 23, LSU fell to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 6-1.
Live Stats will be available via AuburnTigers.com for each match.