No. 18 Women's Tennis dispatches Arkansas, advances to NCAA Second Round
FORT WORTH, Texas -- No. 18 Texas (18-11) dominated doubles play and collected three straight-set victories to defeat 44th-ranked Arkansas (10-11) Friday by a 4-0 count in the first round of the NCAA Tennis Championships at TCU's Friedman Tennis Center. The Longhorns advance to Saturday's NCAA regional final, where they will face the winner of tonight's first-round match between Rice and host TCU.
Texas, a two-time NCAA champion and the 2005 NCAA runner-up, set the tone right away, as the Longhorns scored easy doubles victories at the first and third positions to clinch the doubles point. Senior Mia Marovic (Split, Croatia) and sophomore Courtney Zauft (San Antonio, Texas) dealt Arkansas' Maryori Franco and Karina Ledaja an 8-1 loss at the first slot, and juniors Petra Dizdar (Split, Croatia) and Ristine Olson (Missoula, Mont.) followed suit with an 8-1 win at the third position over Melissa Cornett and Vlatka Jovanovic.
Texas never let up in singles play, as UT scored straight-set wins at the first, fourth and sixth positions in a five-minute span to close out the match. Marovic put Texas up 2-0 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jovanovic at No. 1, and Zauft followed with a 6-1, 6-3 victory at the fourth slot over Cornett to give Texas a 3-0 lead. Olson withstood a challenging first set at the sixth slot, winning 7-5, and seized control from there, winning 6-0 to clinch the match for the Longhorns.
"Our doubles teams played really well, and the effort carried over to singles play," said UT coach Patty Fendick-McCain, who picked up her first NCAA tournament victory at Texas. "Arkansas had a few issues with injuries, and we used them to our advantage. It's great to get this match under our belts as we prepare for tomorrow."
Texas will take on the winner of tonight's TCU-Rice match in Saturday's NCAA regional final slated for 6 p.m. CDT. Live scoring will be available at GoFrogs.com. The regional champion will move on to Palo Alto, Calif., for the NCAA Tennis Championships' round of 16 set for Thursday, May 18 at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Center.
NCAA Tennis Championships
Singles - Order of Finish: 1, 4, 6