April 1, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The women's tennis team (8-8, 1-5 SEC) continues its Southeastern Conference road swing this weekend with a pair of away contests. The Crimson Tide will be in Baton Rouge on Friday, April 2 to take on LSU (6-12, 1-5 SEC) at 3:00 p.m. (CST). Alabama will then head to Fayetteville, where No. 22 Arkansas (12-7, 2-4 SEC) awaits for a match on Sunday, April 4 at noon (CST).
Last week, the Tide split a pair of matches. Alabama fell at home to No. 29 Vanderbilt 4-3, but picked up a 4-3 road victory against Kentucky. Friday against the Commodores, the Tide put itself in good position by taking the doubles point, but could not close out the win. Sophomore Courtney McLane picked up a huge victory at the No. 2 spot, knocking off No. 76 Chelsea Preeg 6-1, 6-4. The match came down to the battle on court four, with Vanderbilt's Keilly Ulery holding off Alabama freshman Antonia Foehse 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(2). On Sunday against the Wildcats, the Tide once again took the doubles point. Kentucky won the first three singles matches to take a 3-1 lead in the match, but Alabama picked up the crucial win at the No. 2 position to stage the comeback, as McLane fought off Caroline Lilley 7-6(6), 7-6(1). The Tide was able to take the matches at No. 5 and No. 6, dropping a combined two games, to clinch the victory.
LSU is currently on a three-match losing streak, including dropping its last two conference matches to No. 14 Tennessee and No. 13 Georgia. The Tigers have been tough at home this season, holding a 6-3 record, but are still searching of their first road win of the season. LSU began the season ranked No. 28, but was not ranked in this week's poll. The Tigers do not have any players in the national singles or doubles rankings this week. LSU leads the all-time series with Alabama 26-10, but the Tide did win last season 4-3 in Tuscaloosa.
Arkansas has seen its ranking drop since the last poll as it is also on a three-match losing streak. Two of the losses were tough 4-3 decisions on the road. The Razorbacks have been difficult to defeat at home this season, currently holding a 10-2 record, which includes both wins in conference play. Arkansas has played a total of 13 matches against ranked opponents, going 7-6 in those matches. Junior Anouk Tigu leads the Razorbacks in the national rankings, coming in at No. 65 in singles. Sophomore Kate Lukomskaya has also earned a national ranking of No. 115. Tigu and freshman Claudine Paulson are the only doubles pair ranked for Arkansas, currently No. 39. The Tide leads the all-time series with the Razorbacks 15-8.
Next up, Alabama returns home for its final two home conference matches of the season. The Tide host Mississippi State on Friday, April 9 at 3:00 p.m. (CST) and Mississippi on Sunday, April 11 at 1:00 p.m. (CST).