Seniors Nikolas Zogaj
, Matt Walters
and Taj Harrison
were all honored Saturday afternoon as part of the Razorback men’s tennis team’s Senior Day during its match with 21st-ranked LSU. Unfortunately, the Tigers bested the No. 52 Razorbacks, 4-0, at the Billingsley Tennis Center as the Hogs were not able to send the seniors off with a win.
LSU won the doubles point early in the day to take the lead and then won on the top three courts in singles in straight set fashion to clinch the 4-0 shutout. Arkansas finishes the regular season with a 14-12 overall record and was 1-10 in the Southeastern Conference. Its first round opponent for the conference tournament next week has yet to be determined.
“Hats off to LSU,” Arkansas head coach Robert Cox
said. “They were solid up and down, but I was proud of how our guys fought on Senior Day. Nikolas Zogaj
, Matt Walters
and Taj Harrison
all have represented well over the last four years. We had a great crowd today and I appreciate how they’ve come out all year. It’s fun to play here when you have crowds like that. It really gives us a home court advantage and that’s a testament to the passion for tennis here in Northwest Arkansas.”
Harrison was part of the singles lineup Saturday as he played at the No. 6 position against LSU’s Stefan Szacinski and had one of the better matches of the day. Harrison fell behind after a 6-1 first set defeat, but he battled back nicely in the second frame, winning 6-3, to force the third set. However, with the momentum in his court Harrison was not able to finish out his match as LSU clinched their fourth point shortly after Harrison began his third set.
“It was good to see Taj (Harrison) out there on the court,” Cox said. “Taj plays with a lot of spirit and he was a fan favorite today. It’s good to see him compete and to compete at a high level. All the guys up and down the lineup made me proud today. They brought the heat and I was really proud of these Razorbacks.”
The Tigers seemed to have the upper hand from the beginning after clinching the doubles point after a win at court three from Tom Knights and Szacinski, 8-4, over juniors Gregoire Lehmann
and Mike Ward
. From there, LSU went on to win at courts one through three in straight sets in singles with the clincher coming at court one from 35th-ranked Olivier Borsos. Borsos defeated Lehmann in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, and, therefore, suspended the remaining three matches that were left.
Along with Harrison at court six, freshman Jovan Parlic
was involved in his own close match at court five. Parlic and Knights went the distance in their first set as Knights won a tiebreaker, 7-6(7). Only one game had been played in the second set before play was suspended.
The Razorbacks now await their first round opponent for the SEC Tournament, which has yet to be determined. The tournament is scheduled to start next Thursday and will run through Sunday. Start times and brackets will be posted online following announcement of the brackets from league offices.
#21 LSU 4
#52 Arkansas 0
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 1, 3*
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1*
No. 3 #81 Chris Simpson (LSU) def. Mike Ward
(ARK) 6-1, 6-4
No. 4 Mike Nott
(ARK) vs. James Turbervill (LSU) 5-7, 3-5, unf.
No. 5 Jovan Parlic
(ARK) vs. Tom Knights (LSU) 6-7(7), 1-0, unf.
No. 6 Taj Harrison
(ARK) vs. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 1-6, 6-3, 1-1, unf.