Arkansas Set to Start SEC Season This Weekend
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas, No. 25 in the nation, takes the courts this Friday, March 5, when it begins SEC play against the No. 39 Tennessee Volunteers and continues with the action when the No. 21 Georgia Bulldogs come to town on Sunday, March 7.
“We got through the first half of the season with a record of 8-1, and I feel pleased to be there with our young team,” head coach Robert Cox said. “The second half of our season starts now. There is no other conference like the SEC where all of the talent from top to bottom is so strong.”
Tennessee sits at 5-2 on the season with a recent win over now No. 9 Duke. Other wins came against No. 71 Memphis, Tennessee-Martin, East Tennessee and Georgia Southern. Simon Rea, No. 37 in the nation, and Ockie Oosthuizen, No. 94 in the nation, lead the Volunteers. On the season, Rea has a record of 8-4, while Oosthuizen posts a 3-3 mark.
The Razorbacks also host Georgia over the weekend. The Bulldogs come into the match with a 5-1 record with wins coming over No. 14 Ohio State, No. 47 William and Mary, No. 57 Louisville, Georgia State and Furman. Georgia has several nationally ranked players on the roster led by Bo Hodge, No. 4 in the nation and 17-7 on the season. Matias Ormaza, No. 44 in the nation, joins Hodge as a ranked player in the Bulldogs lineup. Georgia also brings in the No. 5 ranked doubles team in the nation with Bo Hodge and John Isner.
The Razorbacks will try to offset the talent coming in this weekend with Adrians Zguns, No. 12 in the nation, and Nathan Price, No. 76 in the nation. Zguns and Price both have 23 victories on the season. Junior Imraan Ismail brings in a 14-6 record on the year with a perfect mark of 9-0 in the spring playing primarily the six spot.
“It is important to treat all SEC teams the same,” Cox said. “If we don’t do that and we play games there is a good chance we will get beat.”
Following Arkansas’ matches this weekend, the Razorbacks will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, to play Hawaii on Friday, March 12.
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