FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas lost its first match of the season Sunday afternoon, 4-3, to 20th-ranked Texas in front of an overflow crowd at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center in Fayetteville.
The Razorbacks have now dropped the last two matches against the Longhorns. UT knocked off the Hogs, 5-2, a season ago in Austin. In the last 25 matches between the two schools, Texas holds a 13-12 advantage over Arkansas.
“What a great college tennis match,” said Razorback Coach Robert Cox, “This just shows the ebbs and flows of college tennis and how momentum makes a difference.”
The 45th-ranked Razorbacks (6-1) split singles with the Longhorns, but the doubles point ultimately decided the match.
The Longhorns (2-0) claimed the doubles point, taking the 1-0 advantage. It was the first time this season the Hogs have lost a doubles point.
Arkansas bounced back quickly in singles. Senior Adrians Zguns was the first man off the court with a straight-set win over 44th-ranked Travis Helgeson at No. 1. Fellow senior Matt Roberts quickly followed Zguns with a two-set win of his own at No. 2. Freshman Blake Strode then gave the Hogs a 3-1 lead with a straight-set victory at No. 4.
“We were just phenomenal at the top,” Cox said.
Zguns’ win moves him into sixth-place alone on the Razorbacks’ career win list with 91. The senior from Liepaja, Latvia is only two behind Jose Lambert (93) for fifth and three behind Cha Hoon Im (94) for fourth.
Texas would fight off Razorback rallies at No. 3 and No. 6 to even the score at 3-3. Both matches at No. 3 and No. 6 went into a second-set tiebreaker, and sophomore Michael Jung fought off five match points before falling at No. 6.
With the match squared up, the attention turned to Hog sophomore Colin Mascall at No. 5. Mascall, a mid-semester transfer from the University of Montana, won his first set and rallied from down 3-1 in the final set, before falling, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“I’m pleased with our effort,” Cox said, “We are excellent in the top 4 and solid in our bottom two. That doubles point was really huge today. But, we played hard and our crowd was outstanding.”
The Razorbacks return to the courts Sunday, February 12 against Wichita St. The Hogs defeated the Shockers earlier this year, 4-0. The match is set for 1 p.m. at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center in Fayetteville.
#20 Texas 4, #45 Arkansas 3
February 5, 2006
1.Matt Roberts/Rohan Gajjar (AR) vs. Callum Beale/Roger Gubser (UT), 7-3 (susp.)
2.Travis Helgeson/Michael Venus (UT) def. Blake Strode/Adrians Zguns (AR), 8-5
3.Hubert Chodkiewicz/Miguel Reyes Varela (UT) def. Austin King/Colin Mascall (AR), 8-2
Order of Finish: 3, 2
1.Adrians Zguns (AR) def. #44 Travis Helgeson (UT), 6-3, 6-4
2.#24 Matt Roberts (AR) def. Callum Beale (UT), 7-5, 6-4
3.#38 Roger Gubser (UT) def. #100 Rohan Gajjar (AR), 6-3, 7-6 (3)
4.#19 Blake Strode (AR) def. Milan Mihailovic (UT), 7-5, 6-4
5.Michael Venus (UT) def. Colin Mascall (AR), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
6.Miguel Reyes Varela (UT) def. Michael Jung (AR), 6-4, 7-6, (11)
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 3*, 2, 4, 1
#20 Texas (2-0), #45 Arkansas (6-1)
Clinchers: No. 2 doubles, No. 5 singles
Zguns moves into sixth on UA career wins list (91)