FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After losing the doubles point of its dual against No. 20 Alabama, the No. 63 Arkansas men’s tennis team took an early advantage in singles play by winning the first set on each court. The Crimson Tide (10-3, 2-0) rallied to win three of those six matches and, coupled with its point earned in doubles play, beat the Razorbacks, 4-2, Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
In doubles action, Blake Strode and Colin Mascall defeated Saketh Myneni and Michael Jung, 8-5, at No. 2 doubles for the duo’s 13th win of the season. The 37th-ranked doubles team of Daniel Buikema and Mat Thibaudeau beat Taylor King and Tyler Tarnasky, 8-1, at the top spot, while Javier Bes and Sammy Struyf claimed an 8-4 victory over Dmitry Lebedev and Matt Hogan at No. 3 doubles to give Alabama the early 1-0 lead.
The Razorbacks (7-6, 0-2) tied the team score at 1-1 when Bradwin Williams closed out Jung, 6-3, 6-2, on court six. The win was the 14th of the season for the Razorback sophomore. Lebedev, winner of seven consecutive matches, pushed the Arkansas lead to 2-1 with a straight-sets win over Bes, 7-6(5), 6-1, at No. 5 singles.
The remaining four singles matches had been extended to three sets with the Razorbacks leading on two of those courts. Buikema’s win at No. 4 singles over Chris Nott, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, pulled Alabama even and the teams were tied, 2-2. The momentum had swung back in the favor of the Tide who had taken leads on courts one and two.
Myneni defeated Strode at the top singles spot, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, to put Alabama one match away from the dual win. Thibaudeau clinched the win for the home team on court two with a 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 decision over Mascall.
Hogan’s match with Struyf was suspended when Alabama sealed the team victory. Hogan took the first set, but dropped the second and they were tied, 4-4, in the final set when the match was called.
The Razorback netters will return to action Friday in their conference home opener against Vanderbilt at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT. Log on to www.hogwired.com for more news about Arkansas tennis.
#20 Alabama 4, #63 Arkansas 2
March 2, 2008
UA Varsity Courts
1. Saketh Myneni (Ala.) d. #95 Blake Strode (UA), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3
*2. Mat Thibaudeau (Ala.) d. Colin Mascall (UA), 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-3
3. Sammy Struyf (Ala.) tied Matt Hogan (UA), 1-6, 7-6(5), 4-4 susp.
4. Daniel Buikema (Ala.) d. Chris Nott (UA), 5-7, 6-2, 6-4
5. Dmitry Lebedev (UA) d. Javier Bes (Ala.), 7-6(5), 6-1
6. Bradwin Williams (UA) d. Michael Jung (Ala.), 6-3, 6-2
1. #37 Buikema/Thibaudeau (UA) d. King/Tarnasky (ARK) 8-1
2. Strode/Mascall (ARK) d. Myneni/Jung (UA) 8-5
3. Bes/Struyf (UA) d. Hogan/Lebedev (ARK) 8-4
Order of finish:
Doubles (1, 2, 3); Singles (6, 5, 4, 1, *2, 3)