FAYETTEVILLE – It was a long day on the court for the No. 42 University of Arkansas men’s tennis team as they took on No. 69 Mississippi State at Dills Indoor Stadium on Friday. The Bulldogs (6-11, 2-7) came back from being down 3-1 to best the Razorbacks (10-11, 2-7), 4-3.“It was a tough loss for us today,” head Arkansas coach Robert Cox said. “Mississippi State never gave up, fought hard and jumped on us in singles.”
The Hogs took a 1-0 lead after securing the doubles point with wins by Blake Strode and Chris Nott at No. 1 doubles and Matt Hogan and Dmitry Lebedev on Court 2.
Junior Bradwin Williams fell, 6-1, 6-3, to Chris Doerr at No. 5 singles to tie the match but Hogan came through with a, 6-2, 6-3, win at the No. 3 position and No. 13-ranked Strode made easy work of No. 88 Ryan Farlow, winning, 6-1, 6-1.
Playing at No. 4 singles, Lebedev attempted a comeback in the second set of his match with Antoine Lastre but couldn’t contain the Bulldog, falling, 7-5, 6-3.
After dropping his first set, Tyler Tarnasky made a run in his second set as well, forcing a second set tiebreak with Tanner Stump. Stump was able to get breaks early and late in the breaker, downing the Hog, 6-1, 7-6(4).
“We fought back during our matches too, and I’m really proud of that,” Cox said.
With the matched tied at 3-3, Nott and opponent No. 89 Artem Ilyushin headed into a third set after Nott came back to win the second set powered by an ace and a backhand shot down the line that dropped into the corner behind Ilyushin.
Once in the third set, the two foes pushed each other from side to side on the court, trading points and breaks to level the set, 5-5. Eventually moving into a tiebreak, Ilyushin took an easy 6-1 lead, only to falter as Nott earned four straight points, making the score 6-5 in favor of the Dog.
Serving for the match, Ilyushin was a force and Nott was unable to withstand the rally, losing the point and the match, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5).
“Chris almost stole the match away from Mississippi State on Court 2,” Cox said. “I’m real proud of him. Mississippi State did a good job and that shows how good this conference is.”
The loss is the Razorbacks first loss of the season when winning the doubles point and with their win, the Bulldogs snap an eight match losing streak and win for the first time on the road since March 13th.
Sunday is Senior Day for the Hogs as they will honor Blake Strode and Connor Smith before the start of singles play against No. 2 Ole Miss at 1 p.m. at the Dills Indoor Stadium.
For more information and for complete coverage of Razorback men’s tennis, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
#69 Mississippi State 4, #42 Arkansas 3April 10, 2009Fayetteville, Ark.Singles1. #13 Blake Strode (UA) def. #88 Ryan Farlow (MSU), 6-1, 6-12. #89 Artem Ilyushin (MSU) def. Chris Nott (UA), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5)3. Matt Hogan (UA) def. Louis Cant (MSU), 6-2, 6-34. Antoine Lastre (MSU) def. Dmitry Lebedev (UA), 7-5, 6-35. Chris Doerr (MSU) def. Bradwin Williams (UA), 6-1, 6-36. Tanner Stump (MSU) def. Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 6-1, 7-6(4)
Doubles1. Blake Strode/Chris Nott (UA) def. Chris Doerr/Tanner Stump (MSU), 8-32. Matt Hogan/Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. Artem Ilyushin/Louis Cant (MSU), 8-33. Taylor King/Matt Walters (UA) led Ryan Farlow/Antonio Lastre (MSU), 5-4, DNF
Order of Finish:Doubles: 1, 2*Singles: 5, 3, 1, 6, 4, 2*