FAYETTEVILLE- The No. 59 Arkansas Razorback men’s tennis team fell in a heartbreaking match Friday afternoon against No. 32 Vanderbilt at the George M. Billingsley Center. The wind was fierce as the advantage swayed undecided throughout the entire match. Vanderbilt pulled away with a 4-3 win over the Hogs.
"It was a good dual match, " head coach Robert Cox said. " I am dissapointed with the loss but we are playing our best tennis at the end of season."
In doubles action the top duo of Dmitry Lebedev and Christopher Nott stormed the court with authority to give up only one match against Adam Baker and Alex Zotov. The Arkansas duo claimed the first win of the day with an 8-1 triumph over Baker and Zotov. On court 2, Matthew Hogan and Matt Walters battled against Ryan Lipman and Bryant Salcedo but eventually fell, 8-4. The final decision came down to the senior duo of Bradwin Williams and Taylor King after trailed the entire match the duo rallied back against Alex DiValerio and Vijay Paul to tie the match at seven-all. In a tight tiebreaker, Vanderbilt pulled ahead and took the doubles point, 9-8(5).
Super freshman Mike Ward kicked started Arkansas’ momentum earning the first singles win of the match. He defeated Alex DiValerio in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Vanderbilt answered to regain the lead as the crowd roared as Hogan approached the net to a hit a down the line winner to take the match against Zotov, 6-3, 6-4. Vanderbilt answered to regain the lead as No. 37 Lipmann won on at the No. 1 position over No. 60 Nott, 6-2, 6-1.
Highlighting the match was Hogan as he continued domination at the No. 3 position. The crowd roared as he approached the net to a hit a down the line winner to take the set and the match against Zotov, 6-3, 6-4.
Three courts remained with the score tied at two-all. On court 5, Walters dropped the first set to Baker but fought back to force a tiebreaker in the second set but eventually fell, 6-4, 7-6(4). At the No, 2 position, Lebedev and No. 114 Paul split sets and battled for the advantage in the third set. Vanderbilt clinched the win as Paul won 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Match play continued as freshman Gregoire Lehmann and Bryant Salcedo split sets and entered a third set. Lehmann’s solid groundstrokes and finesse earned him a 6-0, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Salcedo to close out the match. The final match overall score in Vanderbilt’s favor was 4-3.
"We are going to bounce back for another tough match Sunday against Kentucky, " Cox said. " But we are continuing to improve and will be ready to play."
Arkansas will look to bounce back on Sunday for a morning match against No. 11 Kentucky on Sunday at the George M. Billingsley Center. First serve is set for 11:00 a.m.
For complete coverage and live stats on the Arkansas Razorbacks men’s tennis team visit: ArkansasRazorbacks.com.Complete Results
Arkansas 3 Vanderbilt 4 Singles Order of Finish: 6,1,3,5,2*,4Ryan Lipman (VU) def. No. 60 Christopher Nott (UA) 6-2, 6-1Vijay Paul (VU) def. Dmitry Lebedev (UA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3Matthew Hogan (UA) def.Alex Zotov (VU) 6-3, 6-4Gregoire Lehmann (UA) def. Bryant Salcedo (VU) 6-0, 5-7, 6-3Adam Baker (VU) def. Matt Walters (UA) 6-4, 7-6(4)Mike Ward (UA) def. Alex DiValerio (VU) 6-3, 6-3
Doubles: Order of Finish: 1, 2 3*Nott/Lebedev (UA) def. Baker/Zotov (VU) 8-1Lipman/Salcedo (VU) def. Hogan/Walters (UA) 8-4DiValerio/Paul (VU) def. Taylor King/Bradwin Williams 9-8(7)