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Freshmen Lead Way as Hogs Dismantle SMSU 7-0

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Freshmen Lead Way as Hogs Dismantle SMSU 7-0

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The freshmen continued to be the bright spot for the Hogs when they played the Southwest Missouri State (SMS) Bears to a 7-0 win on Friday. Freshmen Matt Roberts and Rohan Gajjar combined for a win in doubles and then were the first two off the singles courts – moving their unbeaten streaks to four.

The shutout was the first for the Hogs this season. The last time the Hogs shut out a team was March 21, 2002, when they defeated Texas Pan-AM 4-0. The Razorbacks won four matches via shutout last season. The Hogs blanked St. Louis twice, 7-0, 5-0. They then went on to defeat SMS 7-0.

Head coach Robert Cox was remarkably pleased with his team’s performance on the day and now has his sights set on Sunday’s SEC opener against Vanderbilt.

“This was a good win for the Hogs,” Cox said. “I’m really pleased with our effort we came out and played pretty good doubles. We’re improving, getting better and we got the job done. All the Hogs came out and played solid singles. SMS pushed us and it was a good effort.

“Now we have to get ready for the second season that starts Sunday. Our next eight or nine teams are nationally ranked teams. Now its time to get going and see what we’re made of.”

In three doubles, freshmen Roberts and Gajjar made quick work of their opponents, Shingi Nyagura and Jacob Neimeyer. The Hog duo didn’t waste anytime, getting off the court with a quick 8-1 win.

Two doubles was a bit more exciting as Aleksey Bubis and Talley Parker fell behind 3-1 to the SMS Bear dup of Rishi Garbharran and Pedja Pavlicic, 3-1. Bubis and Parker rallied back to tie up the match and would hold and break again to go up 5-3. The SMS team wouldn’t quit as they fought back to tie it up again at five a piece. Arkansas would go up 6-5. Things really got exciting when Bubis was serving for the match, 7-5. The Hogs ended up with the advantage and Bubis served an ace to secure the match and the doubles point for the Hogs.

The top doubles squad of Nathan Price and Eduardo Pacheco seemed to control their match the whole way. They went up 6-3 and SMS would force a deuce and the Hogs lost the point to allow SM back in the match. The Razorbacks would hold serve and go up 7-4 before Pacheco would be serving for the match at 7-5. Pacheco and Price would win 8-5, blanking SMS in the final game.

Gajjar moved to 4-0 on the season with a win on court five against Shingi Nyagura, 6-1, 6-3. Gajjar controlled Nyagura the entire way and pulled off the win in the second set to give the Hogs a 2-0 lead and keep his unbeaten streak alive.

Roberts continued to help the freshmen lead the way with a 6-3, 6-1 win of his own over Jacob Neimeyer at the six position. Roberts moved to 7-4 on the season and has a perfect 5-0 record in dual matches thus far.

Court three saw Pacheco continue to solidify his preseason ranking of 104 with a win over Pedja Pavlicic, 6-2, 6-2. Pacheco’s win moves his record to 14-7 on the season and guaranteed the Hogs the match, moving the team record to 5-1 overall.

The Hogs played out the final three matches as Price, Adrians Zguns and Bubis were still on court when Pacheco completed his match.

Bubis picked up his first win at the number one position and moved his overall record to 14-9 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Garbharran. The win moved the overall team score to 5-0 and helped to continue the Hogs’ shut out of the Bears.

Price was moved to the number two position after not having much success leading off for the Hogs, as his record was 1-7 overall, losing all four of his matches thus far. He shook off the demon as he was able to pick up a win at the two slot over Knezevic, 6-4, 6-4, making the score 6-0.

Zguns would be the last man on court against Curcic. Zguns won the first set 6-3 and played a neck-and-neck second set before breaking his opponent to go up 5-4. Zguns would then be serving for the match and would be broken. With the score tied at 5-5, Curcic and Zguns would battle out through nine deuces before Zguns won the game and went up 6-5. He would then allow Curcic back in the match and they would go to a second set tiebreaker.

Zguns would serve out and get up 6-2 before losing a point. Zguns would get the win with a 7-6 win in the tiebreaker to win, 6-3, 7-6(7-3) and solidify the shutout for the Hogs. Zguns’ win gave him a record of 13-4 on the season.

The Hogs will next see action in their SEC opener when the host the No. 25 Vanderbilt Commodores on Sunday, Feb. 9 at noon.

Doubles:
No. 1: Nathan Price/Eduardo Pacheco(AR) def. Filip Knezevic/Nenad Curcic, 8-5
No. 2: Talley Parker/Aleksey Bubis (AR) def. Rishi Garbharran/Pedja Pavlicic, 8-5
No. 3: Matt Roberts/Rohan Gajjar (AR) def. Shingi Nyagura/Jacob Neimeyer, 8-1

Singles:
No. 1: Bubis (AR) def. Garbharran, 6-4, 6-4
No. 2: Price (AR) def. Knezevic, 6-4, 6-4
No. 3: Pacheco (AR) def. Pavlcic, 6-2, 6-2
No. 4: Adrians Zguns (AR) def. Curcic, 6-3, 7-6(7-3)
No. 5: Gajjar (AR) def. Nyagura, 6-1, 6-3
No. 6: Roberts (AR) def. Neimeyer, 6-3, 6-1



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