FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas will host its final two home matches of the season this weekend, as the Razorbacks welcome 40th-ranked Auburn and 12th-ranked Alabama to the UA Outdoor Tennis Complex Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Arkansas enters this weekend’s action coming off a midweek setback to No. 14 Oklahoma St., 7-0, in Stillwater, Okla. The Razorbacks are 7-18 and 0-8 in Southeastern Conference play.
Arkansas boasts the reigning SEC Player of the Week in sophomore Blake Strode. Strode heads the Razorbacks lineup with a record of 23-10, including a 14-7 dual-match mark and a 4-4 SEC tally. Strode, ranked 77th in the latest FILA/ITA rankings, did not play in the Oklahoma St. match, and will be looking to extend a current three-match win streak.
Strode and junior Colin Mascall give Razorback Coach Robert Cox one of the SEC’s most formidable doubles tandems. Strode and Mascall, ranked 49th in the nation, are 18-7 this season and 14-5 in dual matches. The duo has also posted a 5-3 conference mark.
Auburn (10-7, 3-4 SEC) comes to Fayetteville Friday for a 1:30 p.m. matchup with the Hogs. The Tigers knocked off South Carolina, 5-2, in their last outing March 30. Since 1985, the Razorbacks hold a 11-10 edge in the series with Auburn, including winning last year’s matchup in Auburn, 6-1. The series is split in Fayetteville, with both schools holding four wins apiece.
On Sunday, Alabama (15-5, 5-3 SEC) rolls into town for Arkansas’ senior day. The Crimson Tide currently sits in a tie for second place in the SEC Western Division with LSU. Alabama upset the Razorbacks, 4-3, a season ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Hogs took the last match in Fayetteville, 4-3, in 2005.
In between the doubles point and singles play, senior Andrei Nicoara will be recognized for his four years of service to the Razorback tennis program.
Both matches will be held at the UA Outdoor Tennis Complex, weather permitting. If there is inclement weather, matches will be moved into the adjacent Dills Indoor Tennis Center. The UA Outdoor Tennis Complex is located across from Bud Walton Arena on Razorback Road. There will be free pizza and beverages available for fans.
Live scoring for both matches will be available by logging on to Hogwired.com.