FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas opens the 2006 SEC Tournament Thursday when it takes on Vanderbilt in a first-round match at 10 a.m. at the University of Alabama Tennis Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Razorbacks (16-9) are the tournament’s sixth-seed after finishing the SEC regular season with a 6-5 conference record, while the Commodores (7-13) are the 11th-seed after posting a 2-9 SEC mark.
“It’s our second season,” Razorback Coach Robert Cox said, “We’re in good shape, but we have to get in a tournament frame of mind. Our mindset has to be ready for the one-and-done type situation.”
Arkansas and Vanderbilt met earlier this season in Nashville, with the Hogs blanking the Commodores, 7-0. The Razorbacks have won their previous seven matches with Vanderbilt. The schools have met twice in the SEC Tournament, with each school winning once and the Hogs claiming the last meeting in 1995, 4-3, in Baton Rouge, La.
Senior Adrians Zguns leads the Hogs into the SEC Tournament. Zguns, ranked 19th in this week’s FILA/ITA rankings, is 24-8 this season playing most at No. 1, and has reeled off three straight wins, all over ranked opponents. Zguns’ last two wins have come against players ranked in the top 25. His win over No. 14 Daniel Byrnes of Oklahoma St. Tuesday, moved him into third on the UA career wins list with 102.
Freshman Blake Strode also is on a hot streak heading into the weekend. Strode has won eight consecutive contests, and finished the regular season with a 25-5 overall record, a team-best 17-3 in dual matches and tied for the team-lead with eight SEC wins.
Arkansas’ top four players—Zguns, senior Matt Roberts, senior Rohan Gajjar and Strode—have combined to win 95 matches this season.
The winner of the Arkansas-Vanderbilt contest will face third-seed Ole Miss Friday at 10 a.m.
“We’re very excited for the tournament,” Cox said, “We feel pretty good about our chances to make a run.”
Fans can follow live scoring of the Arkansas-Vanderbilt match, and every match of the SEC Tournament by clicking the link at the top of the page. For complete results and updates, log on to www.hogwired.com.
Download: SEC Notes.pdf