FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas takes on a pair of schools from the state of Mississippi this weekend as the 16th-ranked Razorbacks head to Starkville, Miss. on Friday to battle No. 57 Mississippi St. before returning home to take on No. 10 Ole Miss Sunday.
The Razorbacks (12-6, 3-3 SEC) split a pair of home conference matches last weekend, and Coach Robert Cox’s club enters this weekend having won four of its last six matches.
Mississippi State (4-8, 1-5) dropped two road matches last weekend at Kentucky and Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs are led by sophomore Pierre Mouillon, who was named SEC Player of the Week for the week of March 15-22. Mouillon is 17-10 this season, including a 9-3 dual-match mark and a 4-2 record in SEC play.
MSU leads the series with UA, 18-5. The Hogs dropped last year’s contest with the Bulldogs in Fayetteville, 5-2. MSU also claimed the schools’ first-round matchup in the SEC Tournament in Athens, Ga., 4-0.
Ole Miss (13-2, 5-1) is currently in second place overall in the SEC, first in the Western Division. The Rebels won last year’s match with the Hogs, 6-1, in Oxford. Erling Tveit, who has won 10 of his last 11 matches, and Eric Claesson, who has won 10 straight, head Ole Miss’ lineup.
The Razorbacks’ doubles lineup will feature seniors Rohan Gajjar and Matt Roberts at No. 1. The duo has won three consecutive matches. At No. 2, the Hogs will go with the 39th-ranked pair of freshman Blake Strode and senior Adrians Zguns, with sophomore Colin Mascall and freshman Austin King likely playing No. 3 doubles.
In singles, the Hog attack includes 13th-ranked Zguns leading the way. The Liepaja, Latvia native is two wins shy of becoming only the fourth player in school history to record 100 career wins. Following Zguns will be Roberts at No. 2. Roberts has won 20 matches for the second consecutive year. Gajjar is probable at No. 3, followed by Strode at No. 4 and Mascall at No. 5. At No. 6, Cox may use either King, sophomore Michael Jung or sophomore Jimmy Khougassian.
Arkansas and Mississippi State are set for a 2 p.m. first serve Friday in Starkville. Fans can follow live scoring of the match by going to the Live Stats link at www.hogwired.com, or by clicking the link at the top of the page.
The Razorbacks and Ole Miss are slated to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday. The match will be held at the Wal-Mart Life & Tennis Center in Bentonville, right off Exit 86 on I-540. If weather does not allow the match to be played outdoors, the teams will meet in the Dills Indoor Tennis Center in Fayetteville.