FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After the first three team points had been decided Sunday, the Razorback tennis team found itself trailing No. 69 Fresno State, 3-0. A brief rally by the Arkansas netters put the team in position to erase the deficit, but the Bulldogs held their lead to beat the Razorbacks, 4-3, Sunday at the Walton Life Fitness Center in Bentonville, Ark.
In the clinching match, Fresno State sophomore Mirko Zapletal defeated No. 76 Blake Strode, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, at the No. 1 position. Strode fell behind 4-0 in the second set, but fought back to win the next six games to the extend the match to three. Zapletal served out the match after a late break of Strode’s serve gave him the advantage.
Arkansas earned the first win of the match when Strode and Colin Mascall beat Zapletal and Tejesvi Veerepalli, 8-4, during doubles play. Fresno State, coached by former Razorback Jay Udwadia, won the final two matches to take the doubles point and the 1-0 lead into singles action.
Razorback sophomore Dmitry Lebedev won UA’s first team point with a 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over Martin Nilsson at the No. 5 singles spot. The Bulldogs claimed the first two singles points with wins by Siddharth Alapati and No. 91 Rudolf Siwy.
With the match out of reach, Arkansas freshmen Chris Nott and Matt Hogan closed out wins for the Razorbacks to bring the score to its final 4-3 tally. Nott defeated Veerepalli in three sets, 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(2), while Hogan also rebounded from losing the first set to beat Danny Fafek, 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-4.
“This was a good dual match,” head coach Robert Cox said. “Full credit to the Fresno State players because they played tough on the big points. This (match) gives us a chance to see where we are early in the season and we’ll take that into our next match against Texas.”
The Razorbacks will return to the courts when they host the No. 7 Longhorns on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Log on to www.hogwired.com for more news about Arkansas tennis.
#69 Fresno State 4, Arkansas 3
Jan. 27, 2008
1. Mirko Zapletal (FS) def. #76 Blake Strode (UA), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
2. #91 Rudolf Siwy (FS) def. Colin Mascall (UA), 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
3 Chris Nott (UA) def. Tejesvi Veerepalli (FS), 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(2)
4. Matt Hogan (UA) def. Danny Fafek (FS), 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-4
5. Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. Martin Nilsson (FS), 7-6(3), 6-4
6. Siddharth Alapati (FS) def. Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 6-3, 6-2
1. Blake Strode/Colin Mascall (UA) def. Mirko Zapletal/Tejesvi Veerepalli (FS), 8-4
2. Rudolf Siwy/Taylor Leiby (FS) def. Chris Nott/Dmitry Lebedev (UA), 8-6
3. A.J. Kerin/Danny Fafek (FS) def. Taylor King/Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 8-6
Order of Finish:
Doubles (1, 2, 3); Singles (6, 2, 5, 1, 3, 4)