FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Matt Hogan and Bradwin Williams finished their singles matches within moments of one another to lift the Razorback tennis team to a victory Sunday over Mississippi State at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Center in Starkville, Miss. Arkansas (11-10, 3-7) claimed the doubles point and got wins from the bottom half of its lineup to come away with a 4-3 win. The win snaps Arkansas’ five-match losing streak.
Hogan gave the Razorbacks netters a 3-2 lead with a straight-sets win at No. 4 singles over Chris Doerr, 7-5, 6-2. After winning the first set, Hogan broke his opponent’s serve in the fifth game of the second, and added another break in the seventh, to gain the advantage and serve out the match for his 10th dual-match win of the season.
On court six, Williams clinched the Arkansas victory with a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Maximilien Genuini. Williams led 5-2 in the first set before Genuini charged back to force a tiebreak. The Razorback sophomore held on to take the first set and cruise to victory after racing out to big lead in the second.
“Today was just a good, solid SEC match,” head coach Robert Cox said. “We have played teams close and come out on the wrong end, but I’m really proud of the way we fought and pulled out a big win over a very tough Mississippi State team.
“We have all the respect in the world for (MSU head coach) Per Nilsson and his staff and knew it was going to be tough to come in here to get this win and it was.”
The Razorbacks claimed the doubles point with a win on court one as Hogan and Blake Strode topped Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux, 9-7. Moving up a spot to No. 2 doubles, Chris Nott and Taylor King kicked things off for Arkansas with an 8-5 win over Pjotrs Necajevs and Ryan Farlow. The match on court three was suspended after the Hogs sealed the first dual point with Doerr and Tanner Stump leading Colin Mascall and Tyler Tarnasky, 6-5.
For just the second time in conference play this season, Arkansas won the doubles point and led, 1-0, heading into singles play.
“That doubles point was huge for us,” Cox said. “We played really well on all three doubles courts and I think that helped us going into the singles matches.”
Mississippi State (8-10, 2-8) struck first in singles action with a win at No. 2 singles by Frayssinoux. The No. 57 player in the nation defeated Mascall in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, to tie the match, 1-1.
Each team then picked up a win to square the match at 2-all. On court five, Nott beat Antonio Lastre, 6-3, 6-4, for his fifth conference win of the season. The Razorback freshman has won four matches in a row. Mississippi State responded with a 6-0, 6-4 victory at No. 3 singles by Farlow over Dmitry Lebedev to pull even on the scoreboard.
Hogan and Williams’ wins on courts four and six, respectively, clinched the match at 4-2 with the match at No. 1 singles still going on. Bjelica, the 26th-ranked player in the nation, earned the Bulldogs’ third point by beating Strode, 6-4, 7-6(4). With his opponent serving for the match at 5-4, Strode broke serve and forced a tiebreak, but Bjelica pushed ahead for the straight-sets victory.
The Razorbacks will take a brief break from conference play to take on UMKC in their next match. Wednesday’s first serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center. For live stats and complete results, log on to www.hogwired.com.
#47 Arkansas 4, #49 Mississippi State 3
April 6, 2008
1. #26 Ivan Bjelica def. #99 Blake Strode (UA), 6-4, 7-6(4)
2. #57 Philippe Frayssinoux (MSU) def. Colin Mascall (UA), 6-2, 6-2
3. Ryan Farlow (MSU) def. Dmitry Lebedev (UA), 6-0, 6-4
4. Matt Hogan (UA) def. Chris Doerr (MSU), 7-5, 6-2
5. Chris Nott (UA) def. Antonio Lastre (MSU), 6-3, 6-4
*6. Bradwin Williams (UA) def. Maximilien Genuini (MSU), 7-6(5), 6-2
1. Blake Strode/Matt Hogan (UA) def. Ivan Bjelica/Philippe Frayssinoux (MSU), 9-7
2. Chris Nott/Taylor King (UA) def. Pjotrs Necajevs/Ryan Farlow (MSU), 8-5
3. Chris Doerr/Tanner Stump (MSU) vs. Colin Mascall/Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 6-5 (susp.)
Order of Finish: Doubles (2, 1); Singles (2, 5, 3, 4, *6, 1)
* – clinching match