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Hogan-Strode into semifinals at Central Regional

Hogan-Strode into semifinals at Central Regional

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After a strong first day in doubles, in which the Hogs went four-for-five, only one team advanced beyond the round of 16 on Saturday, and that team played its way into Sunday’s semifinals. Arkansas’ Hogan and Strode had no trouble getting past round of 16 opponents, Serge Ristivojevic and Gustavo Guerin of University of Missouri-Kansas City, rolling into the quarterfinals on an 8-2 victory. In the quarterfinals, the Hogs ran into Hendrik Stahmer and Francois Van Impe of Nebraska, the two who bested Arkansas’ Nick Spinazze and Connor Smith on Friday. In the end, Arkansas was the stronger team this round, coming out of the match with an 8-4 win and a date with the No.1-seed from Oklahoma State, Nathan Byrnes and Oleksandr Nedovyesov in the next round.“Matt and Blake played great Razorbacks doubles today,” said Arkansas head coach Robert Cox. “Their serves and return games were really on and I’m very proud of the entire match.”

In the other doubles matches, Matt Walters and partner Dmitry Lebedev were no match for Oklahoma’s duo of Blake Boswell and Sergey Avdevyev, and were disposed of 8-1. Bradwin Williams, playing with Tyler Tarnasky, lost a back-and-forth match 8-6, to Maor Aumueller and Benedikt Lindheim of Nebraska while two courts over, the team of Chris Nott and Taylor King lost a heartbreaker to Patrick Collins and Rusty Turpin of Tulsa, at one point serving for the match.

“There were a lot of ups and downs on the doubles courts for us today,” said Cox. “While I was very happy with some of the play of our teams, there was a certain amount of disappointment also.”

As expected, the singles matchup between Razorbacks Hogan and Lebedev was competitive, but Lebedev was unable to keep up with the solid play of Hogan, and Hogan won a spot in the quarterfinals, scheduled for Sunday, by the score of 6-2, 6-1.

"Both the guys played well, but one of them had to win and today it was Matt,” said Cox.

In consolation singles, Hog Connor Smith is the last one standing for Arkansas after coming back from being down a set to beat Sebastian Rubiano of Southern Illinois, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2. Teammate Nick Spinazze had life in the second set of his match against Michael Hobson of Illinois State but couldn’t hang on, dropping the match in two sets, 6-3, 7-5. Solid play by Nebraska’s Maor Aumueller did in Chris Nott, who was never able to find his footing, losing 6-1, 6-0, Nott’s least competitive showing of the tournament.

“Nick played okay today but couldn’t string together enough good play to win in the second set to tie the match. Nott ran up against a very tough opponent from Nebraska, who gave the number one seed, (Arnau) Brugues of Tulsa trouble on Friday, but he played well. It was a tough loss for him.”

On Sunday, Arkansas will return to the court at 9 a.m. when Matt Hogan looks for a semifinal berth against the No.2-seed, Andrei Daescu of Oklahoma and Connor Smith faces Aumueller in the consolation singles quarterfinals. At 3 p.m. Hogan and Strode will play in the semifinals against Byrnes and Nedovyesov, looking for a berth into the finals and a chance to play at National Indoor Championships in November. For updated scores and complete coverage of the Arkansas Razorbacks men’s tennis team, log onto

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Sports Category : Tennis (M)