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Hogs Chain Up Bulldogs in 5-2 Victory

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Hogs Chain Up Bulldogs in 5-2 Victory
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sunday was senior day for the tennis Razorbacks and the No. 31 Hogs took on the No. 33 Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Razorbacks would stop their four game losing skid with the 5-2 win, including a doubles point victory.

Head coach Robert Cox was elated with his team’s win.

“We came in here today with a four game losing streak and we needed to get a win,” Cox said. “Our guys came out today and played a tough Mississippi State team very well. I can’t say enough about our guys. They fought today and put away the doubles point, something we haven’t done in a while. It is a great feeling to get that doubles point.

“It was also great to see Eddie [Pacheco] get a win on senior day. It was unfortunate for Aleksey [Bubis] that things didn’t go the same way for them. I give a lot of credit to Mississippi State, because they’re a good team. Now our focus is on LSU and picking up another conference win.”

In doubles, the Hogs would look to win their first doubles point since they won against Jacksonville University. It would look promising early as Eduardo Pacheco and Aleksey Bubis led Romain Ambert and Jerome LeBelicard 4-3 at number one. At number two, Adrians Zguns and Matt Roberts mounted a 5-3 lead over Michael Hailey and Florent Girod. The number three match gave a different perspective as Mississippi States Max Fomine and Rene Combette had a 5-3 lead over Rohan Gajjar and Talley Parker.

The number three match would be the first off the court as Fomine and Combette defeated Gajjar and Parker, 8-5. Less than two minutes later, Roberts and Zguns posted an 8-6 win over Hailey and Girod to tie level the playing field. A win at number one would give the Hogs the doubles point. Bubis and Pacheco locked horns in a 6-5 deuce with the speedy Ambert and the 6-foot 7-inch LeBelicard. Tough tennis from the Hog duo found them winning the match and the crowd on their feet, cheering.

With the 1-0 lead, an unfamiliar situation for the Hogs, the Hogs would go to singles hoping to get at least three wins to take home the match.

At number one, Nathan Price would retire after losing the first set 6-0 to Ambert.

Freshman Adrians Zguns would be next off the court. A 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Max Fomine game the Hogs a 2-0 lead and Zguns his 24th win of the year. Zguns held serve at 5-1 and sent a shot to open court to pick up the win.

Rohan Gajjar continued the trend as the freshman knocked off Max Fomine in a 6-3, 6-1 final. Gajjar held serve then broke Fomine to win the match. The win gives Gajjar his 13th of the season and he is now 11-1 at the five slot.

With the score 3-1, Matt Roberts would get the clinching point for the Razorbacks when he defeated freshman Luc Maasdorp in straight sets. The win gave Roberts his 14th of the year and 10th at the six position.

The next match off the court would be Aleksey Bubis at two. He would play Rene Combette in a tough match. The first set would go to tiebreaker, as Combette and Bubis couldn’t settle it within the limits. Combette would squeak by with the win 7-6(5) in the first. In the second, Bubis was in the match until the very end when Combette prevailed in the final games to win the set and match, 7-6(5), 6-4.

The final match would see Eduardo Pacheco picking up his 22nd win of the year, defeating Jerome LeBelicard, 6-4, 7-6(3). Pacheco controlled the first set and got the easy win over the 6’7″ giant. In the second, LeBelicard charged forward to try and push the match to three sets. It wouldn’t work, however. Pacheco fended off every thing the Frenchman threw at him and won in the tiebreaker, 6-4, 7-6(3).

The win moves Arkansas into fifth place in the SEC West and gives them a 12-10 record and makes them 3-7 in the league. Mississippi State dropped to 3-8 in league play and 7-11 overall.

The Razorbacks will next take on LSU on April 12, in Baton Rouge, La. The match will be the Hogs’ final one of the season before entering the SEC Tournament, April 16-20, in Oxford, Miss.

No. 31 Arkansas 5, No. 33 Mississippi State 2
April 6, 2003 – Fayetteville
Singles
1. Romain Ambert (MSU) def. Nathan Price, 6-0 ret.
2. Rene Combette (MSU) def. Aleksey Bubis, 7-6(5), 6-4
3. Eduardo Pacheco (AR) def. Jerome LeBelicard, 6-4, 7-6(3)
4. Adrians Zguns (AR) def. Max Fomine, 6-3, 6-1
5. Rohan Gajjar (AR) def. Florent Girod, 6-4, 6-3
6. Matt Roberts (AR) de. Luc Maasdorp, 6-3, 6-3

Doubles
1. Pacheco/Bubis (AR) def. Ambert/LeBelicard, 8-6
2. Roberts/Zguns (AR) def. Michael Hailey/Girod, 8-6
3. Fomine/Combette (MSU) def. Gajjar/Talley Parker, 8-5



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