Hogs Go to Break with Six Regional Rankings
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – ITA Fall Regional Rankings were recently released and the Razorbacks found their names six separate times among the Central Region’s elite players. The Razorbacks finished with Aleksey Bubis, Eduardo Pacheco, and Adrians Zguns finishing in the top ten. Bubis led the charge finishing with a No. 2 ranking, Pacheco No. 5 and Zguns No. 8. Kristofer Ivarsson rounded out the ranked singles Hogs with a No. 28 ranking. In doubles, Bubis and Ivarsson finished with the No. 2 ranking while the combo of Pacheco and Matt Roberts finished tied for No. 10.
Bubis was on a tear the entire season. He had at least one singles win in all but two of his six fall tournaments. Bubis advanced to the semis of the Tulsa Invitational and took a second place finish behind Tulsa’s Alejandro Tejerina at the 2002 ITA Region V Tournament. Bubis finished with a record of 10-7.
Pacheco had his most productive fall, going 10-5. He played in several United States Tennis Association events before joining the team at the Baylor Intercollegiate. In all of his intercollegiate tournaments, Pacheco played at least three games and picked up nine wins in tournaments. At the ITA National Team Indoor Qualifier, he picked up a win against Tulsa’s Tom Murray to help clinch a victory and his team a berth in the ITA national indoor tournament in February.
Zguns was a pleasant surprise for the Hogs. The red shirt freshman came out and showed the nation that he could play tennis, picking up wins in every tournament he played in. He advanced to the semifinals of North Carolina’s Kickoff Classic and the very next weekend he won the Tulsa Hurricane Invitational – his second career collegiate tournament. Zguns finished the tournament season with an impressive 10-3 record.
Additionally, the Hogs cruised to the regional team title, which should land them the number one spot in the regional team rankings. The Hogs defeated defending regional champion Indiana State and then went on to knock off regional favorite University of Tulsa in the finals of the ITA Team Indoor Qualifier.
“I’m real proud of those guys for having good falls,” Cox said. “Anytime you’re in the top 10 in any type of rankings it is a testament to the program and to those guys. Being ranked is result based – everything happens on the court and the players are in control of what happens. It’s been a long time since we’ve had players ranked in the top 10. A big congratulations goes out to those guys.”
The Hogs’ spring season opens on Jan. 16 when they take part in the SEC Indoors in Atlanta, Ga. The Hogs will then open up their home season with an exhibition match on Jan. 21 against Stirling College, Scotland. The exhibition will preface a five-match home stand that concludes with the conference opener against Vanderbilt on Feb. 9.
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