Hogs Hope to Rebound Against No. 17 Oklahoma S
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas will look to rebound from a pair of recent hard-fought losses on Monday night when the Razorback tennis team hosts No. 17 Oklahoma State in a regional hard court rivalry at the UA Indoor Tennis Center.
The No. 37 Hogs (9-3) will hope to get back on track after dropping their last two matches to No. 10 Florida (5-2) and then No. 10 Ole Miss (4-1). Arkansas won its first eight matches of the spring, but has dropped three of its last four outings.
“We have played well in our last two matches, but against top teams you have to finish up the deal,” Arkansas head coach Robert Cox says. “I think our guys are ready to get a top 20 win. It will take a total team effort. We have been close before, but it is time to get over the top and earn the victory.”
Oklahoma State (5-2) comes into Monday’s action on the heels of a 4-3 win over Nebraska. The Cowboys most impressive win this season came against No. 2 Tennessee in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, Wash.
“OSU has a talented squad,” Cox says. “Their win over Tennessee was a huge upset and it clearly showed that they can play with anybody in the country. We will have to play solid tennis up and down the lineup to be in a position to win.”
Arkansas will once again be led by the nation’s top singles player Oskar Johansson. Johansson held onto his No. 1 ranking in the latest ITA poll despite losing two of his last three matches.
“I think Oskar is getting a taste of what it is like to have a bulls-eye on you every time you go out,” Cox said. “When you are No. 1 in the country everyone is going to take their best shot at you. We just need him to settle into the way he was playing before and he will be all right. I’m confident that he will get back into a groove.”
Oklahoma State will give the Razorbacks a stiff challenge in doubles play. Two of the Cowboys’ doubles tandems are ranked among the top 55 doubles teams in the nation.
“It will be important for us to have some success in doubles,” Cox says. “OSU has been using their doubles to get off to a good start. Winning the doubles point seems to give a lot of momentum. Hopefully we can parlay that with our home crowd and come away with a big win.”
Arkansas and Oklahoma State will take the court at 5:30 p.m. at the UA Indoor Tennis Complex. The match is free to the public and a complimentary pizza dinner will be provided to all fans after the doubles point.
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