FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team got more for its effort on Sunday facing Virginia Tech on the last day of the Auburn Spring Classic in Auburn, Ala.Playing against a Hokie team that was 16-8 over the first two days of the Classic, the Hogs were looking to improve their own 12-10 record for the weekend behind senior Blake Strode and sophomore Matt Hogan. In his match against Nicolas Delgado de Robles, the No. 15-ranked Strode (3-0) had no problem, easing past the Hokie, 6-3, 6-3. Hogan (2-1), ranked No. 39, also breezed past his opponent, No. 100 Pedro Graber, in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
“We played well again today,” head Razorbacks coach Robert Cox said.” It was a great weekend for us and the top half of our lineup played tremendous tennis today, Blake and Matt winning in Flights 1 and 2. Blake went undefeated this weekend against some tough competitors and I couldn’t have asked more of him.”
After his Saturday afternoon match lasted just over three hours, Chris Nott (2-1) was back in action against Yoann Re in another three set fight. Nott took the first set easily, 6-1, before dropping the second set to Re, 3-6. Not discouraged, Nott came back to take the third set and the match, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.
Once again, freshman Nikolas Zogaj (2-1) showed how valuable an addition he is to the Hogs, taking a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Corrado Degli Incerti Tocci.
“Nikolas is off to a great start with the team,” Cox said. “He went two and one this weekend and he’s really starting to play some good tennis. I’m very pleased with the way the entire team did throughout the weekend.
Taylor King (1-2) and Dmitry Lebedev (1-2) played in their first three-set matches of the invitational on Sunday, but were unable to overcome impressive play by their Virginia Tech opponents. King stayed with Hokie Sebastien Jacques through the second set, but Jacques pulled away in the third, winning, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. Luka Somen was solid against Lebedev, winning the first set decidedly, 6-1, before dropping the second set to the Hog, 3-6. Dominate again in the third set Somen took the match, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.
Also playing singles for the Razorbacks on Sunday was Tyler Tarnasky (0-2) who dropped a straight sets decision, 6-1, 6-2, to Brandon Corace. Bradwin Williams (0-3) absorbed his third loss of the Classic, falling to Patrick Daciek 6-3, 6-4.
On the doubles court, Arkansas’ No. 14 duo Hogan and Strode (2-1) proved too much for the No. 20 team of Delgado de Robles and Somen, defeating the Hokies, 8-6.
The remaining three Arkansas doubles teams in action did not fare as well, Nott and King (1-2) losing to the No. 45 team of Re and Jacques, 8-4, and Tarnasky and Williams (2-1) losing their first match of 2009, an 8-6 decision to Graber and Tocci. Lebedev and Zogaj (1-1) were also on the losing end on Sunday, dropping a tight match to Corace and Daciek, 9-7.
“We played good doubles today,” Cox said. “Everyone had a great match and Matt and Blake’s win over another top 20 team is a solid way for them to start the dual season.”
After their weekend on the road, the Razorbacks return home on Tuesday for a double header with Oral Roberts and UMKC. First serve against the Golden Eagles is at 10 a.m. at Dills Indoor Stadium and play will kick off against the Kangaroos at 5:30 p.m. For complete coverage of Razorbacks’ men’s tennis, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Sunday’s Complete ResultsDOUBLESFlight 1(UA) B. Strode/M. Hogan (2-1) def. (VT) N. Delgado de Robles/L. Somen (1-2), 8-6 Flight 2(VT) Y. Re/S. Jacques (2-1) def. (UA) T. King/C. Nott (1-2), 8-4Flight 3(VT) P. Graber/C. Tocci (1-0) def. (UA) T. Tarnasky/B. Williams (2-1), 8-6Flight 4(VT) B. Corace/P. Daciek (1-0) def. (UA) D. Lebedev/N. Zogaj (1-1), 9-7
SINGLESFlight 1(UA) Blake Strode (3-0) def. (VT) Nicolas Delgado de Robles (0-3), 6-3, 6-3 Flight 2(UA) Matthew Hogan (2-1) def. (VT) Pedro Graber (0-3), 6-2, 6-4 Flight 3(UA) Christopher Nott (2-1) def. (VT) Yoann Re (1-2), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 Flight 4(VT) Luka Somen (3-0) def. (UA) Dmitry Lebedev (1-2), 6-1, 3-6, 6-1Flight 5(VT) Sebastien Jacques (2-1) def. (UA) Taylor King (1-2), 7-5, 3-6, 6-3Flight 6(VT) Brandon Corace (2-1) def. (UA) Tyler Tarnasky (0-2), 6-1, 6-2Flight 7(VT) Patrick Daciek (3-0) def. (UA) Bradwin Willians (0-3), 6-3, 6-4Flight 8(UA) Nikolas Zogaj (2-1) def. (VT) Corrado Degli Incerti Tocci (2-1), 7-5, 6-4