IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Razorback men’s tennis team scored its fourth win of the spring season Friday afternoon as they handedly defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes, 6-1, in Iowa City, Iowa. Arkansas scored early and scored often as they won two of three doubles matches and five straight singles matches to earn the win. Senior Nikolas Zogaj won the clincher for the Razorbacks after his opponent, Jonas Dierckx, retired in the midst of the second set. Zogaj had won the first set, 7-5.
“We came out on top against a very talented Iowa team," head coach Robert Cox said. "I’m real pleased with the way the guys matured during the match. It wasn’t the prettiest match, but the longer the match went on they really stepped up their play. We had to prove to ourselves we could get it done on the road. Iowa is a strong team and we reacted well.”
The day started in doubles and it was actually Iowa, who would strike first at court two. Dierckx and Matt Hagan defeated Zogaj and Gregoire Lehmann, 8-4, needing only one more doubles win to take the early lead. However, both Razorback teams at courts one and three were in the midst of very close matches and held the lead in both matches. At the top spot, senior Matt Walters and junior Hall Fess won their tenth match of the year after defeating Michael Swank and Garrett Dunn, 8-6. The Walters and Fess duo are the first Razorback doubles team to reach the 10 win plateau this season.
Now that both schools had one doubles win each, the first team point came down to court three. Luckily, sophomores Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott had the match well in hand as they defeated Will Vasos and Tom Mroziewicz, 8-6. It was the fourth match the two players had together this season and they remained undefeated at 4-0 with the win.
Arkansas was in control from there as they day headed to singles. With the lead in hand, the Hogs didn’t relinquish it as they went on to win at courts three, six and two, in that order, to win the overall match. Walters was the first to finish as he played lights out against Matt Hagan to win in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. Walters’ victory moves him to 9-2 on the year and 3-0 in dual play. Following that win was Mike Ward at court six as he dropped Mitch Beckert in just a dominating fashion, 6-1, 6-4 to push Arkansas’ lead to 3-0.
The clinching point came in a very non-dramatic fashion as Zogaj was given the victory at court two after Dierckx retired in the second set. It will still count as a win for the Belgium native as he is the first Razorback this season to ten singles wins.
Since it was a non-conference match, the remaining three singles matches were played out and, again, it was Hog victors in two of those matches. Jeske, who was playing in his first match as the No. 109 player in the nation, didn’t disappoint as he topped Mroziewicz in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. Junior Gregoire Lehmann finished off the victories for Arkansas as he scored the final win at court one with yet another straight set win. The victim this time was Vasos, 6-4, 6-3. All Razorbacks that earned singles victories today remained undefeated in dual play.
Arkansas will be back on the courts Saturday afternoon in Iowa City as they will take on 73rd-ranked DePaul. It will be the first ranked opponent for the Razorbacks in the young season. First serve for that match will go up at 2:30 p.m. A full recap and complete results will be posted online following the day’s play.
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3*
No. 1 Matt Walters/Hall Fess (ARK) def. Michael Swank/Garrett Dunn (IOWA)
No. 2 Jonas Dierckx/Matt Hagan (IOWA) def. Nikolas Zogaj/Gregoire Lehmann (ARK)
No. 3 Manfred Jeske/Mike Nott (ARK) def. Will Vasos/Tom Mroziewicz (IOWA)
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 2*, 4, 1, 5
No. 1 Gregoire Lehmann (ARK) def. Will Vasos (IOWA)
No. 2 Nikolas Zogaj (ARK) def. Jonas Dierckx (IOWA)
No. 3 Matt Walters (ARK) def. Matt Hagan (IOWA)
No. 4 #109 Manfred Jeske (ARK) def. Tom Mroziewicz (IOWA)
No. 5 Garrett Dunn (IOWA) def. Jovan Parlic (ARK)
6-4, 3-6, 6-1
6-4, 3-6, 6-1
No. 6 Mike Ward (ARK) def. Mitch Beckert (IOWA)