COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Arkansas tennis team continued its strong effort at the University of South Carolina Fall Invitational Saturday in Columbia, S.C., with four Razorbacks advancing.
The USC Invitational features over 150 players from 30 schools, with competitors divided into six 32-man singles flights. Four of five Razorbacks won their round of 16 and quarterfinal matches, advancing to the semifinals of their respective flights to be played late Saturday afternoon.
“We’re improving every day we play,” Razorback Coach Robert Cox said, “We’re looking forward to playing tomorrow in some tough semifinal matches.”
Freshman Blake Strode advanced in flight A-1, knocking off second-seeded Oscar Posada of East Tennessee State, 6-3, 6-3, and then taking down South Carolina’s Geraldo Knorr, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7). Strode, a product of St. Louis, Mo., has won four consecutive matches and improves his fall record to 5-1.
Fellow freshman Taylor King, the second seed in flight B-1, defeated Kevin Sijmons of Armstrong Atlantic State before knocking off Gardner-Webb’s Roberto Vasques, 6-0, 6-4. The Rogers, Ark., native remained undefeated this fall with the wins, bettering his tally to 6-0.
Also in flight B-1, sophomore Michael Jung notched his sixth and seventh wins of the fall, beating Gardner-Webb’s Kern Phillip, 6-4, 6-2, and East Tennessee State’s Enrique Olivares, 6-2, 6-4. Jung, of Atlanta, Ga., is 7-1 this fall.
Sophomore Jimmy Khougassian moved on in flight B-3 with his, 6-2, 6-3, triumph over Gardner-Webb’s Kim Ellis and then beating Coastal Carolina’s Brian Dowis, 6-3, 6-3. The Clamart, France native is 6-2 this fall, his first as a Razorback after joining the Hogs in the spring of 2005.
Junior Andy Nicoara, competing in flight B-2, was the only Hog to drop a match in the round of 16. The product of Woodbridge, Ontario is 3-4 this fall.
Strode and King, in the semifinals of the A-1 doubles flight, were defeated by the Gamecock duo of Jamie Cuellar and Knorr, 8-3. The duo is now 5-1 this fall.
On Sunday in the semifinal rounds King and Jung will face each other at 8 a.m. ET, while Khougassian will go up against North Florida’s Glenn Marshall at the same time. Strode will take on Yale’s Brandon Wai at 8:30 a.m. The winners of the singles matches will advance to the final rounds at 11 and 11:30 a.m.
Download: Results (Day One and Two).pdf