AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 46 University of Arkansas men’s tennis team closed out its weekend of play against Big 12 opponents on Sunday, playing strong but losing to No. 8 Texas (9-2), 5-2 at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.The Hogs (6-3) got another outstanding effort from sophomore Tyler Tarnasky, who defeated No. 76 Olivier Sajous, 3-6, 6-4 (10-6) at No. 4 singles on Sunday. The win was Tarnasky’s second comeback win of the weekend after defeating Oklahoma’s Blake Boswell, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 on Friday in Fayetteville.
“Tyler really showed how strong he can be for us this weekend,” head Arkansas coach Robert Cox said. “Pulling out two comeback wins against two very talented Big 12 teams is huge for him and for the team.”
Playing at No. 3 singles for the first time this season, junior Dmitry Lebedev scored the first win for Arkansas, winning over No. 99 Kellen Damico in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.
In his second tight match of the weekend No. 70 Matt Hogan, playing at No. 2 singles, won the first set over Texas’ No. 45 Ed Corrie, but Corrie came on strong to take the second set and send the match to a third set. In the third, the two battled to 4-4 before Corrie got a break and went away the winner by a final score of, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
“I’m very pleased with the way Dmitry and Matt played today,” Cox said. “They came out and fought hard in their matches.”
Unlike Friday’s match against Oklahoma when he rolled over Sergey Avdeyev, 6-2, 6-2, No. 16-ranked Blake Strode struggled from the get-go against No. 30 Dimitar Kutrovsky, falling, 6-1, 6-3 to the Longhorn.
The Razorbacks shook up the bottom of the lineup this week, putting in Nick Spinazze at No. 5 singles against Josh Zavala. Spinazze worked hard but could not keep pace with Zavala, losing, 6-3, 6-3.
Freshman Nikolas Zogaj third dual match appearance for the Razorbacks against Texas, holding serve until late in the first set when opponent Jon Wiegand managed to break the Hog’s serve and take the first set. In the second set, Zogaj couldn’t dig himself out from the one-set-to-love deficit, dropping the second set and the match, 7-5, 6-2.
“I’m proud of the way our guys played in singles against the Longhorns,” Cox said. “After the way we played in doubles, for each one of them to come out and fight so hard in singles was really great to see.”
Doubles, which has greatly improved for the Razorbacks already this year, was an obvious weakness against the Longhorns, as the Hogs dropped all three of their matches and the doubles point.
Moving into the No. 2 doubles spot against the Longhorns, Tarnasky and Williams ran up against the powerful No. 16 team of Kutrovsky and Zavala who wasted no time in dismissing the Hogs, 8-2.
At the No. 1 doubles position, No. 40 Strode and Hogan came up against the No. 55 duo of Corrie and Damico, and the Texans were no match for the Hogs on Sunday, winning 8-4.
Making their first doubles appearance as a team this spring at No. 3 doubles, Lebedev and Spinazze worked hard but couldn’t make it work against Sajous and partner Jonah Kane-West. The Hogs lost the match in a final of, 8-3.
“We didn’t play as well as I would have liked in doubles,” Cox said. “Some of that was just us not playing our game, another part of it was the flu that has swept through the team over the last few weeks. Losing Chris to the flu this weekend hurt our chances. He’s been playing very well for us this spring in singles and he and Dmitry have been solid in doubles.
“We have 11 days now before we have play again. We’re going to get used to playing outdoors again and try to get the team completely healthy before we open conference play against Alabama in a week and half.”
The Razorbacks are idle this week before opening Southeastern Conference play at home against Alabama on March 6 at 1:30 p.m. For complete coverage of Razorback men’s tennis, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
#8 Texas 5, #46 Arkansas 2February 22, 2009Austin, Texas
Singles1.#30 Dimitar Kutrovsky (UT) def. #16 Blake Strode (UA), 6-1, 6-32.#45 Ed Corrie (UT) def. #70 Matt Hogan (UA), 4-6, 6-2, 6-43.Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. #99 Kellen Damico (UT), 6-4, 6-24.Tyler Tarnasky (UA) def. #76 Olivier Sajous (UT), 3-6, 6-4, (10-6)5.Josh Zavala (UT) def. Nick Spinazze (UA), 6-3, 6-36.Jon Wiegand (UT) def. Nikolas Zogaj (UA), 7-5, 6-2
Doubles1.#55 Ed Corrie/Kellen Damico (UT) def. #40 Blake Strode/Matt Hogan (UA), 8-42.#16 Dimitar Kutrovsky/Josh Zavala (UT) def. Tyler Tarnasky/Bradwin Williams (UA), 8-23.Jonah Kane-West/Olivier Sajous (UT) def. Dmitry Lebedev/Nick Spinazze (UA), 8-3
Order of FinishDoubles: 2, 3, 1Singles: 1, 3, 5, 6*, 4, 2*-clinching match