FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team battled hard, but came up short against the Longhorns. The Dills Indoor Tennis Center was at full capacity as Hog fans were on their feet to cheer on the Hogs. The enthusiasm was contagious throughout the entire match but was not enough to claim the win. Texas took the match, 6-1. "Great atmosphere tonight," head coach Robert Cox said. "We’re learning a lot with our tough schedule and proving that we can compete with the best teams in the country."
In doubles play, Texas earned the early lead, claiming all three matches. The Longhorn’s duo of Jon Wiegand and Vasko Mladenov clinched the doubles point with a win over Michael Ward and Nikolas Zogaj, 8-4. At the No. 1 spot, Texas’ Dimitar Kutrovsky and Josh Zavala defeated Chris Nott and Dmitry Lebedev, 8-3, while Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico won at No. 2 over Matt Hogan and Matt Walters.
"Tonight we saw why Texas is ranked eighth," Cox said. "Texas kept the pressure on and finished strong in some close matches. They are a great team that is well coached. They came out on top because they stayed very aggressive and have no holes in their game."Standout sophomore Nikolas Zogaj had the lone win at the No. 6 spot over No. 85 Daniel Whitehead of Texas. Zogaj fell in the first set, 6-2, but Zogaj found a solid rhythm coming back to win the match in a third set tie-breaker, 10-3. Zogaj won the match, 2-6, 7-6(5), 1-0(10-3).
"I am very pleased with Zogaj’s performance today," Cox said. "He picked up a solid win today with his singles victory over a quality player."
At the top singles spot, No. 81 Nott and No. 5 Kutrovsky exchanged the advantage in a two-hour match. Nott took the lead going up a set and 4-0 in the second set over Kutrovsky. Kutrovsky found momentum and bested Nott, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.
The energy in the crowd was undeniable as newcomer Gregoire Lehmann earned his first set victory as a Razorback over Vasko Mladenov, 6-3. Lehmann fought hard but eventually fell to Mladenov, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. His passion was contagious as Taylor King tried to battle back against Kellen Damico. He closed the gap but Damico claimed the match, 6-4, 6-2. On court 4, No. 38 Josh Zavala jumped out to an early lead over Lebedev, winning the match 6-3, 6-3.
"Gregoire brings the energy, "Cox said. "I look forward to coaching him."
Hogan dropped the first set to the Longhorn’s No. 9 Ed Corrie.Hogan rebounded to take the lead in the second, 5-4, but Corrie pulled through to clinch the match and the set, 6-4, 7-5.
The Hogs will return to action and will travel to Oxford, Miss., next weekend for the ITA National Indoor Kick-off Weekend. First serve is set for Saturday against the Ole Miss Rebels at 10 a.m.
No. 8 Texas 6, Arkansas 1 â€¨
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 2*, 6, 5, 1â€¨
1. No. 5 Dimitar Kutrovsky (UT) def. No. 81 Chris Nott (UA) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2â€¨
2. No. 9 Ed Corrie (UT) def. Matthew Hogan (UA) 6-4, 7-5â€¨
3. Kellen Damico (UT) def. Taylor King (UA) 6-4, 6-2â€¨
4. No. 38 Josh Zavala (UT) def. Dmitry Lebedev (UA) 6-3, 6-3â€¨
5. Vasko Mladenov (UT) def. Gregoire Lehmann (UA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1â€¨
6. Nikolas Zogaj (UA) def. No. 85 Daniel Whitehead (UT) 2-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-3)
Order of Finish: 2, 3*, 1
1. No. 22 Kutrovsky/Zavala (UT) def. Nott/ Lebedev (UA) 8-3â€¨
2. Corrie/Damico (UT) def. Hogan/ Walters (UA) 8-5â€¨
3. Mladenov/Wiegand (UT) def. Michael Ward/Nikolas Zogaj (UA) 8-4â€¨
*- clinched match