FAYETTEVILLE– The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team bounced back after a tough first day at the Virginia Tech Challenge, in Blacksburg, Va. Junior Chris Nott, junior Matt Hogan and freshman Mike Ward conquered the competition on Saturday and look to carry that momentum into Sundays matches. The Razorbacks’ doubles teams prove to be cohesive on the court winning five out of eight matches.
“We were off to a slow start but with the progression of each day we continue to improve,” Arkansas head coach Robert Cox said. “Every match is a learning day for the Razorbacks.”
Saturday boasted strong singles results for a trio of Razorbacks. Nott faced off against Moritz Dettinger of Clemson in flight one, taking the match, 6-1, 6-1. On Friday, Nott fell to Virginia Tech’s Yoanne Re in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. In flight two, Razorback Hogan claimed victory in his morning match, crushing No. 80 Carlos Alvarez of Clemson, 6-3, 6-0. In Friday’s opening round match Hogan fell to No.125 Luka Somen, in a three set battle. Alvarez won the match, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
The Razorbacks found rhythm continued on Saturday when standout newcomer Ward took the courts in flight six. Clemson’s Kevin Galloway had Razorback Ward cornered at match point but Ward stayed alive and came back to win the match, 6-3, 4-7, 7-6(3).
“Hogan and Nott competed well today, and Ward fought back brilliantly when down match point.” Cox said, “We had disappointing three setter losses but we are learning and continuing to grow.”
On the doubles court, the Razorbacks were aggressive at the net crushing the competition. The dynamic duo of Nott and Ward are unbeaten in the tournament with wins over Virginia Tech’s Luka Somen and Corrado Degli Incerti Tocci of Clemson, 9-8 (6) and Piertrucha and Zachary Rigsby, 8-6. Senior Bradwin Williams and junior Nicholas Spinazze also proved to be unstoppable winning 9-7 over Virginia Tech’s doubles team of Trpimir Kujundzic and Jon Pine. Success continued as the duo smashed Galloway and Moran of Clemson, 8-4. Hogan and Matt Walters hold a 1-1 tournament record, with a solid 8-6 win over Will Beck and Patrick Daciek of Virginia Tech on Friday. They went on to fall to Clemson’s Carlos Alvarez and Gera Boryachinskiy, 8-4. The Hokie’s doubles team of Sebastien Jacques and Yoann Re overpowered Nikolas Zojag and Taylor King to win the match, 8-2. On Saturday, the Arkansas duo returned to the court but lost in a heartbreaking tiebreaker, 9-8(4) to Clemson’s Rok Bizjac and Moritz Dettinger.
“I am very pleased with the success we found in some tough double’s matches,” Cox said. “We were competitive in all but a few of the matches.”
Back on the singles courts, Senior King faced Clemson’s Rok Bisjak in a battle of tennis that lasted close to three hours and went three sets. Bisjak scraped by to defeat King, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4. On Friday, King lost 6-1, 6-2 to Corrado Degli Incerti Tocci of Virginia Tech.
The fourth Razorback in action, Matt Walters failed to capture victory, bowing to No. 81 Patrick Daciek of Virgina Tech, 6-4, 6-4 and Clemson’s Gera Boryachinskiy, 6-0, 6-4.
Other matches include, Nikolas Zogaj in flight five for the Hogs against Sebastien Jacques of Virginia Tech and Clemson’s Robert Pietrucha in the opening rounds. Zogaj fell 6-2, 6-0 to Jacques and Piertrucha 6-3, 6-3.
Williams picked up the lone single’s win on Friday, blitzing Zach Pine, 6-1, 6-4. He went on to face Wesley Moran of Clemson, falling in a third set, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Fellow teammate Spinazze fought hard but was unable to claim the win over Pine, 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (6). He returned to the court for his second match but Clemson’s Zachary Rigsby swept the match, 7-5, 6-2.
“It is good to be back on the court and getting back into the flow, “ Cox said. “We have been off a couple of weeks and have been able to play a lot of matches. We look to finish strong in day three.”
There is no team scoring, but the Razorbacks are playing against Mississippi State at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.
No. 35 Yoann Re (VT, 1-0) def. No. 94 Christopher Nott (UA, 0-1) 6-4, 6-3
No.94 Christopher Nott (UA, 1-1) def. Moritz Dettinger (CU, 0-1) 6-1,6-1
No.125 Luka Somen (VT, 1-0) def. Matthew Hogan (UA, 0-1) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
Matthew Hogan (UA, 1-1) def. No. 80 Carlos Alvarez (CU, 1-1) 6-3, 6-0
Corrado Degli Incerti Tocci (VT, 1-0) def. Taylor King (UA, 0-1) 6-1, 6-2
Rok Bisjak (CU, 1-1) def. Taylor King (UA, 0-2) 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4
No. 81 Patrick Daciek (VT, 1-0) def. Matt Walters (UA, 0-1) 6-4, 6-4
Gera Boryachinskiy (CU, 2-0) def. Matt Walters (UA, 0-2) 6-0, 6-4
Sebastien Jacques (VT, 1-0) def. Nikolas Zogaj (UA, 0-1) 6-2, 6-0
Robert Pietrucha (CU, 1-1) def. Nikolas Zogaj (UA, 0-2) 6-3, 6-3
Will Beck (VT, 1-0) def. Mike Ward (UA, 0-1) 6-2, 7-6 (4)
Mike Ward (UA, 1-1) def. Kevin Galloway (CU, 0-2) 6-3,4-6, 7-6(3)
Bradwin Williams (UA, 1-0) def. Zach Pine (VT, 0-1) 6-1, 6-4
Wesley Moran (CU, 2-0) def. Bradwin Williams (UA, 1-1) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
Jon Pine (VT) def. Nicholas Spinazze (UA) 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (6)
Zachary Rigsby (CU, 1-0) vs. Nicholas Spinazze (UA, 0-1) 7-5, 6-2
Hogan/Walters (UA, 1-0) def. Will Beck/Patrick Daciek (VT, 0-1) 8-6
Alvarez/ Boryachinskiy (CU, 1-1) def. Hogan/Walters (UA, 1-1) 8-4
Jacques/Yoann Re (VT, 1-0) def. King/Zogaj (UA, 0-1) 8-2
Bizjak/ Dettinger (CU, 2-0) def. King/ Zogaj (UA, 0-2) 9-8(4)
Nott/Ward (UA, 1-0) def. Somen/ Degli Incerti Tocci (VT, 0-1) 9-8 (6)
Nott/Ward (UA, 2-0) def. Pietrucha/Rigsby (CU, 0-2) 8-6
Spinazze/Williams (UA, 1-0) def. Kujundzic/Pine (VT, 0-1) 9-7
Spinazze/Bradwin Williams (UA, 2-0) def. Galloway/Moran (CU, 0-2) 8-4