FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Razorbacks fought hard and took Oklahoma to the final match of competition, but fell in the end and gave the Sooners a 4-3 win.
“Once again we played good doubles and started out very strong, said head coach Robert Cox. I’m really proud of the way the guys came out. Hats off to Oklahoma, they played a great match.”
The Hogs have yet to drop a doubles point this season, as they took a 1-0 lead over Oklahoma after the doubles portion of competition was completed. Mike Ward and Nikolas Zogaj are still undefeated in doubles play and took the first match, defeating Lawrence Formentera and Laurentiu Gavrila, 8-3. Matt Hogan and Matt Walters quickly followed behind, defeating Ionut Beleleu and Tsvetan Mihov, 8-5. Gregoire Lehmann and Chris Nott dropped their first doubles match of the season, falling to Costin Paval and Peerakit Siributwong, 8-5.
“I’m very proud of our guys,” said Cox. “It shows how far our guys have come over the fall and how much better we’ve gotten. Oklahoma is a great team.”
The Hogs went back and forth with the Sooners all night, keeping the matches close throughout. Matt Walters took the first match, defeating John Warden 7-6 (7-1), 6-2. Larentiu Gavrila and Costin Paval of Oklahoma both won their matches and tied it up at 2. Nikolas Zogaj fell to Tsvetan Mihov, but then Mike Ward defeated Lawrence Formentera to again tie the teams at three. The final match decided the winner’s fate. Chris Nott fought until the end, but fell in his third set. No. 28-ranked Ionut Beleleu eventually defeated Nott, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, and gave the Sooners the 4-3 win.
“Now we just have to refresh and get ready to battle Tulsa on Sunday,” said Cox.
The Hogs will play again this Sunday. They will take on the No. 38-ranked Tulsa Hurricanes at 1 p.m., in their last home match for a while. Live stats as well as a live blog will be available during Sunday’s match. For more information of the men’s tennis team, log on to www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Oklahoma 4, Arkansas 3
1. Hogan/Walters (Ark.) def. Beleleu/Mihov (OU), 8-5
2. Paval/Siributwong, (OU) def. Lehmann/Nott (Ark.), 8-5
3. Ward/Zogaj (Ark.) def. Formentera/Gavrila (OU), 8-3
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
1. Ionut Beleleu (OU) def. Chris Nott (Ark.), 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
2. Costin Paval (OU) def. Matt Hogan (Ark.), 6-2, 6-4
3. Laurentiu Gavrila (OU) def. Gregoire Lehmann (Ark.), 7-6(5), 6-1
4. Tsvetan Mihov (OU) def. Nikolas Zogaj (Ark.), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Mike Ward (Ark.) def. Lawrence Formentera (OU), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
6. Matt Walters (Ark.) def. John Warden (OU), 7-6(1), 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1*