COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team streaked past the No. 17 South Carolina Gamecocks (15-5, 3-4) Friday at the Sam Daniel Tennis Center, winning handily, 6-1.“We really put it all together today,” head Razorback coach Robert Cox said. “We played solid and I’m so proud of these guys for fighting and keeping their heads up. It was a complete team effort.”
The No. 45 Razorbacks (10-9, 2-5) were led by senior Blake Strode, ranked No. 13 in the country, who posted a suspense-free, 6-0, 6-3 victory over No. 52 Diego Cubas at No. 1 singles. The win is Strode’s 10th in dual match play and his 20th overall this season.
Strode and doubles partner Chris Nott started the winning for the Hogs on Friday, beating the No. 28 team in the nation, Cubas and Ivan Machado, 9-7 at the No. 1 doubles position. Arkansas clinched the doubles point with a win at No. 3 as Matt Walters and Taylor King defeated Jaime Cuellar and partner Johannes Pulsfort, 8-6.
“We played the best doubles of the entire season today,” Cox said. “The guys showed their positive Razorback attitude today. South Carolina is a great team having a great year and we finally put it all together and came out with a solid win.”
The Razorbacks are 10-0 this season when leading, 1-0, heading into singles play.
The top of the Razorbacks’ singles lineup continued to roll over its competition as Nott and Hogan picked up wins at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively.
What can I say about the guys who play at Nos. 1-4,” Cox said. “They have played and continue to play well in every match.”
Hogan, playing Cuellar, halted a two match losing streak, finding his stride and downing the Gamecock, 6-4, 6-1. Nott also snapped a two match losing streak, winning, 6-2, 6-4 over Pedro Campos.
Junior Dmitry Lebedev scored a victory for Arkansas on Court 4, playing in a monster match against Machado that included tiebreaks in both of the first two sets. Lebedev secured the win in the super-breaker, taking the match, 7-6(5), 6-7(8), (10-6).
After securing the win on Court 2, the remaining matches, being played by Bradwin Williams and Tyler Tarnasky at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively, were decided by a pro set. Williams dropped his match to Pulsfort, 8-2 while Tarnasky defeated No. 123 Ivan Cressoni, 8-4.
“Tyler had a good win over a player who is having a great year,” Cox said. “As a team, we have to keep it up and keep moving forward through the rest of the season.”
Next, the Hogs are in Gainesville, Fla. this Sunday, facing the No. 10 Gators at noon (CT). For more information and for complete coverage of Arkansas men’s tennis, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
#45 Arkansas 6, #17 South Carolina 1April 3, 2009Columbia, S.C.Singles1. #13 Blake Strode (UA) def. #52 Diego Cubas (SC), 6-0, 6-32. Chris Nott (UA) def. Pedro Campos (SC), 6-2, 6-43. Matt Hogan (UA) def. Jaime Cuellar (SC), 6-4, 6-14. Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. Ivan Machado (SC), 7-6(5), 6-7(8), (10-6)5. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) def. Bradwin Williams (UA), 8-26. Tyler Tarnasky (UA) def. #123 Ivan Cressoni (SC), 8-4
Doubles1. Blake Strode/Chris Nott (UA) def. #28 Diego Cubas/Ivan Machado (SC), 9-72. Matt Hogan/Dmitry Lebedev (UA) trailed Pedro Campos/Ivan Cressoni (SC), 7-6, DNF3. Matt Walters/Taylor King (UA) def. Jaime Cuellar/Johannes Pulsfort (SC), 8-6
Order of Finish:Doubles – 1, 3*Singles – 1, 3, 2*, 5, 6, 4