Tulsa, Okla.— The No. 50 University of Arkansas men’s tennis team got off to a slow start on Tuesday dropping 6-1 to the No. 31 Tulsa Hurricanes but bounced back to dominate Oral Roberts at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla., 4-0.
In doubles action, No. 31 Tulsa picked up early momentum taking the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 positions. At the No. 3 doubles position, Tulsa clinched the doubles point with a win over the freshmen duo of Michael Ward and Gregoire Lehmann. The duo battled but fought hard but eventually fell to Marcelo Arrival and Grant Ive, 8-5. Junior Matt Hogan and sophomore Matt Walter continued onward and were able to edge a 9-8(3) win over Alistair Barnes and Marko Ballok.
Tulsa returned to the courts strong and extended the lead 3-0 with wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions. Grant Ive earned Tulsa’s first singles victory, defeating sophomore Matt Walters in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. On court five, Nikolas Zogaj fell to Ballok, 6-1, 6-4.
Lehmann put Arkansas on the scoreboard with his triumph over Barnes, 7-6(3), 6-2. Barnes battled in the first set but from the start of the second set, Lehmann moved effortlessly past the finish line, to win in straight sets. Lehmann extended his winning streak in SEC play to four matches.
“It was a tough set back,” assistant coach Eduardo Rincon said. “We didn’t perform the way we wanted but we hope to turn this into a positive and help with in our remaining SEC matches.”
At the top of the lineup No. 60, junior Christopher Nott and junior Matthew Hogan hinted at a chance to come back but Tulsa held firm. No. 55 Arevalo clinched the match in Tulsa’s favor defeating Nott in a heated second set. Hogan and No. 50 Ashley Watling was the last match to finish. The duo fought for the advantage but Watling won in a tight tiebreaker, 6-3, 7-6(7).
Arkansas returned to the courts confident against Oral Roberts, taking control of the match early sweeping the doubles point and rode the wave of momentum into singles play. At the No. 1 position, Nott and Lebedev defeated Mikhail Trukshanin and Igor Sobolta, 8-3. The senior duo of Taylor King and Bradwin Williams proved too much for the duo of Dmitry Suslov and Dario Beslic. At the No. 3 doubles position, the standout duo of Ward and Lehmann clinched the doubles point with an 8-5 victory over Carlos Salazar and Matthew Tansil.
In singles action the Hogs brought the heat not to drop a set against Oral Roberts. Williams started the fire for the Hogs with a win over Salazar, 6-1, 6-1. Fellow senior, King’s consistent all-around game earned him a straight set triumph over Tansil, 6-0, 6-0. On court four, Ward clinched the match with a brilliant performance over Beslic, 6-4, 6-3. Ward ended the match with a forehand line winner and extended his record to 6-2 on the spring season. The 4-0 win over Oral Roberts showcased the Hogs depth and earned the Hogs tenth win of the season.
“It was a good match,” Rincon said. “I am proud of the way the guys took care of business.”
Arkansas’ road trip continues this weekend, against Auburn on Friday in Auburn, Ala., before going head-to-head with Alabama on Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. For complete results on the Arkansas Razorback tennis team visit: ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Tulsa 6 Arkansas 1
Doubles (Order: 1, 3, 2)
1. #30 Stephens/Watling (TLS) def. #68 Nott/Lebedev (ARK), 8-5
2. Hogan/Walters (ARK) def. Ballok/Barnes (TLS), 9-8 (3)
3. Arevalo/Ive (TLS) def. Lehmann/Ward (ARK), 8-5
Singles (Order: 6, 5, 4, 1, 2, 3)
1. #55 Marcelo Arevalo (TLS) def. #60 Christopher Nott (ARK), 6-3, 7-6 (7)
2. Philip Stephens (TLS) def. Dmitry Lebedev (ARK), 6-4, 7-6 (3)
3. #50 Ashley Watling (TLS) def. Matthew Hogan (ARK), 6-3, 7-6 (6)
4. Gregoire Lehmann (ARK) def. Alastair Barnes (TLS), 7-6 (7), 6-2
5. Marko Ballok (TLS) def. Nikolas Zogaj (ARK), 6-1, 6-4
6. Grant Ive (TLS) def. Matt Walters (ARK), 6-4, 6-4
Arkansas 4 ORU 0
Nott/Lebedev (UA) def. Trukshanin/Sobolta (ORU) 8-2
Taylor King/Bradwin Williams (UA) def. Dmitry Suslov/Dario Beslic (ORU), 8-4
Gregoire Lehmann/Michael Ward (UA) def. Carlos Salazar/Matthew Tansil (ORU), 8-3
Order of finish: 6,5,4*
Nott (UA) def. Trukshanin (ORU) 6-4, 2-3 (unf.)
Lebedev (UA) def. Sobolta (ORU) 6-3, 5-0 (unf.)
Zogaj (UA) def. Suslov (ORU) 6-3, 1-4 (unf.)
Ward (UA) def. Beslic (ORU) 6-4, 6-3
King (UA) def. Tansil (ORU) 6-0, 6-1
Williams (UA) def. Salazar (ORU) 6-1, 6-1