KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 46 University of Arkansas men’s tennis team dropped a well-played match to the No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers, 6-1, on Friday at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center, ending the Razorbacks’ (9-8, 1-4) three match winning streak.Three of the Hogs’ singles matches went to three sets and were close to the very end, Razorbacks Chris Nott, Matt Hogan and Dmitry Lebedev putting in some of their hardest-fought matches of the season against the Vols (15-3, 4-1).
Lebedev walked away with a win on Court 4 over Davey Sandgren, taking a love set of the Vol on the way to a, 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 victory.
The win is Lebedev’s first Southeastern Conference victory of the season and moves him 9-5 in dual play, spending most of his time at No. 4 singles and appearing also at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions.
Sophomores Nott and Hogan, playing at No. 2 and No. 3 singles respectively, also battled three hard sets before succumbing to their Tennessee foes.
Nott took the second set off No. 25 Boris Conkic but dropped the third set, falling, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and Hogan also won his second set, playing against Matteo Fago, but lost the match in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
“Our guys played very well today,” head Arkansas coach Robert Cox said. “They fought for every point and I’m so proud of their effort against a top five team.”
The Vols continued their winning ways against Arkansas at No. 1, No. 5 and No. 6 singles, beginning with No. 7-ranked John-Patrick Smith defeating No. 17 Blake Strode easily, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 1 position.
Tyler Tarnasky and Nikolas Zogaj also suffered straight sets losses on Friday. Tarnasky lost to Matt Brewer on Court 5, 6-2, 6-1 and Zogaj was defeated by Christian Hansen on Court 6, 6-1, 6-3.
As it has been all season, the doubles point seemed to foretell the match result, as the Vols won at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to take a 1-0 lead into singles play.
Swapping doubles partners at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, Strode and Nott did not have enough to take down the No. 8 team of Sandgren and Smith, falling, 8-5. Tarnasky and partner Bradwin Williams move to 0-3 in conference play after falling, 8-2, to Brewer and Bryan Swartz.
The Razorbacks are 0-8 this season when they trail going into singles play.
The weekend will not get easier for the Razorbacks who face No. 3 Georgia at noon on Sunday at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center. For complete coverage of Arkansas men’s tennis, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
#5 Tennessee 6, #46 Arkansas 1March 27, 2009Knoxville, Tenn.Singles1. #7 John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. #17 Blake Strode (UA), 6-3, 6-32. #25 Boris Conkic (UT) def. Chris Nott (UA), 6-4, 3-6, 6-33. Matteo Fago (UT) def. Matt Hogan (UA), 6-4, 1-6, 7-54. Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. Davey Sandgren (UT), 6-0, 2-6, 6-45. Matt Brewer (UT) def. Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 6-2, 6-16. Christian Hansen (UT) def. Nikolas Zogaj (UA), 6-1, 6-3
Doubles1. #8 Davey Sandgren/John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. Blake Strode/Chris Nott (UA), 8-52. Boris Conkic/Matteo Fago (UT) led Dmitry Lebedev/Matt Hogan (UA), 5-4, DNF3. Matt Brewer/Bryan Swartz (UT) def. Tyler Tarnasky/Bradwin Williams (UA), 8-2
Order of Finish:Doubles: 3, 1*Singles: 1, 4, 2, 3*, 5, 6