FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After two tough losses over the weekend to then-No. 20 Alabama and then-No. 26 Auburn, the No. 53 University of Arkansas men’s tennis team takes to the road on Wednesday, traveling to Tulsa, Okla. to play the No. 34 Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-1) at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center at the University of Tulsa.The teams have not met in a dual setting since 2007 when the Hogs (6-5, 0-2) took a 7-0 beating in Stillwater, Okla. At the match, the Hogs dropped all six singles matches against their then-ranked No.14 foes from the Big 12. The bright spot of the match came on Court 2 of doubles, where Branden Joost and partner Jorge Villanueva downed Artsem Burmistrau and Nathan Byrnes, 6-5(5).
Since the teams’ last meeting, Arkansas has retooled its lineup, adding sophomores Matt Hogan, ranked No. 120 in the nation, and Chris Nott who is 8-1 in dual singles play this season. Dmitry Lebedev has grown in the last two seasons, moving from the No. 5 singles position up to No. 4 and is solid this season, going 5-3 this spring.
Senior Blake Strode, who did not play at the 2007 match, has compiled an impressive singles résumé during his climb to his current No. 15 singles ranking. Strode is the Hogs’ No. 1 singles player with his 7-3 dual record in 2009 and continues to lead the Razorbacks with strong play at the top of the lineup each week.
Still improving in doubles, the No. 60 duo of Hogan and Strode is likely to run up against the No. 31 team of Byrnes and Oleksandr Nedovyesov, whom the Hogs lost to, 8-5, in the semifinals of the Wilson/ITA Central Region Championships last October in Fayetteville.
Wednesday’s match, originally scheduled for 2 p.m. in Stillwater, Okla. was moved to the Case Center in Tulsa, Okla. because of weather. The match will begin at 7 p.m. For live results from the match and for complete coverage of Arkansas men’s tennis, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.