GAINESVILLE, Ark.– The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team gave the hearts in their match today in the first round of the SEC tournament against Florida,but could not get over the hump. The Razorbacks fell to Florida, 4-0.
“We had a disappointing match,” said head coach Robert Cox. “We played some good doubles and were very competitive, but we let our opportunity slip away from us.”
In doubles play, the Hogs got off to a great start and led for the majority on courts one and three. Nassim Slilam and Billy Federhofer kept a substantial lead over Mike Ward and Nikolas Zogaj their entire match, and eventually defeated the Razorback pair, 8-3. On court three, Andrew Butz and Bob van Overbeek made a comeback to defeat Gregoire Lehmann and Matt Walters. On court one, Matt Hogan and Chris Nott were ahead of Alexandre Lacroix and Sekou Bangoura 7-5, and led 40-30 in the game that would win the match, however court three finished before they could complete their match.
“The guys fought hard and I was really pleased with the way they came out,” said Cox. “They embraced the tournament. They worked hard and were ready to go.”
In singles play, although the Hogs fought hard, they were unable to win a match. Federhofer quickly defeated Ward on court five. It was followed by Van Overbeek defeating Lehmann on court four. The dual match was clinched and completed when Lacroix defeated Nott on court one. In a similar situation to singles, Zogaj was less than one game away from defeating Slilam, but could not finish the match before the dual point was clinched.
“I was very proud of our seniors, Chris Nott and Matt Hogan,” said Cox. “They did a great job and closed out their Razorback careers on a very high note. It’s disappointing that our season is over. The guys were getting better and better, and I wish we had another match to play.”
This match concluded play for the Razorbacks this season. The SEC tournament will continue throughout the weekend.
Florida 4, Arkansas 0
April 21, 3 p.m.
Order of Finish: 2, 3*
1. Matt Hogan/ Chris Nott (UA) led Alexandre Lacroix/Sekou Bangoura (UF) 7-5 UNF
2. Nassim Slilam/Billy Federehofer (UF) def. Mike Ward/Nikolas Zogaj (UA) 8-3
3. Andrew Butz/Bob Van Overbeek (UF) def. Gregoire Lehmann/Matt Walters (UA) 8-5
Order of finish: 5, 4, 1*
1. Alexandre Lacroix (UF) def. Chris Nott (UA) 6-4, 6-4
2. Sekoura Bangoura (UF) led Matt Hogan (UA) 7-5, 2-0 UNF
3. Nikolas Zogaj (UA) led Nassim Slilam (UF) 7-6(8-6), 5-0 UNF
4. Bob Van Overbeek (UF) def. Gregoire Lehmann (UA) 6-1, 6-3
5. Billy Federhofer (UF) def. Mike Ward (UA) 6-2, 6-0
6. Spencer Newman (UF) led Manfred Jeske (UA) 6-2, 5-2 UNF