FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With the team score tied at three in Sunday’s dual match between Arkansas and Oklahoma, sophomore Dmitry Lebedev beat Ryan Thomas, 6-2, 7-5, to give the Razorbacks a 4-3 win over the No. 33 Sooners at the Willow Creek Golf and Country Club in Oklahoma City. The win is Arkansas’ first over a ranked opponent since May 13, 2006, when the Hogs defeated No. 39 Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m really proud of our guys and how they played today,” head coach Robert Cox said. “We had to learn and rebound from a tough loss at home last time out (Thursday against No. 23 Tulsa), so it was a real challenge to go on the road and be able to beat a quality team like Oklahoma.”
Oklahoma swept the three doubles matches to earn the first team point and carry the momentum into singles play, leading the Razorbacks, 1-0. At the top spot, the No. 32 doubles team of Federico Chavarria and Andrei Daescu beat Blake Strode and Colin Mascall, 8-5.
Alexandru Joitoiu and Vlad Marinescu clinched the point for the Sooners with their 9-7 win over Branden Joost and Tyler Tarnasky. Oklahoma completed the sweep when Thomas and Ionut Beleleu beat Lebedev and Matt Hogan, 9-8, at the second spot.
“We knew we had some work to do after losing the (doubles) point,” Cox said. “Even though we lost those matches, I still thought all three teams played well.”
Along with Lebedev’s win at the sixth singles spot, the Razorbacks claimed victories at the No. 1, 3 and 4 positions. Strode faced Daescu at the top lineup spot and handed the 21st-ranked sophomore his first loss of the season in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, to give Arkansas its first point of the dual. The win was Strode’s first victory over a ranked player since defeating Andreas Weber of Hawaii in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Singles Championship.
A win at No. 2 singles by Beleleu over Mascall, 7-6, 6-2, put the Sooners back in the lead, but Matt Hogan tied the score when he defeated Joitoiu, 7-5, 7-5, at the third spot. Oklahoma forged ahead, 3-2, and was one win from the dual victory when Chavarria beat Bradwin Williams at No. 5 singles, 6-4, 6-3.
Freshman Chris Nott squared the dual to keep the Hogs alive. He finished off his match with Marinescu in straight sets, 7-6, 6-2, at No. 4 singles. Nott’s win set the stage for Lebedev to close out the upset for the Razorbacks with his win at the sixth spot.
The Arkansas netters will return to action Feb. 23 and 24 when they take a trip out west to Seattle to face No. 36 Washington and Portland, respectively. Log on to www.hogwired.com for complete results and more news about Razorback tennis.
Arkansas 4, No. 33 Oklahoma 3
Feb. 17, 2008
Oklahoma City, Okla.
1. #76 Blake Strode (UA) def. #21 Andrei Daescu (OU), 6-3, 6-4
2. Ionut Beleleu (OU) def. Colin Mascall (UA), 7-6, 6-2
3. Matt Hogan (UA) def. Alexandru Joitoiu (OU), 7-5, 7-5
4. Chris Nott (UA) def. Vlad Marinescu (OU), 7-6, 6-2
5. Federico Chavarria (OU) def. Bradwin Williams (UA), 6-4, 6-3
*6. Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. Ryan Thomas (OU), 6-2, 7-5
1. #32 Andrei Daescu/Federico Chavarria (OU) def. Blake Strode/Colin Mascall (UA), 8-5
2. Ryan Thomas/Ionut Beleleu (OU) def. Matt Hogan/Dmitry Lebedev (UA), 9-8
3. Alexandru Joitoiu/Vlad Marinescu (OU) def. Branden Joost/Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 9-7
Order of Finish: Doubles (1, 3, 2); Singles (1, 2, 3, 5, 4, *6)
* – clinching match