FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorback men’s tennis team couldn’t have asked for a better start to its 2012 spring season as they went 3-0 on the day in dual matches and didn’t drop a single singles or doubles match in the process. After getting a strong 7-0 victory over Texas-Arlington to start, Arkansas faced Oral Roberts twice and saw multiple straight set victories to go with dominating performances across the board for wins of 6-0 and 5-0. Eight Razorback players saw action today and all scored two singles wins.
"It was a great day for us," head coach Robert Cox said. "We played a lot of good tennis. Everybody got to play and some much needed experience. We got those season opening nerves out of the way. More importantly, we showed we can play a lot of tennis. We’re in good shape and nobody got hurt. We stepped up and took care of business."
The Hogs started the day against UT-Arlington and didn’t have too much trouble in doubles, winning all three matches to get the early team point. After junior Hall Fess and senior Matt Walters earned their ninth victory of the year with an 8-5 win over David Subirats and Mindaugas Celedinas, senior Nikolas Zogaj and junior Gregoire Lehmann followed suit with an 8-6 win over Jason Lateko and Yauheni Yakauleu. Not to be outdone, senior Taj Harrison and sophomore Mike Nott defeated Moreno and Williams, 8-6, for the clean doubles sweep.
Now that the momentum was in their favor, the Razorbacks got the scoring started quickly in singles. Fess, playing at court six continued his strong start to his junior campaign as he blasted past Lateko for the straight set victory, 6-1, 6-3. Following him was freshman Jovan Parlic at the number four spot. He was going for his first win in a dual match in his collegiate career and he looked like a seasoned veteran as he cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nicolas Moreno. The win gives him six for the year so far in singles.
With the Razorbacks leading the overall score at 3-0, it didn’t take long for Walters to clinch the match for his team as he finished off Subirats, also in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0. The victory was his seventh of the year and gave Arkansas its first official victory of 2012.
The Hogs took that winning attitude into match number two as they faced the Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts shortly after the conclusion of the remaining matches with UT-Arlington. Since ORU only had five players available to play, they had to default the number three doubles position and number six singles position. Many of the Razorback players that did not play in the first match saw their first action of the day in the opening match with ORU.
Senior Taj Harrison and freshman Victor Hoang both had huge match wins in singles to with the Golden Eagles. Hoang, especially, had arguably the best match of the day as he got the 6-0, 6-0 straight set shutout over Nathaniel Avery. Harrison nearly won by the same score, but settled for a 6-0, 6-4 win over Oscar Witzand. The win for Harrison was his fourth of the young season and he followed that performance with an even better one as he defeated Matthew Prevost, 6-2, 6-0, to move to five wins for the year.
It was much of the same story across the board for the rest of the Razorbacks as only one match went to a third set for the entire day. During the first dual match with UT-Arlington, Lehmann played at the No. 1 position and was taken the distance by Yakauleu. After dropping the first set 6-4, Lehmann battled back to win the second set in a tiebreak 7-6(4). He kept the ball rolling in the third set and scored the huge win with a 1-0(6) third set win. Lehmann, like the other Razorbacks went on to win one more singles match against Oral Roberts to finish the day 2-0.
The men’s tennis team will take its perfect 3-0 record on the road next week as they will travel to Iowa City, Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes on Friday at 2 p.m. They will then play DePaul the next day on Iowa’s courts at 2:30 p.m. The Hogs’ next home match will be against Purdue on Friday, Feb. 10. First serve for that match is slated for 5:30 p.m.
Complete ResultsUniversity of Arkansas 7, UT-Arlington 0
Singles competition1. Gregoire Lehmann (ARK) def. Yauheni Yakauleu (UTA) 4-6, 7-6 (8-4), 1-0 (10-6)2. Nikolas Zogaj (ARK) def. Mindaugas Celedinas (UTA) 7-6 (8-5), 7-53. Matt Walters (ARK) def. David Subirats (UTA) 6-3, 6-04. Jovan Parlic (ARK) def. Nicolas Moreno (UTA) 6-2, 6-25. Michael Nott (ARK) def. P. Williams (UTA) 6-1, 6-36. Hall Fess (ARK) def. Jason Lateko (UTA) 6-1, 6-3
Doubles competition1. Hall Fess/Matt Walters (ARK) def. David Subirats/Mindaugas Celedinas (UTA) 8-52. Nikolas Zogaj/Gregoire Lehmann (ARK) def. Jason Lateko/Yauheni Yakauleu (UTA) 8-63. Taj Harrison/Michael Nott (ARK) def. Nicolas Moreno/P. Williams (UTA) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,4,3,5,2,1)
University of Arkansas 6, Oral Roberts University 0
Singles competition1. Nikolas Zogaj (ARK) def. Alvaro Gutierrez (ORU) 6-3, 7-6 (8-2)2. Gregoire Lehmann (ARK) def. Parker Allen (ORU) 6-1, 6-03. Taj Harrison (ARK) def. Oscar Witzand (ORU) 6-0, 6-44. Victor Hoang (ARK) def. Nathaniel Avery (ORU) 6-0, 6-05. Michael Nott (ARK) def. Matthew Prevost (ORU) 6-0, 6-06. No player (ARK) def. No player (ORU), by default
Doubles competition1. Taj Harrison/Michael Nott (ARK) def. Parker Allen/Alvaro Gutierrez (ORU) 8-32. Jovan Parlic/Victor Hoang (ARK) def. Nathaniel Avery/Oscar Witzand (ORU) 8-33. No player/No player (ARK) def. No player/No player (ORU), by default
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,4,2,3,1)
University of Arkansas 5, Oral Roberts University 0
Singles competition1. Jovan Parlic (ARK) def. Alvaro Gutierrez (ORU) 6-2, 6-12. Matt Walters (ARK) def. Parker Allen (ORU) 6-0, 6-13. Victor Hoang (ARK) def. Oscar Witzand (ORU) 6-1, 6-14. Hall Fess (ARK) def. Nathaniel Avery (ORU) 6-0, 6-05. Taj Harrison (ARK) def. Matthew Prevost (ORU) 6-2, 6-06. No player (ARK) vs. No player (ORU) default
Order of finish: Singles (4,2,5,3,1)