FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas tennis team has gotten hot at the right time as the Razorbacks close the regular season on Tuesday and head into post-season play.
Arkansas plays host to No. 19 Oklahoma State on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Wal-Mart Life & Tennis Center in Bentonville. To get to the Wal-Mart Tennis Center, take Exit 86 off I-540 in Bentonville and go west. The tennis courts are located directly off the road about a mile from the interstate. In the event of inclement weather, the match will be moved indoors to the Dills Indoor Tennis Center on the UA campus.
The Razorbacks, ranked No. 25 in the nation, enter the regular-season finale hot with wins over No. 16 LSU on Saturday, 4-3, and at No. 55 Oklahoma last Tuesday, 5-2. Arkansas lost the doubles point and fell behind 1-0 in each match, but won five of six singles matches against the Sooners and had sophomore Colin Mascall clinch the win against LSU after UA tied it at 3-3.
The wins pushed Arkansas’ record to 16-8 overall and the Razorbacks finished 6-5 in the SEC.
Oklahoma State has also won two straight – 4-2 over SMU and 7-0 over Wichita State.
The Cowboys, 13-4, are led by Daniel Byrnes, ranked No. 19 in the country, and Ivan Puchkarov, ranked No. 80.
The Hogs counter with four ranked singles players. Senior Adrians Zguns, who is tied for third on UA’s all-time victories list with 101, is No. 22; senior Matt Roberts, who has 26 wins for the second straight year, is No. 57; senior Rohan Gajjar, who earned a spot in last year’s individual draw NCAA Tournament, is No. 93; and freshman Blake Strode, who went 8-3 in Southeastern Conference play, is No. 124.
Roberts is 26-8. His 26 victories last year and this year are the 10th-best single-season marks in school history. Strode has won seven straight and is 24-5. Zguns is 23-8 and Gajjar 19-8. Mascall is 12-9, sophomore Michael Jung is 22-7 and freshman Taylor King 11-6.
If the weather is questionable, please call (479) 575-4949 after noon for a definite match location.
The Razorbacks go to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the SEC Tournament later this week where they take on Vanderbilt in Thursday’s first round and are hoping for a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in six years.