Pair of Hog Wins Not Enough to Subside No. 2 F
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTTEVILLE, Ark. — Gutsy performances from junior Henrik Tofft and freshman Eduardo Pacheco were enough to give Arkansas two points, but not enough to topple No. 2 Florida as the Gators downed the Hogs 5-2 in SEC tennis action at the UA Outdoor Tennis Complex on Sunday afternoon.
The Gators (18-2, 7-0 SEC) won the doubles point and never looked back as Florida went on to capture four of the six singles matches to account for the final total. Arkansas (6-11, 2-7 SEC) fell for the fourth straight time in the Razorbacks’ final home match of the season.
“It looked like we were a little tight in doubles and you just can’t give Florida any breaks,” Arkansas head coach Robert Cox said. “Florida has an excellent squad and we just weren’t able to recover. We had some good wins with Henrik and Eddie. Oskar had an off day. Very rarely does he have an off day, but today was one of them.”
Tofft provided the biggest Razorback win of the day when he topped No. 11 Justin O’Neal 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in number two singles play. Tofft ranked No. 77 in the latest ITA poll improved his record to 21-10 while dropping O’Neal to 30-7.
“Henrik got a quality win today against one of the better players in the country,” Cox said. “His goal is to make into the NCAA singles draw and to do that you need to be in the top 50 in the nation. This win will certainly help his cause in that respect. He showed a lot today after being down a break in the third set. He never quit and found himself a win.”
Pacheco earned the other Arkansas point of the day with a win in number six singles action. The Razorback freshman out battled Florida’s Trey Adcock 7-6 (13-11), 3-6, 10-4 in an abbreviated match won by Pacheco in a third-set 10-point tiebreaker. Pacheco picked up his 17th win on the season including his third in league play.
“I was proud of the way Eddie played today,” Cox said. “He won a grueling first set in a tiebreaker and then rebounded in the third set tiebreaker after dropping the second set. Eddie is getting some quality experience against the top teams in the country as a freshman. That is going to pay off for us down the road.”
Arkansas honored seniors Chris Campbell and John Deaton before Sunday’s match as both players were making their final home appearance for the Razorbacks. The pair hails from Fort Smith, Ark. and has been an integral part of the Razorback program for the past four plus years.
“I think Chris and John prove that there is quality tennis in Arkansas,” Cox said. “Both came in and persevered when things weren’t always going well on the court. They showed great leadership for our younger guys. We will miss them after this year, but for now we still have some more tennis to play.”
The Hogs will wrap up the regular season slate next week with matches at Ole Miss and then at Auburn. The SEC Championships are set for April 20-23 in Starkville, Miss.
No. 2 FLORIDA 5, ARKANSAS 2
Jeff Morrison (UF) d. Oskar Johansson (UA) 6-1, 6-2
Henrik Tofft (UA) d. Justin O’Neal (UF) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
Nathan Overholser (UF) d. Magnus Kullenberg (UF) 6-1, 6-2
Olivier Levant (UF) d. Tiago Azevado (UA) 6-2, 6-2
Dylan Mann (UF) d. Chris Campbell (UA) 6-0, 3-6, 6-2
Eddie Pacheco (UA) d. Trey Adcock (UF) 7-6 (13-11), 3-6, (10-4)
Morrison \ Overholser (UF) d. Campbell \ Johansson (UA) 8-4
Levant \ O’Neal (UF) d. John Deaton \ Tofft (UA) 8-1
Bubis \ Pacheco (UA) vs. Mann \ Marcos Asse (UF) 6-6 susp.
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