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Razorback Netters Fall at LSU, 4-3

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorback Netters Fall at LSU, 4-3
BATON ROUGE, La. – Arkansas’ tennis team suffered its second straight setback Saturday afternoon, falling 4-3 to 15th-ranked LSU in the regular season finale for both teams at the W.T. “Dub” Robinson Tennis Complex in Baton Rouge, La.

The dual-match was stopped after the Tigers (18-7, 5-6 SEC) clinched the victory, leaving the match at No. 3 singles unfinished. The Razorbacks (4-16, 2-9 SEC) finish the regular season alone in fifth-place in the SEC West, 11th overall.

Arkansas has played seven matches ending in a 4-3 score, winning just two. Four of the Hogs’ five one-point defeats have come in conference play.

“We’re close again to upsetting a Top-20 program,” Razorback Coach Robert Cox said, “The doubles point was big again today, because we won at positions 1, 2 and 3 in singles.”

LSU used its powerful doubles lineup to earn the first point of the day. The Tigers have won 10 consecutive doubles’ points.

The Tigers also claimed the first two matches in singles, winning at courts No. 6 and No. 4. But, the Hogs posted two impressive wins at the top spots in the lineup. Razorback junior Rohan Gajjar, the nation’s 75th-ranked player, notched a straight-set win over 20th-ranked Ken Skupski at No. 1, 6-2, 6-1. Gajjar played in the top spot for the first time since March 27th against Kentucky. The Bombay, India native is 21-14 on the season, 6-5 in conference play and now boasts six wins over ranked players. Junior Adrians Zguns also earned a win for the Razorbacks, knocking off the nation’s No. 61 player, Mark Growcott, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 2. Zguns now has two consecutive wins, both against ranked opponents. He is 17-12 this year and 6-5 in the SEC.

LSU clinched the win with Danny Bryan’s win over Razorback freshman Michael Jung, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 5. Jung is 11-11 overall and 4-5 in the SEC.

Hog junior Matt Roberts scored a win at No. 3 when Jason Hazley retired with Roberts leading, 7-5, 3-1. With the win, Roberts moves into a tie for 10th all-time in single-season victories. The product of Little Rock, Ark. is 26-8 overall this season and 9-2 in SEC matches. It was also the fourth straight win for Roberts, and his ninth in his last 11 outings.

“Rohan, Zguns and Matt Roberts just played superb tennis,” Cox said, “and they have done that all year.

“We’ve still got a shot, but we’re going to have to get hot at the SEC Tournament starting Thursday.”

Arkansas returns to action next weekend at the SEC Tournament in Athens, Ga. The Hogs are the 11th seed in the event, and take on SEC West rival Mississippi State in the first round Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the Georgia campus.

Results
No. 15 LSU 4, No. 75 Arkansas 3
Baton Rouge, La.

Doubles:
1. #7 Growcott/Skupski (LSU) def. Zguns/Gajjar (AR), 8-4
2. #39 Bryan/Gaston (LSU) def. Ismail/Roberts (AR), 9-7
3. Hazley/Richman (LSU) def. Jung/Nicoara (AR), 8-2
Order of Finish: 1, 3*, 2
*-Clinched point

Singles:
1. #75 Rohan Gajjar (AR) def. #20 Ken Skupski (LSU), 6-2, 6-1
2. Adrians Zguns (AR) def. #61 Mark Growcott (LSU), 6-2, 6-4
3. Matt Roberts (AR) def. Jason Hazley (LSU), 7-5, 3-1 (retired)
4. Peter Richman (LSU) def. Jimmy Khougassian (AR), 6-3, 6-1
5. Danny Bryan (LSU) def. Michael Jung (AR), 6-4, 6-2
6. Colt Gaston (LSU) def. Imraan Ismail (AR), 6-2, 6-1 Order of Finish: 6, 4, 2, 1, 5*, 3
*-Clinched match



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