Razorback Netters Fall in Regular Season Final
BY ANDRES FOCIL
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn quickly spoiled any chances of an Arkansas upset on Friday afternoon as the No. 34 Tigers downed the Razorbacks 4-0 in Southeastern Conference tennis action at the Luther Young Tennis Center.
Auburn (12-8, 3-7 SEC) captured the first four singles matches from Arkansas (6-14, 2-9 SEC) before the match was halted. The match was the regular season finale for the Razorbacks.
Singles was contested first due to a scheduling snafu complicated by heavy rain on Thursday night and early Friday morning. Doubles is usually played before singles action takes place in SEC matches.
“We had some great first sets, but just couldn’t get over the hump,” Arkansas head coach Robert Cox said. “You have to give Auburn credit. They made some big shots when they needed them especially in those tight first sets. After that they took advantage of some breaks early in the second sets and pulled away.”
Razorback junior Oskar Johansson lost in straight sets to Auburn’s Stephen Huss 7-5, 6-1 in number one singles. Huff, the reigning SEC Tennis Player of the Week, battled Johansson late into the first set before breaking away to secure the victory over the No. 15 ranked player in the country. Huss is ranked No. 73 in the latest poll.
Arkansas also suffered losses at positions two, three and four with play at positions five and six suspended after Auburn had clinched the match. All four of the Auburn winners on Friday are ranked in the nation’s latest singles listing.
“It seems like we are kind of shell shocked this year,” Cox said. “We have had some chances, but we just can’t turn the corner. Now we need to focus on getting ready for the SEC Tournament. We still have a lot to play for in the conference championship.”
Arkansas will try to regroup in the 2000 SEC Tennis Championships set for next week in Starkville, Miss. The Razorbacks are slated to be the No. 10 seed and will face an opponent that is yet to be determined.
AUBURN 4, ARKANSAS 0
No. 73 Stephen Huss (AU) d. No. 15 Oskar Johansson (UA) 7-5, 6-1
No. 62 Georges Matijasevic (AU) d. No. 77 Henrik Tofft (UA) 6-0, 6-3
No. 93 Mark Kovacs (AU) d. Magnus Kullenberg (UA) 6-4, 6-1
No. 86 Tiago Ruffoni (AU) d. Chris Campbell (UA) 7-6 (5), 6-0
Estevam Strecker (AU) vs. Tiago Azevedo (UA) 6-3, 5-4 susp.
Andre Boz (AU) vs. Eduardo Pacheco (UA) 7-5, 5-5 susp.
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