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Razorback Singles Prevail to Give Hogs 4-3 Win

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorback Singles Prevail to Give Hogs 4-3 Win
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Vanderbilt came to town fresh off a 5-2 victory over Tulsa on Saturday night and left with their first loss of the season, making their record 4-1 and 0-1 in the SEC. The Razorback victory moves the No. 31 ranked Hogs to 6-1 on the year, 1-0 in SEC play and 3-1 over ranked teams.

The task wasn’t easy for the Hogs as they would lose the doubles point and be forced to count on their singles to win the match against one of the top teams in the nation. The Razorbacks would pull it together on the singles court as the three freshmen, Adrians Zguns, Matt Roberts and Rohan Gajjar, and senior Eduardo Pacheco picked up the four most valuable points of the day for the Razorbacks.

Head coach Robert Cox was obviously pleased for his team and happy to get their first conference win.

“It was a great SEC win,” Cox said. “We had to scratch and claw our way all the way through the match. I’m real proud of us. That’s what our team is going to be made of and we’re going to have a lot more of these matches where we’re going to have to come back from behind.

“We played well all through the line up – from the top to the bottom. Not one guy won this for us, we won four tough points. Vanderbilt is well coached and they’re very good. I give them all the credit in the world. What a great atmosphere, we probably had 200-plus and I think that is what turned it around for us. That’s what college tennis is all about.”

In doubles, the Hogs lost the doubles point, having all three matches swept out from underneath them for the first time this season. One doubles saw Eduardo Pacheco and Nathan Price team up where they faced the No. 27 doubles tandem in the nation in Bobby Reynolds and Lewis Smith. Price and Pacheco held their own, going up 2-0. Vandy would then break them and get on the board. The Hogs would hold on and go up 4-2 before the Commodores tied it at four all. Reynolds and Harris would prove to be too strong, winning the doubles match, 8-6.

Two doubles saw Talley Parker and Aleksey Bubis facing the Vanderbilt duo of Chad Harris and Scott Brown The Hogs started off well going up 2-1, but Vandy would fight back. Harris and Brows would hold and break to go up 5-3. They would get another break to go up 6-4, before winning the next two games d the match, 8-4.
Matt Roberts and Rohan Gajjar would team up to make the Hogs number three doubles team that faced off against Zach Daily and Jens Pilgram-Larsen. The Hogs would fall behind quickly, 3-0, but would hold serve, get a break and hold against to tie the match up at 3 all. Vandy seemed to put a stop to the Hogs rally, as they would go on to win in a final of 8-5.
Vanderbilt coach Ken Flach thought after the doubles point that Vanderbilt had the Hogs on the ropes, but credited Arkansas and his team is looking toward their next match.
“I think Robert Cox has to be pleased with his guys, they fought hard,” Flach said. “After we won the doubles point, I thought that we had them. I really didn’t think that there was any way we could lose. I thought we would win at the top and with Matt Roberts, a freshman, at six, I didn’t see any way we would lose at six.

“I was disappointed with my guys’ effort. I still feel like we should have won the match. We didn’t take care of business. Arkansas fought hard and won some tough matches. The crowd was obviously a factor. I think that cost us the match on six. It wears on you, it is draining. It’s one against 35. That’s a credit to them, but that’s college tennis on the road, and that’s college sports on the road.”

In singles, the Hogs looked to come back after the break to put together four wins and secure the match.

Adrians Zguns played the number four slot for the Razorbacks and faced a formidable opponent in Zach Daily. Zguns was the first off court for the Hogs picking up a win to tie the score. He defeated Daily 6-3, 6-3, and tied the team score up at one all.

One singles turned out to be what one would expect as Reynolds, No. 8 in the nation, handled Bubis fairly well. Bubis did put up a fight, however. After falling 6-3in the first set, Bubis led Reynolds early on and even when down 5-3, didn’t give up. He fought back to try and reel Reynolds in at 5-4, but Reynolds would deliver the final blow to win, 6-3, 6-4. Reynolds’ win gave the Commodores the lead at 2-1.

Roberts would look to keep his undefeated streak alive at the number six position, but things looked bleak early on. Roberts fell behind 5-1 in the first and lost the set 6-1. The second set was just the reverse as Roberts put the hammer down and defeated Smith 6-1 in the second to tie the match up at a set apiece. Smith would get on top of Roberts early in the third, but Roberts fought back to tie the score up at three all. From there he would cruise and win, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, to give help the Razorbacks tie things up a two a piece.

At number five, Gajjar struggled early against Josh Tarkoff, falling behind 3-1 in the first set. He would come back and force a first set tiebreaker and win, 7-3. The second set would be a bit closer as they would fight and be tied up 2-2. The match stayed close until the end, but Gajjar finally got a break and then pulled out the match with a, 7-6(3), 6-4 win to give the Hogs a 3-2 lead.

Pacheco, ranked No. 104, would take on Matt Lockin, No. 99, at the three position. Pacheco had the match under control in the first set, winning handily 6-4. It seemed that Lockin began to figure him out in the second set as he jumped on top early and won the second set 6-3. Pacheco, however, would begin to turn things back around to get the win, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, and clinch the dual match for the Hogs, 4-2.

Price would take on Harris, No. 14, for the third time in his career, attempting to break their tie. The first set saw neither competitor getting a break until the tenth game when Harris broke Price to win the first set 6-4. Price seemed relentless in the second as everything went his way picking up a strong second set win, 6-1. Price had Harris on the ropes in the third set, up 5-2 and reached several match points. Harris, however, played solid tennis and was able to win the next three games of the set to tie the third up at five all.

An eleventh game deuce saw Price on the serve, trying to win and go up 6-5. Price would hold and the set would go to its twelfth game. With Harris on the serve, Price would be looking to break. The match reached deuce and eventually saw Harris winning the game and forcing a third set tiebreaker.

Price would win the first point before falling behind 2-1. Price would then be on the serve, tying it up at two all before giving up a point in the net at 2-3. Harris would then send the ball in the net before the change over to tie things up at three. After switching sides, Harris would get up 4-3 and Price would respond at four all. Harris would then win the next two and be serving for the match. Price sent a volley into the net, losing the match, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4), making the final score 4-3

The Razorbacks’ next home action is Feb. 28 at 1:30 pm against Auburn at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center.

Singles
No. 1: Bobby Reynolds (VU) def. Aleksey Bubis, 6-3, 6-4
No. 2: Chad Harris (VU) def. Nathan Price, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4)
No. 3: Eduardo Pacheco (AR) def. Matt Lockin, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
No. 4: Adrians Zguns (AR) def. Zach Daily, 6-3, 6-3
No. 5: Rohan Gajjar (AR) def. Josh Tarkoff, 7-6(3), 6-4
No. 6: Matt Roberts (AR) def. Lewis Smith, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4

Doubles
No. 1: Bobby Reynolds/Lewis Smith (VU) def. Nathan Price/Eduardo Pacheco (AR), 8-5
No. 2: Chad Harris/Scott Brown (VU) def. Aleksey Bubis/Talley Parker (AR), 8-5
No. 3: Zach Daily/Jens Pilgram-Larsen (VU) def. Matt Roberts/Rohan Gajjar (AR), 8-5



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