FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 20 Arkansas looks to continue its strong regional play Wednesday, as the Razorbacks host regional rival Tulsa at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center.
The Hogs are 5-0 in regional action so far this season, including a run to the ITA Central Region Championships in January. Arkansas ousted then-No. 42 Tulsa in the semifinals of the regional tournament, 4-0.
The Razorbacks and Golden Hurricane have met 17 times since 1985, with the Razorbacks holding a 16-1 advantage. Tulsa’s lone victory came a year ago in Tulsa, when the 75th-ranked Golden Hurricane upset the 40th-ranked Hogs, 5-2. Arkansas won the last meeting in Fayetteville in 2004, 4-3.
Arkansas (9-4, 1-1 SEC) is coming off their first weekend of SEC play. The Razorbacks,who moved up one spot to20th in the latest FILA/ITA rankings released Tuesday, split their first two conference matches, dropping a 5-2 decision to No. 1 Georgia Friday and defeating No. 28 Tennessee, 5-2, Sunday.
The Hogs’ lineup is anchored by their powerful top four. Seniors Adrians Zguns, Matt Roberts and Rohan Gajjar, along with freshman Blake Strode, have combined to go 33-5 in dual matches this spring in the top four spots. For the entire 2005-06 season, the quartet has combined to post a 65-16 record.
No. 36 Tulsa will be the ninth ranked opponent UA has faced in 14 matches. Arkansas is 4-4 against ranked opposition, with wins over then-No. 46 Tulsa, then-No. 42 Oklahoma, then-No. 11 Virginia and then-No. 28 Tennessee.
The Hogs will look to continue its improved doubles play. UA has won the doubles point in eight of their 13 matches, with an 8-0 record in those matches. Arkansas took the doubles point from Tennessee over the weekend, only the second time in eight matches the Volunteers had lost doubles. The Razorbacks won only four points during the 2005 season.
Wednesday’s evening match is set for a 6 p.m. first serve at the Dills Indoor Tennis Center across from Bud Walton Arena on Razorback Road. Admission is free and there will be free pizza and beverages available for fans.
Fila Top 25(March 7, 2006)1. Georgia2. Illinois(tie) Pepperdine 4. Duke5. Florida6. UCLA7. Baylor8. Mississippi9. Ohio State10. Texas11. Virginia12. Stanford13. North Carolina14. Miami (Fla.)15. Clemson
(tie) Louisville17. LSU18. Georgia Tech19. Notre Dame20. Arkansas21. Washington
22. Va. Commonwealth23. San Diego24. Oklahoma State25. North Carolina St.
More rankings are available on the ITA website at www.ITAtennis.com